House of Aama’s Silhouette Collectibles
A collection that explores the tradition of silhouettes from antiquity to the Postbellum South
By Jeanine Hays
In their recently launched Silhouette Collectible collection, House of Aama explores the tradition of silhouettes as depicted in antiquity and the postbellum South.
Mother and daughter design duo, Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka, are the founders of House of Aama. It is through the medium of fashion, that Henry and Shabaka work to create a conversation around the Black experience. “We aim to evoke dialogue, social commentary and conversations around heritage and remembrance, and to shed light on nuanced histories,” says Shabaka.
While on the journey to creating their Fall 2020 collection, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “We had to have a heart to heart with ourselves to decide if now was a good time to move forward with our anticipated product launches.” Together, mother and daughter decided that instead of the fall collection they were planning, this was a time to continue to fulfill their mission and create a new line of reasonably priced products designed to inspire. “We are determined to look fear in the face, feel it and forge ahead with a meaningful product that we feel good about and that might provide comfort and inspiration to others in these times.”
The result is their Silhouette Collectibles collection. A limited edition run of hoodies, totes and tees exploring the tradition of silhouettes as depicted in antiquity and the postbellum South. “We were inspired by silhouette artist, Kara Walker and portrait artist, Kehinde Wiley,” remarks Shabaka. “House of Aama uses the black silhouette to center the Black physical form in its depiction of the Het-Heru image from ancient Egyptian antiquity in hieroglyphs, and our modern rendition of the Southern belle using a Black female physical form.”
“We challenge the “Southern belle” stock silhouette character, typically represented as a young, white french influenced woman of America’s southern upper socioeconomic class.”
The collection is a beautiful offering. It stays true to Henry and Shabaka’s collective love of storytelling, narrative, reference, and retention, all with a focus on expressing and celebrating Black cultural traditions.
Visit House of Aama to shop the full collection.
The person featured in this story does not endorse the products shown.