In the latest installation of Explore Angola, we meet fashion designer Nadir Tati. Angola is her homeland but her fashion designs can be seen all over the world on the runways of New York, Lisbon and Berlin.
She makes fashion by Africans for Africans - but also the rest of the world. Her dresses and those who wear them; proud ambassadors of their continent. Having lived all over the world has enabled Nadir to reflect on her own heritage.
“I look at the Africans with a different eye, and I see that the people want to belong somewhere, but the essence of the African continent, the story behind all of us, what’s the best way to express this.”
Nadir's designs pivot on identity and origin - pride in her African roots. For her, everything in fashion has a message.
“It’s the story passing through generations, through the designs, and that's exactly where the fashion comes into this.”
Ever colour and pattern have a meaning. For every African, it tells a story. Nadir finds fabrics from all over Africa.
“When we talk about the African continent we talk about blood and we talk about sadness. You have the red that symbolizes blood. The black, symbolizing, of course, the darkness, and yellow; happiness. This is actually the signature from Angola. My fashion language is my textiles; my signature is my African continent.”
Clothing is identity is self-confidence: an ethos that Nadir wants to convince other African women of.
“It's making them believe in the beauty, on the richness and beauty of themselves.”
Nadir's designs give off attitude in their combination of African tradition with self-confidence. She admires the poise of one of her models.
“Look how she stands. It's impressive because this is really what I'm talking about is this position: ‘Hey, I'm here’. And how the clothes can incorporate this identity too, ‘I'm here and I'm proud’. And this is my fashion and this is the fashion I want to show the world.”
Nadir is a role model for Angolan women because her success is the result of passion, strong will - and hard work.
It’s uncertain on how her collections evolve, but we can be sure she will continue to celebrate and show different African identities then ones we’ve seen before.