New movement encourages everyone to boldly embrace their cultural heritage through fashion, hair, and beauty.
From 21-27 May, Cultural Style Week aims to encourage and empower people of all backgrounds wherever they are in the world to celebrate their unique cultural heritage through fashion, hair, and beauty by proudly showcasing their cultural style wherever they go.
The launch of this new global movement will take place in London, one of the most diverse cities in the world on 21 May coinciding with the United Nations World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day which recognises the important contributions that different cultures make to global development and harmony.
Through sharing and celebrating what makes us all unique, Cultural Style Week aims to encourage fresh dialogue around cultural acceptance and create opportunities for us all to better understand and celebrate each other.
Cultural Style Week is the brainchild of tech entrepreneur Candy-Ellie Graham who founded the event with the goal of promoting cultural pride and expression, while also increasing opportunities for fashion, hair, and beauty service providers that serve diaspora communities around the world.
“I wanted to start a movement by creating this inclusive event that encourages people to proudly embrace and share their cultural fashion, hair, and beauty and celebrate that of others. I also wanted to showcase some of the amazing service providers hidden in small communities who can help people do just that.” said Tech Entrepreneur and Cultural Style Week founder Candy-Ellie Graham.
As a precursor to the week, the ‘My Cultural Style’ video series features a diverse group of inspirational people from all walks of life talking about the beauty of their cultural heritage and why it’s important to them. The video series educates viewers through a visual display and celebration of cultural beauty in the lead-up to Cultural Style Week!
Participants include model and artist Nargis of Afghan, Russian, and Ukraine heritage, Robert, founder of Kilt Run London, born in the Scottish highlands, currently living in London, BBC Asian Network radio host, singer, and a self-professed South Londoner at heart Pritt of Tamil heritage, actor and author Antony who explored his Nigerian roots as an adult after being raised by his adoptive English family, author and mental health advocate Shabbir of Pakistani heritage who shares how his faith is an integral part of his cultural style, Caribbean Madras fashion designer Jennifer of Dominican heritage, and Japanese circus gymnast and Kimono enthusiast, Rika currently living in London.
Sadly, each country connected to Nargis’ cultural heritage are currently at war, yet she explained how Cultural Style Week has helped her gain a deeper understanding of the world and learn more about other cultures, “Cultural Style Week is important to me because I’m able to understand…the things I don’t know rather than the things I think I know,” Nargis said, “And I learn a lot more and I grow a lot quicker by embracing the beauty and uniqueness of every individual.”
During Cultural Style Week, Nargis celebrates her Afghan roots by showcasing some of the beautiful, traditional Kuchi clothing of the Afghan Pashtun ethnic group. In the face of such terrible conflict involving every part of her cultural background, Nargis still exudes joy, peace, and unity during a time of very personal adversity. Watch Nargis’ campaign video for Cultural Style Week here.
Jennifer Laurent-Smart My Cultural Style participant and founder of Madras fashion brand Sakafet London said this of the event:
I’m excited about the opportunity to be part of Cultural Style Week. It’s a wonderful opportunity to promote inclusion and belonging by showcasing the diversity and cultural heritage of people who make up Great Britain. Diversity is the fabric that binds our communities together and it is often expressed in our traditional clothing. This initiative is about being proud of your heritage, celebrating diversity, and appreciating the best of each other’s culture.
As a celebration of beauty, culture, and heritage, Cultural Style Week is an inclusive event for anyone who wants to take part. People can take part wherever they are in the world by proudly wearing their cultural styles across the week and sharing it online with the tag #culturalstyleweek
Through 21-27 May there will be online communications and virtual experiences that people can take part in. A wider festival of events will be introduced in 2023.
For more information please visit the website www.culturalstyleweek.com and connect with Cultural Style Week on social media.
Written by: Ella Desewu