Zulema Griffin (you may remember her from Project Runway) is here today to talk about her Fall 09 collection, which will be available starting today in the form of a concept film called "Virtual Self" on YouTube--you can also watch it at the bottom of this interview!
"Virtual Self" is about a young African American fashion designer struggling to find a balance between old traditions, religion, and racial bias, all in the hopes of discovering the truth and beauty that will create fashion immortality. It's the second concept film in the series exploring and giving voice to the African Diaspora and its aesthetic principles, formatted into "fashion films" that are broadcast digitally throughout the year and archived online at www.zulemagriffin.com.
mj: I love the way you are using technology to present your fashions. Can you talk a little about why you chose this route instead of a traditional fashion show?
zulema: I choose this route initially because of economics then I found that considering my background and experience was in film more so than the traditional fashion industry, I decided I could produce a more superior product using this method as well as reach a broader cross section of people.
mj: How do you feel your new ZULEMA collection expresses the African American feminine identity?
zulema: As a African American woman myself, I find that this collection really touches on many of the desires of women, wearability, and luxury without breaking the bank. I am from an urban setting and I find it important to create fashion that is unique yet fits in with the needs of a metropolitan woman.
mj: Do you think your vision of African diaspora has evolved from your last collection?
zulema: Yes, in the sense that as I move along in life and the industry, I have found universal truths, but I have also found how un-abashedly many people from the diaspora are expressing themselves. In the past I felt many women felt a need to present themselves with a foot note and now I'm beginning to see the unapologetic blackness. I also hope to see more of it in the community.
mj: What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection?
A dress I call "On The Black Hand Side"; a silk charmeuse dye set dress with printed bow tie, dots on the breast, and a pair of black hands over the womb, its really adorable as well as a silk and cotton poplin origami jacket with pants and a dye set print satin faced chiffon t-shirt.
Thanks Zulema for stopping by! Check out her new collection by clicking on the video above or going to YouTube and typing in "Zulema, Spring 09".