DEAD WHITE MENS CLOTHES
DEAD WHITE MENS CLOTHES™ is a project by Ghanaian artist Jojo Gronostay and Amsterdam Berlin. The origins of the name lie in the Ghanaian term “obroni wawu”, which translates to “dress of the dead white man”.
A description the locals came up with when the first wave of second-hand clothes from the West swept into their country in the 70s. The residents of Ghana could not believe that such high quality clothing was just given away. Instead they assumed that the previous owners must have died.
A frightening observation that gave rise to the DWMC™ project – a label set out to provoke a discourse on capitalism, post-colonialism, identity and fashion. The clothes that make up the collections are sourced on the Kantamanto Market in Accra, Ghana. One of the worldwide largest collection points for used clothing. A place where cheaply produced garments from China are placed next to second-hand clothes from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. A graveyard for discarded fashion. But also, the birthplace of selected pieces that DWMC™ relabels, repurposes, and reintroduces into the cycle of capitalism, to be viewed in a new fashion context.
Collection II consists of 118 pieces. Every piece unique. From suits and timeless classics, to neon coloured workwear and souvenir t-shirts – altered ready made clothing that juxtaposes the Zeitgeist of Anti-Fashion with an archetype of Western mediocracy.
In recent years, the mass-producing textile industry has been part of a major conflict between Western countries and Africa. While used clothes donated in the West might be helpful in the short run, they destroy the local textile economy in the long-term. Thus, hindering independence from the West. Something DWMC™ has decided to counteract by donating the label’s profits to supporting young African designers.
The vicious cycle will continue nonetheless. To draw attention to this situation, the project’s communication centres around a socio-critical short film that contrasts two different concepts of luxury. Decadence on the one hand, morality as a possible future commodity, on the other.
DEAD WHITE MENS CLOTHES™ thereby asks an important question: What will the future of luxury look like?
Director Moritz Grub
DoP Keven Klein
Production Amsterdam Berlin
Producer Franko Melisch
Stylist Penninah Amanda
Casting Director Kyra Sophie Wilhelmseder