For its Resort 2020 collection, the French fashion house traveled to one of its most stunning locations yet: Marrakech. The Moroccan city not only served as host to Dior’s latest runway; its artists and culture helped inspire and create the collection. The theme was “Common Ground,” which it sought to achieve through a series of collaborations with several African artists, offering a fresh point-of-view from the storied French fashion house. At a time when the fashion industry is increasingly being called out for cultural appropriation, it was a risky move—but Maria Grazia Chiuri aimed for appreciation, not appropriation.
The artistic director tapped Anne Grosfilley, an anthropologist specializing in African textiles and fashion, to consult on the entire collection. Grosfilley helped source fabrics and reinterpret signature Dior motifs with Uniwax, a local manufacturer from Ivory Coast. Several pieces were done in 100% African Wax—made from cottons grown, spun, and printed in Africa. Chiuri also enlisted Grace Wales Bonner (a British-Jamaican designer whose work explores a hybrid of European and African fashion) and Mickalene Thomas (a contemporary African-American artist) to reimagine Dior’s iconic New Look silhouette. -Lauren Fisher