Meet the Speaker: Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

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Mangue Banzima

Mangue Banzima is a stylist and fashion expert, as well as the founder of Qui Style.

ART AFTER HOURS: ART OF FASHION 
Street Denim by Mangue Banzima, Qui Style
Thursday, September 29
Arkansas Arts Center Atrium
5:30 p.m. Wine Reception | 6 p.m. Lecture | 7-9 p.m.  Late Night 

As part of an Art After Hours event on Thursday, September 29, Mangue Banzima, a stylist and consultant, will continue the Art of Fashion lecture series with a discussion of denim in the fashion world.

Read about Banzima’s experiences in fashion and how denim has remained relevant for so long, and then join us for his lecture this week! Stay after the lecture and tour the galleries, including Cut, Pieced, and Stitched: Denim Drawings by Jim Arendt, enjoy dinner at the restaurant and shop in The Museum Shop. The Arkansas Arts Center will be open until 9 p.m. Free for members, $10 for nonmembers; seating is limited, reservations are required: 501.372.4000. 

What’s your current role in fashion?

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Photo courtesy Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

Aside from styling and working on the business side of fashion, I also focus on documenting trends on the street. Trend forecasting is where it all begins before the design process, from production to distribution to the consumer. The research process is what leads to data collection that helps inform the consumer’s interests, needs and desire. My role is to carefully edit and deliver the current and future trends based on an ongoing research.

How did you first become interested in fashion?

I became interested in fashion at age 10. My interest grew because of the love for people and especially the way in which they present themselves and express their ideas, emotions and sense of style to the world. Traveling also encouraged my interest, as I noticed more and more that, from culture to culture, people wear different garments, materials and designs. For example the way people dress in say Senegal is different than the way people dress in Japan. Fashion is important; it plays many roles in our lives culturally, economically and sometimes politically as well.

Which celebrities or designers best reflect your personal style/aesthetic?

There are a lot of celebrities and designers with a great sense of style and aesthetic, but as far as reflecting my personal style, hands down I like Owzald Boteng and Thom Browne.

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Photo courtesy Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

How would you define street-wear?

I define street-wear as a new business casual. The term “street-wear” is broad as some people will refer to it as casual wear and often associate it with urban centers. There are shirts and sweats in the street-wear category but luxury brands refuse to accept this notion simply because they want to stick to their price point, image of luxury lifestyle and brand loyalty. For example Givenchy sells t-shirts but will never refer to it as street-wear due to the extra social value added and its brand perception. There are street-wear brands like Hood By Air which is becoming a global brand for selling street-wear at the same price point as some of the established luxury brands.

What is it about denim—how has it remained popular for so long?

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Photo courtesy Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

Denim is our everyday uniform. As we see the growth of tech start ups and other industries, employers promote denim as their business casual wear. The emergence of fast fashion is also making denim more popular and relevant simply because people have easy access to a broad range of easy styles, from jackets to jumpsuits. Experts argue that denim sales will decrease in sales revenue, and this could be true. But I personally think it will fluctuate depending on the geographic region and economic and social trends.

What’s the most original way you’ve seen denim worn?

The most original way I’ve seen denim worn is layering denim on denim which can be really wonderful if one takes into consideration the different shades and shales/styles of denim and wears it just right. Lately I enjoy seeing women creatively wear their cropped shoulder tops or off-shoulder tops with denim shorts, pants or even a skirt. Men tend to simplify this type of look with a simple t-shirt .

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