Last week, Italian fashion house Maison Valentino premiered its short film series entitled “In Conversation With” on YouTube featuring Nigerian-American author, Tomi Adeyemi, as the first guest.
The film series is described by BellaNaija as “highlighting the works, insights, and inspirations of today’s top thinkers through a series of short films.”
The short film is directed by Akinola Davis and features Tomi Adeyemi at the center of a pink floral draped Paris boutique hotel room looking like a queen in a flowing and playful Valentino white maxi dress from the Le Blanc collection.
Davis’s unabashedly feminine and rose-tinted scene with miniature props, shadow puppets, and Adeyemi at the center is akin to a Sofia Coppola film but with a black female protagonist, which was the desired effect.
In Tomi Adeyemi’s first Paris Fashion Week Diary featured in Vogue earlier this month, she described the joy and catharsis at seeing Valentino feature 39 black models in the collection.
“As a little black girl who had always admired fashion from afar but never thought she could dare to have a place in it? I teared up.”
Tomi Adeyemi brings this joy and belonging with her into the short film monologue. “I had internalized that I couldn’t be in my own imagination. The boundlessness and magic that I try to keep is to keep little Tomis from ever doing that…I describe blackness in the book so vividly because I know if you don’t see it, then it erases from your imagination.”
Tomi Adeyemi is the author of Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance, the first two installments in her Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. Children of Blood and Bone won the 2019 Hugo Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book and Children of Virtue and Vengeance topped the 2019 New York Times Young Adult Best Seller List.
See below for a few more shots from her dreamy Paris trip.
All photos by Tomi Adeyemi via @tomiadeyemi