Exhibition picture: Black thread

Black thread

Contemporary fashion designers of African origin meet classic textiles from the collections of the Museums of World Culture

Black Thread follows West Africa's ancient dynamic textile traditions to today's designers. The exhibition's co-creators Marché Noir and Imane Ayissi are two Paris-based brands making a big impression on the international stage. Their creations follow the thread back to West Africa's weavers, tailors, markets, colors, materials, and cuts — beyond the image of printed fabrics as typically African.


The exhibition design recalls Agbozume. The massive market in Ghana near the Togo border has long been a regional trade center for textiles and clothing. Marché Noir founder Amah Ayivi regularly visits the Agbozume market to get inspiration and source handmade fabrics and second-hand clothes. He transforms these into garments for the Paris market.


The exhibition is a collaboration between the Museums of World Culture project Ongoing Africa and Marché Noir, Art Comes First, Imane Ayissi, Just Africa, and the French Institute in Sweden.

Black Thread is part of Ongoing Africa – an exploring- and method developing dialogue project aimed to enhance new perspectives on the African continent with and by Swedes of African origin. Part of the Black Thread exhibition will be displayed in Stockholm at the Museum of Ethnography.

Black Thread is on display from October 10 2020 - August 29 2021.

Photography by Robert Preston

Watch the exhibition online

The exhibition is watchable online. Watch the video below to experience the exhibtion from anywhere. 

Short films in the exhibition

The exhibition includes two short films about fashion designers Amah Ayivi and Imane Ayissi. The films are produced by the French Institute in Sweden and directed by King Kunta. They are recorded at the French Residence in Stockholm.

In conversation "Black Thread"

A conversation in Paris with haute couture designer Imane Ayissi and Amah Ayivi, creator of the Marché Noir brand. Directed by Chayet Chiénin. 

Imane Ayissi of his eponymous label, and Amah Ayivi of Marché Noir in conversation with journalist Chayet Chiénin on creating designs using their West African roots and textiles traditions. Both designers source materials from the weavers in Agbozume market on the Ghanaian border near Togo.