Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."
Adichie 2

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.

Adichie12

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?

Adichie10

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.

Adichie11

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.

Adichie4

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.

Adichie

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 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

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 August 11, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Spectacular Woman

  2. Baju Wanita Karir February 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    amazing woman.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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

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

  2. dressed to write | semper aliquid novi africam adferre - August 30, 2014

    […] the dress? Well, I am not so sure anymore after I have read this article on Chimamanda Ngozi […]

  3. Adichie is Vogue UK’s Fashion Star of the Month! | 30 Looks + Her Style Inspiration | Brittle Paper - March 4, 2015

    […] Hankering for more on Adichie’s fashion?  Click HERE. […]

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

15 Pieces to Guide Your Understanding of Xenophobia in (South) Africa

xenophobia in south africa - photo by guillerme sartori for agence france press and getty images

Once again, this September, xenophobic violence was unleashed on other Africans, mostly Nigerians, in South Africa: businesses were closed, shops […]

Johary Ravaloson’s Return to the Enchanted Island Is the Second Novel from Madagascar to Be Translated into English

johary ravaloson - winds from elsewhere - graph (1)

In May 2018, we brought news of the first novel by a writer from Madagascar to be translated into English: […]

Sundays at Saint Steven’s | Davina Philomena Kawuma | Poetry

unsplash3

when god runs out of money (how, no one says) once a week, these days, we come to where the […]

Read the First Excerpt from Petina Gappah’s New Novel, Out of Darkness, Shining Light

petina gappah - out of darkness, shining light - graph

Petina Gappah‘s new novel Out of Darkness, Shining Light was released on 10 September by Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner. […]

We Need To Talk | Muriel Adhiambo | Fiction

unsplash4

IT WAS A warm, humid night in the lakeside city of Kisumu. Under a starless sky, the women, seated on […]

For World Diabetes Day, Miss BloodSugar Calls for Entries to Competition & Anthology Sponsored by Bella Naija

mbs final edit

Press release: What’s your diabetes story? Are you diabetic? Have you been impacted by the experiences of a family/friend/patient with […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.