AFROCHIC, AFROCHIC! AfroChic was the bomb. Four years ago, I had the pleasure of being one of the makeup artists for the fashion show during AfroChic. Taking place at The Carlu on Day One, followed by the Globe and Mail Centre on Day 2 – It’s been a remarkable witnessing the growth of the annual community celebration of Afro-Caribbean fashion, visual art, music and culture!
Headlining this year’s AfroChic was rapper, singer, activist and DJ, muva Erykah Badu aka DJ Lo Down Loretta. Day One of the festival consisted of art installations, various black owned business vendors, live performances, fashion show and an interactive wellness and health lounge led by it’s lead partner, Aurora. Fun Fact: Aurora is a world-renowned legal cannabis Canadian company; which provides a wide range of premium quality hemp and cannabis services and products, develops innovative technologies, promotes cannabis consumer wellnessand health while delivering an exceptional customer experience across all it’s brands.
I loved the theme of AfroChic this year – Activated Wellness! I love that self-care and mental health is slowly becoming a mainstream topic within the black community. It’s been a topic among us that has been taboo for far too long. It was extremely refreshing to see how the organizers explored this theme throughout the weekend. To start, the VIP lounge was so enchanting! The ambience was set by a deep cool purple light with beautiful earthy decor surroundings. The open bar served delicious terpene infused beverages, by Space Bear, one of Aurora’s brands. Space Bear’s mandate is to cause positive influence within the culture of Toronto. The drinks were made with natural ingredients meant to create positive energies such as tranquility, focus, alertness and all that good stuff. Also in the VIP lounge was palm reading, yummy appetizers and a maze!
The halls were beautifully curated by Kofi Frempong, showcasing his art pieces alongside other local visual artists such as Benny Bing, Dunnieo, Komi Olaf and more. In addition, there were a ton of interesting vendors to check out! A vendor that really caught my eye was Dope Tees, which as the name suggests, had really dope tees (and swimwear). They take custom graphic orders but also had really witty ones of their own.
In the main act room, my favourite act from the evening pre-Badu was Trap Yoga Bae! Yoga Bae aka Britteny is a certified Vinyasa Yoga instructor and self-proclaimed twerk aficionado. Through her signature #RatchetAffirmations (inner work prompts that are equal parts real talk and pep talk) and an energizing yoga class backed to hypnotic rhythms and heavy bass of trap music; Britteny’s aim is to create a safe space for POC and those that have ever felt unaccepted in mainstream wellness spaces. FUN FACT: At the end of her set, she announced that she’ll be bringing Trap Yoga to Toronto next year!
When it was time for Badu to come out, the crowd became one as we all awaited to welcome the Goddess to Toronto. She set the aura as she sat on stage and burned her sage. With her contagious energy, radical outfit and soothing voice – wellness was well activated. Check out what you missed on Day 1 in my recap vlog below!
On day 2, Badu put aside her DJ equipment and sultry classics for an intimate live conversation inside the Globe and Mail Centre. After the discussion, afro chics stuck around to mingle and network with one another. I must say, AfroChic sure does bring out quite the crowd of unique fashionistas! See my recap vlog of day 2 below ft. Erykah’s final moments at AfroChic, as well as getting to know a few amazing creatives (Maya, founder of Batik Boutik Clothing + Shanicia, founder of Black Moms Blog) that I had the pleasure of meeting.
stay hustlin’ xo