The Queer Black Italian Experience

Naomi Oke 25, Fashion Designer, Milano
Naomi Oke 25, Fashion Designer, Milano
Naomi Oke 25, Fashion Designer, Milano
Naomi Oke 25, Fashion Designer, Milano

Naomi Oke

25, Fashion Designer, Milano

She/Her

« I was born in Tuscany to a Nigerian father and Italian mother and grew up tucked away in the hills of Umbria. I’m someone who I'd describe as a fairly private person. I like to listen, observe and absorb, I feel like I'm still very much in the discovery stage of my journey. Italy in regards to queerness and blackness still has quite a long way to go, and so even as a young Afro-italian girl I was always the only one with dark skin. I remember drawing myself and colouring my skin pink in kindergarten, and at one point I even wanted to cut my dreadlocks to have smoother hair, and I believe that had something to do with living in a Euro-centric society and not having a strong enough connection to my African roots. So i’m at this stage where I’m much more aware of my origins and nature, and the ultimate desire is for me to eventually visit Africa and find something that I feel may be missing. 

Speaking in relation to the intersection of being both LGBTQ+ and black however, I like to look at it as being special. Of course being a part of two social minorities is difficult because often it means you’re victim to much more discrimination , but at the same time because of this you manage to have a certain level of awareness, and it’s like being a small ray of sunshine in the middle of a grey sky. That small flicker of light goes against everything around it and often lights up the entire sky, and that’s also how I feel about my generation of people who are all pushing to change things for the better. » - @ookenami

 

Creative Direction by Jordan Anderson
Photography by Silvia Rosi 
Photo Assistant Gabriele Cialdella
Styling by Thais Montessori Brandao
Hair by Latoya Amsdorf
Makeup by Manuel Montanari 
Set Design by Davide Ladini
Movement Direction by Macia Del Prete
Production by nss factory 

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Francesco Mesaki