The durag is once again having a moment in the spotlight. From its inclusion in Rihanna’s Fenty by Puma collection to Solange’s 2018 Met Gala look and our own shopping guide, the durag is once again a hot style and cultural statement.
The buzz was enough to inspire a Durag March in Durham, North Carolina, an event conceptualized by Joseph Headen of Headgraphix. The march was followed by the Durag Festival, an event held in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 19, 2018 (aka Juneteenth, a celebration of the U.S. abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865).
Held at BLK MRKT gallery, the debut Durag Festival was organized by Headen with BLK MRKT co-owner Dammit Wesley aka Jimi Thompson with DJ Fannie Mae and Lica Mishelle who heads up streetwear label Good Kind.
We spoke to Henderson on the phone about the debut event and plans going forward. Check our exchange below.
Snobette: What was the motivation behind creating the Durag Fest?
Thompson: “The Durag Fest started off with Joseph Headen, inspired by Durag History Week. [The week was declared official by Twitter user @fivefifths on September 30, 2014.] At some point we got together as a team made up of DJ Fannie Mae, Lica Mishelle and myself to create the event.
“The durag is a metaphor for something that is undeniably black. In a way its transforming an ideology into symbolism. I wanted to create a celebration but also make a beautiful artful statement.”
Snobette: What is your desired outcome for Durag Fest?
Thompson: “I believe in putting money in the hands of the artists, hence the entry to the festival was by donation. That way we can encourage attendees to support the vendors and artists that are showing at the festival. In a nutshell, we encourage people to be themselves, and we also want it to be inclusive and make sure that other races and ethnicities partake and gain understanding. If we shut non-blacks out of the experience, we don’t give a chance to understand the culture, and that is not progressive. I want people to fall in love with the swag but also understand and respect it.”
Snobette:What is in store for the Durag Festival?
Thompson: “We’re looking to take the experience to more cities beginning with Pittsburgh, New York, Atlanta, and hopefully Miami for Basel Miami. Stay tuned and follow us at @Duragfest.
Enjoy some photos of the event below that include a look at DJ Fannie Mae’s custom, nine-foot-long durag.