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Half of a Yellow Sun film promotion. Jumpsuit: Gozelle Green. Shoes: Jimmy Choo. Hair by Temi with Nafy Afro Puffy Hair.

Adichie officially asked us to care about what she wears and how she looks when she did the fashion manifesto bit  in Elle Magazine and sent in her photos for consideration as Fashion Bombshell of the Day. I can’t say we were not a bit surprised by such a bold move. But the author of Americanah has done a fairly good job blending her high-profile literary status with an interest in fashion.

For fans dying to share Adichie’s fashion universe, Chimamanda Style Files is a gift. It’s a blog run by “her team” and features updates on Adichie’s style. Want to see what she looks like in an Alexander Mcqueen jacket at a New York City literary event? Curious about her team of Naija-based tailors? It’s all there.

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Hay Festival of Literature. Top and shorts: Gozelle Green. Shoes: Alejandra G.

But why should Adichie care that we care about her Jimmy Choo shoes or her Obalende tailor? Are we not supposed to love her simply for her books and her brain? Does it feel a little weird that Africa’s literary sweetheart is asking us to pay attention to her body?

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Tenement museum in New York City. Dress: Tailor Amaka in Ajah, Lagos. Hair by Khadeeja using Eon afro puffy hair.

 It’s probably no news—I’ve commented on this issue several times before—but I think it is perfectly legitimate for African literary celebrities to open up about their lives. As an African literary blogger, I’m all for anything that gets fans and readers to connect with African literature. If Adichie’s Isi owu hairstyle makes her more approachable, gets you interested in her message, and possibly in her work, it’s a win-win situation.

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Baileys Prize Ceremony. Jumpsuit: Designed by Chimamanda. Made by Tailor Samson in Agungi. Shoes: Jean-Michel Cazabat.

Besides, don’t underestimate the value of a thriving fandom. Gone are the days of the solitary artist creating masterpieces in seclusion and living in disdain of the masses. These days, authors are starting to realize that having some level of notoriety helps. It helps with book sales, but it also helps with getting their message out there.

Adichie has an army of young readers. They love her work. They’re drawn to her feminist gospel, including the ideals and politics she’s mobilized around her image. Being open about her style is simply one more way of connecting with these fans.

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At the end of the day, the truth is: after proving yourself as a brilliant novelist, there’s always a good bit of style and sexiness left over for flaunting. When you’re African and literary, nothing stops you from being glamorous.

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Women’s Development Center. Keynote Speech at Governor Obiano’s One Hundred Days in Office. Dress: C & Samson. Shoes: Ann Taylor.

 

 

Images via Chimamanda Style Files 

 

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

5 Responses to “Keeping Up With Chimamanda’s Swanky Wardrobe” Subscribe

  1. Oyin Oludipe 2014/08/11 at 09:53 #

    Spectacular Woman

  2. Baju Wanita Karir 2015/02/17 at 18:49 #

    amazing woman.

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  1. Half of a Yellow Sun; Boko Haram; MDGs | Catherine Onyemelukwe - 2014/08/22

    […] It was Brittle Paper that alerted me with an article Keeping Up With Chimamanda’s Swanky Wardrobe.  […]

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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