Loading Events

Africa Fashion

Nov 18, 2023 - Feb 18, 2024
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
Included with general admission
General Accessibility


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to present Africa Fashion, a major exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London that will celebrate the richness and diversity of African creativity, cultures, and histories, using fashion as a catalyst. Spanning mid-twentieth century to contemporary designs, Africa Fashion explores the vitality of a fashion scene as dynamic and varied as the continent itself.

The irresistible creativity, ingenuity, and global impact of contemporary African fashions are celebrated in an extensive display of garments, textiles, adornments, personal testimonies, photographs, film, and catwalk footage in this exhibition. Many of the garments hail from the archives of groundbreaking mid-twentieth century African designers—Shade Thomas-Fahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah, Naïma Bennis and Alphadi. Designs from influential contemporary African fashion creatives, including Imane Ayissi, IAMISIGO, Moshions, Thebe Magugu, and Maison Art appear alongside these historical works, on display for the first time in Africa Fashion.

Exhibition organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, where it was on view through April 16, 2023. Curated by the V&A’s Christine Checinska, Ph.D., Senior Curator of African and Diaspora Textiles and Fashion, with Project Curator Elisabeth Murray. Curated for Portland by Julia Dolan, Ph.D., The Portland Art Museum’s Minor White Senior Curator of Photography. Supported in part by Exhibition Series Sponsors.

Photograph of a black model walking on a catwalk in a bright pink outfit
Mbeuk Idourrou collection, Imane Ayissi, Paris, France, Autumn/Winter 2019. Photo: Fabrice Malard / Courtesy of Imane Ayissi 
Black and white photograph of a black model posing against a tree, wearing a white bustier and a matching skirt and jacket and pearl jewelry
Design by Chris Seydou © Nabil Zorkot 
Color photo of a black man and black woman modeling batik blue and white clothes against a white wall
Kofi Ansah ‘Indigo’ Couture 1997 – Narh & Linda – Photo © 1997 Eric Don-Arthur
Photo of a black model in a colorful patterned pantsuit with point white heeled shoes and a big brimmed hat
Alchemy collection, Thebe Magugu, Johannesburg, South Africa, Autumn/Winter 2021. Photography: Tatenda Chidora.



  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Mr. and Mrs. William Whitsell


  • Fred and Gail Jubitz 
  • LEVER Architecture
  • Cyndy and Ed Maletis
  • The Standard


  • Ed Cauduro Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation
  • Heather Killough
  • Rena and Cheryl Tonkin and Marv Tonkin Leasing Company in memory of Alan Baron Tonkin
  • Robert Trotman Interior Design
  • Priscilla Bernard Wieden and Dan Wieden*


  • James and Anne Crumpacker  
  • Katherine and Mark Frandsen