Iconic US retailer Bloomingdale’s has launched the latest rendition of The Carousel Bloomingdale’s: Style Kingdom. From July 11th – September 2nd. The Carousel, a rotating pop-up shop driven by culturally relevant themes with a dynamic merchandise mix hand-selected by guest curators, guides shoppers to discover something new with each visit. This time around Florence Kasumba, the German-Ugandan actress who plays the role of Shenzi the hyena, in the upcoming film Disney’s The Lion King, serves as guest curator. She has tapped into her love of African fashion to identify select items that capture the spirit of the savanna. Leading African women entrepreneur brands such as Ghana’s luxury accessory brand AAKS, founded by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi; Swaziland’s accessory and homeware brand Khokho, founded by Philippa Thorne, Zinhle Vilakati and Sepna Shah; and South African luxury homeware brand, Carrol Boyes, founded by the designer herself.
Bloomingdale’s Style Kingdom is not only to celebrate the excitement and nostalgia of The Lion King but also an opportunity to shine a light on the amazing designers and product coming out of Africa. Fashion is front and center in Style Kingdom with a mix of brands that empower communities as well as draw inspiration from the film and the African continent. Bringing this inspiration to life in an authentic, modern and fashion forward way is key to Style Kingdom. Bloomingdale’s is excited to leverage the story of The Lion King to give a platform to African designers whom for many involved Style Kingdom is their first introduction to Bloomingdale’s. Brands such as AAKS, Khokho and Carrol Boyes are luxury African brands shaping cultural concepts through a modern perspective. Others like Lem Lem and Studio 189 aim to empower African communities economically by working with African artisans that specialize in traditional craftsmanship.
Guest Curator, Florence Kasumba, said: “Being the guest curator for the Style Kingdom in The Carousel at Bloomingdale’s is an absolute thrill because I’ve been able to combine my love of fashion and film whilst connecting back to my African heritage. I love how The Lion King can be interpreted through this new lens and connect with audiences in a unique and fresh way. I felt such a personal connection to the pieces I curated and I can’t wait for people to see the collections, and the movie!
Florence’s love and support of African fashion helped source and curate an assortment that pays tribute to the regions that inspired the film including AAKS raffia color blocked bags, Khokho dark red woven handbags, and animal shaped bottle openers made in South Africa by Carrol Boyes. Style Kingdom will come to life in the iconic Bloomingdale’s 59th Street Lexington Avenue windows in New York featuring abstract iconic moments in the film.