Shantrelle P. Lewis, Dandyism, African Fashion, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

In Conversation with Shantrelle P. Lewis on Her New Book Exploring the World of Black Dandyism – Okay Africa DIASPORA—The world of black dandyism and its continuous challenge of black masculinity through style are now pages you can flip through your fingers.

Shantrelle P. Lewis, curator and researcher, authored her longstanding and traveling initiative that examines global black dandyism through photography and film, The Dandy Lion Project, into a hardcover book titled Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style.

The New Orleans native who specializes in diasporic aesthetics, as well as the survival and evolution of African retentions, carefully selected images that surveys the global black dandy movement in all its splendor: vibrant patterns, bright colors and poses dripping with effortless swag. You might even see some familiar faces in her book, including Baloji, Iké Udé, Blitz the Ambassador and more.

On the eve of Lewis’ book launch event at the Brooklyn Museum, read our conversation with her below where we discuss her process of writing Dandy Lion, how this project is a conversation tool around the word ‘diaspora’ and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Shantrelle P. Lewis, Dandyism, African Fashion, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Shantrelle P. Lewis, Dandyism, African Fashion, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Shantrelle P. Lewis, Dandyism, African Fashion, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Shantrelle P. Lewis, Dandyism, African Fashion, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Shantrelle P. Lewis, Dandyism, African Fashion, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN


This highly acclaimed traveling exhibition project features the images of emerging photographers and filmmakers from various regions around the African Diaspora. Their subject matter is young Black men in city-landscapes across the globe, who defy stereotypical and monolithic understandings of masculinity within the Black community. Dandy Lion also confronts the myth of the young Black man as “thug” via the juxtaposition of an alternative style of dress. (Website).