The Founders Behind ASHYA Debut A Fantastical Short Film Centering West African Folklore

Getty Images

Article continues after video.

Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece, the founders of ASHYA, have revealed their first short film. Origins: A Tale of Anansi, directed by Anthony Prince Leslie details their journey during their inaugural New York Fashion Week presentation in 2022 at Spring Studios. 

Anansi, a Ghanaian folklore character of the Ashanti people, who is half-spider, and half-human is the center of the story told within the film. The Anansi is known for their wisdom and mischief. In the film this message is shown: “Anansi lives in the telling and re-telling of stories through oral traditions that have traveled across the African diaspora for decades.”

The film highlights the importance of oration and its form of history to keep traditions and culture alive as both Cimone and Annece come from an Afro-Caribbean heritage. The oral history of Anansi inspired the brand’s new emblem of four A’s facing each other—a mirror and a conversation—symbolizing community and the brand’s core value of storytelling as a form of cultural preservation. Artists Moses Sumney and Naima Ramos-Chapman, who is also a director of HBO’s “Random Acts of Flyness” were playing mirrored iterations of Anansi directed by Nana Yaa Asare Boadu. The trio created an interactive space during ASHYA’s first presentation as they brought alive the movement and oration of the Ghanaian lore. 

Directed by Leslie, Origins opens with Boadu dressed in a black costume, designed by paper artist Karina Sharif and styled by costume designer Solange Franklin. Comprised of circles and bent pieces poking out like spider legs that reflect Anansi—she moves with intent and elegance. The scene cuts to Cimone and Annece preparing and ideating the performance as well as the presentation space, filling the shelves with their popular bag designs. We hear their earnest efforts and how it parallels their brand ethos. The film then cuts to short scenes of the performance with a fashion industry-filled audience in awe. 

Fashion films seem to be making a return to the mainstream and we are delighted to see this resurgence, especially through the lens of Black women designers. Cimone and Annece serving as writers and creative directors for this project showcases their skillsets beyond ideating and executing their coveted accessories company. It also provides an important way to document the story behind ASHYA.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general
Shopping cart