An #OOTD can be more than a vehicle for showing off your recent hauls. It can be an outlet for conversation about the impact our purchases can have on issues we care about — or the emotional connection we have with our clothing. We saw that with Emma Watson’s commitment to certified-sustainable press tour get-ups. Now, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is bringing her public wardrobe closer to home, Quartz reports. The author recently started her own Instagram account, where she posts and breaks down all of her #OOTDs. You may have noticed a trend in her choice of designers: They’re all from Nigeria, where Adichie was born and raised.
The profile, which was started about a month ago and is currently managed by Adichie’s nieces, is part of a larger project she calls Wear Nigerian. The Americanah author took to Facebook to contextualize the initiative: “The Nigerian government’s disastrous economic policies have led to a reduction in the value of the naira and therefore in disposable income, a change in values, a disorientation of the middle class, and most of all, to a debilitating sense of uncertainty,” Adichie wrote. “If we are to grasp for a silver lining, then the ‘Buy Nigerian to Grow The Naira’ rhetoric is one,” referring to a hashtag promoted by government officials to encourage local spending. And so, she began picking out mostly Nigerian brands to wear at public appearances — “before, by the way, President Buhari declared ‘Made in Nigeria dress’ days,” she clarified. On Instagram, she then details not only what she wore, but where she wore it, tagging the brands in the caption and using the hashtag #MadeInNigeria.
The result of this, she explained, has been an education in the vibrant fashion scene coming out of her home country, in spite of economic hardships, as Quartz noted — one that champions and honors national identity. “In the past few weeks, I’ve bought more Nigerian brands than I ever have in the past,” she noted. “I’ve discovered new names. I’ve been filled with admiration for the women and men running their businesses despite the many challenges they face. I’m particularly interested in ‘inward-looking’ brands, those for whom dressing Nigerian women is as important as other goals.”
Adichie has long been vocal about her love and appreciation of clothing — and the industry loves her right back: She’s one of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s muses at Dior, inspiring the brand’s now-famous We Should All Be Feminists T-shirt from spring ’17. However, this shift in shopping habits represents a new, more introspective chapter of her style evolution. Not all of her purchases have been perfect, Adichie admitted. (“I’ve changed quite a few dodgy zippers, been disappointed by some poor quality fabrics, and been impressed by some detail-oriented finishing,” she added.) But the Nigerian-made clothing has made her feel at home with her wardrobe, and every person in the supply chain for these garments “[deserves] to be supported.”
While her decision to Wear Nigerian was made internally, her two nieces eventually encouraged her to go public with the project and with her Instagram account. And we’re glad she did. We highly recommend following @chimamanda_adichie for more.