Bloomingdales Taps African Fashion Brands For Its Lion King-Themed Pop-Up Shop

Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images.
The world is one day away from seeing Disney’s CGI remake of The Lion King starring Beyoncé as Nala, Donald Glover as Simba, and a host of other talented performers. We've seen Beyoncé at both the London and the LA premiere, we've listened to the new songs, and now Bloomingdale's is celebrating the remake with its latest carousel collection. For the first time ever, the department store’s pop-up shop is partnering with a movie to offer shoppers merchandise through September 12.
Guest curator Florence Kasumba, the German-Ugandan actress who plays Shenzi the hyena, tapped into her knowledge of the film and her love of African fashion to identify select items that capture the spirit of the savanna. "Being the guest curator for the Style Kingdom in The Carousel at Bloomingdale’s is an absolute thrill because I’ve been able to combine my love of fashion and film whilst connecting back to my African heritage,” Kasumba said in a press release. “I love how The Lion King can be interpreted through this new lens and connect with audiences in a unique and fresh way. I felt such a personal connection to the pieces I curated and I can’t wait for people to see the collections, and the movie!”
The selection includes AAKS raffia color blocked bags, Birkenstock sandals, Gigi Burris raffia hats, bathing suits by Beach Riot, colorful Bauble Bar earrings, and dresses by Sandro and Whistles. Pieces by Brooklyn-based womenswear designer Fe Noel are also included in the selection. "Her signature luxe silhouettes have been artfully fused with Disney's magical and whimsical flair. Coral, green and yellow tones are incorporated throughout the pieces to embody the colorful palette of the iconic film. With the launch of this collection, the brand hopes to continue its mission to empower young women and help them embrace their femininity,” a rep for the brand tells Refinery29.
Drawing on her love and support of African fashion, Florence helped source and curate an assortment that pays tribute to the regions that inspired the film. Labels like Maxhosa — a South African knitwear brand that celebrates Xhosa beadwork aesthetics and is made with South African mohair and wool; Studio 189 — an artisan produced line made in Ghana, specializing in various traditional craftsmanship techniques and focusing on creating jobs and supporting education; and Post-Imperial — a Nigerian menswear brand with a strong sense of optimism for the future and a focus on color, pattern and a rare hand dyeing process called Adire, to name a few.
Beyond that, the shop also features pieces inspired by the film like Pichulik's gold-plated earrings handcrafted in Cape Town that are meant to embody connectedness, Brother Vellies Burkina slides handwoven by female weavers, the Uganda-based, women-led start-up Tribe & Glory's reclaimed ankle horn earrings, and Khokho's Jabu shoulder bag made in Eswatini in Southern Africa.

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