by Keith L. Forest
Moshood, was a member of the great Bogolan business consortium formed in 1995, comprising Black-owned enterprises, along Fulton Street in Fort Greene. Bogolan brought consumers to the area for its Africa-inspired products and culture. In some instances it activated the Business Improvement District. Moshood has since moved to a site in Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Restoration Plaza where it is still a mecca for the fashionable, and still eschewing the message that small black businesses live in Brooklyn. Last Sunday, August 1, Moshood kicked off Brooklyn’s salute to Black August and Black Business Month. Following is Keith Forest’s report.
In celebration of Black Business Month internationally renowned designer Moshood Afariogun, presented his legendary Moshood Creations Fashion Showcase to the village of Bedford-Stuyvesant. The festive affair, which commenced the 27th anniversary of his flagship Brooklyn store, provided a rich cultural, festive experience for all in attendance.
The jovial, cultural, extravaganza kicked off with a live performance from the Kunle Might Sunrise Band featuring lead singer Moses “Kunle Mighty” Ayankunle, a celebrated multi-instrumentalist born into a family of talking drummers. Dressed in traditional West African garb, the band’s percussive rhythms bathed the audience with hypnotic, syncopated licks straight from the motherland. The high energy 10-member band, that is steeped in the percussive JuJu, highlife and Afropop sounds, was formed in Sunrise Spiritual Church. It is managed by Kunle Ade who is the son of legendary Nigerian JuJu singer, and multi-disciplined musician, King Sunny Ade.
The fashion extravaganza was hosted by New York State Senator Kevin Parker and featured a spectacular array of Afro-centric fashion, including cutting edge creations from a variety of emerging black designers. Participating creators included Brooklyn based kid clothing designer Monique “Mo” Glover, the creative force behind ZYEM NYC, and ZYEM Kids, a children clothing line inspired by her son Zyem. Closing out the evening with much fanfare, was the latest creation from the creator of Afro-Chic – Moshood. Bedazzled with his signature logo, his latest creations for 2021 included stylish, casual wear for the entire family.
Like most small businesses, COVID-19 took its toll on the Nigerian born designer’s business. However, thanks to his growing e-commerce platform, and assistance from Bed-Stuy Gateway BID, Moshood was able to reopen his doors. In gratitude to the village that helped sustain him, and in support of other small business owners that survived the global pandemic, Moshood dedicated the show to the resilient spirit of Brooklyn small business owners. “COVID was a test that many did not survive, so we celebrate with those that made it thru in collective spirit with those that are no longer here,” said Moshood.
The name MOSHOOD/Afrikan spirit has become synonymous with a style that personifies the “spirit” of Afrikan pride. Originally from Lagos, Nigeria Moshood arrived to make his mark in New York in the early 1980’s. After years of tireless effort and hard work he opened his boutique in Brooklyn, New York. His timeless pieces bring together the traditional beauty of Afrikan tailoring and a taste of western flavor. His fluid and elegant designs have been embraced from Harlem to Soweto, Lagos to Bahia, London to Tokyo, and New York to Kingston.
Bedford-Stuyvesant native Senator Parker noted that “Moshood teaches us through his fashions to love and respect ourselves and the traditions, our traditions, from which we come. Remember: When you wear Moshood, you wear yourself!”