|Story|| DEAD WHITE MENS CLOTHES™ is a project by Ghanaian artist Jojo Gronostay and Amsterdam Berlin. The origins of the name lie in the Ghanaian term “obroni wawu“, which translates directly to “dress of the dead white man”. A description the locals came up with when the first wave of second-hand clothes from the West swept into their country in the 70’s. They could not believe that clothing of such quality was just given away. Instead they assumed that the previous owners must have died.
A frightening observation that gave rise to the DWMC™ project - a label set out to provoke a discourse on capitalism, post-colonialism, identity and fashion. The label's clothes are sourced on the Kantamanto Market in Accra, Ghana. One of the worldwide largest collection points for used clothing. A place where cheaply produced garments from China are placed next to second-hand clothes from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. A graveyard for discarded fashion. But also, the birthplace of selected pieces that DWMC™ relabels and then reintroduces, into the cycle of capitalism.
In recent years, the mass-producing textile industry has been part of a major conflict between Western countries and Africa. While used clothes donated in the West might be helpful in the short run, they destroy the local textile economy in the long-term. Effectvely, hindering independence from the West. A condition DWMC™ tries to counteract by donating the label’s profits to support young African designers.
The vicious cycle will continue nonethless. To at least draw attention to this situation, the project’s communication centres around a socio-critical short film that contrasts two different concepts of luxury. Decadence on the one hand, morality as a possible future commodity, on the other. DEAD WHITE MENS CLOTHES™ thereby raises an important question: “What will the future of luxury look like?”.
Shop the colleciton here: DEAD WHITE MENS CLOTHES™