June 25, 2015 / 12:58pm
As a fashion designer, Jae Jarrell embodied the ideals of AFRICOBRA through clothing. Urban Wall Suit and Ebony Family (both on view in How to Remain Human) appeared in the first AFRICOBRA exhibition, at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1970. Urban Wall Suit drew inspiration from the graffiti and concert posters that filled the streets of Chicago, where brick walls became message boards for the community. Ebony Family embodies one of Jae’s deeply held beliefs that strong black families are a source of power and that family should be prioritized.
In a recent interview with How to Remain Human curator Rose Bouthillier, Jae reminisced:
Originally Urban Wall Suit was for the exhibition, but on occasions of import, I wore it. I do remember once wearing it in D.C., and I remember pushing the stroller—one of my children in a sling and one in a stroller and one walking, helping to push the stroller, and I remember coming back from a grocery store. But D.C. was like that to us. It was our people, and everything was on time. And so, it wouldn’t be unusual to have popped it on.