STYLE

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Is Wearing Nigerian Labels For An Important Reason

05/09/2017 10:01 EDT | Updated 05/09/2017 10:12 EDT

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is many things: successful author, feminist, style icon and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient.

Now, she's using her high profile and her love for fashion for a good cause: promoting her home country of Nigeria to help boost local manufacturing and trade.

The Nigerian author joined a campaign to encourage people to buy local to help save the country's currency, the naira, and has committed to wear mostly Nigerian brands for her public appearances to support the Nigerian fashion industry.

Dress: Lola Baej, Lagos. (Women in the World summit, New York) @lolabaej #MadeinNigeria #WITW

A post shared by Chimamanda Adichie (@chimamanda_adichie) on


On Monday, Adichie announced on Facebook that she has started a new project called "Wear Nigerian" on her Instagram page, which is full of drool-worthy looks.

Noting the Nigerian government's "disastrous economic policies," Adichie wrote, "If we are to grasp for a silver lining, then the 'Buy Nigerian to Grow The Naira' rhetoric is one."

"In the past few weeks, I’ve bought more Nigerian brands than I ever have in the past," she continued. "I’ve discovered new names. I’ve been filled with admiration for the women and men running their businesses despite the many challenges they face. I'm particularly interested in 'inward-looking' brands, those for whom dressing Nigerian women is as important as other goals.

"I’ve changed quite a few dodgy zippers, been disappointed by some poor quality fabrics, and been impressed by some detail-oriented finishing. Overall, I love the clothes, their cut, their whimsy, their colour, their flair, their ability to make me feel like myself. Their makers, from designer to tailor to button-fixer to okada-delivery-person, deserve to be supported."

That Adichie should support her country using fashion comes as no surprise. In a 2014 essay for Elle magazine, the We Should All Be Feminists author argued that just because a woman loves fashion doesn't mean she's not smart and shouldn't be taken seriously.

Skirt and top: Gozel Green, Lagos (Celebrating DEAR IJEAWELE, London) @gozelgreen #MadeinNigeria

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"I had learned a lesson about Western culture: Women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance. For serious women writers in particular, it was better not to dress well at all, and if you did, then it was best to pretend that you had not put much thought into it," she wrote.

"During my most recent book tour, I wore, for the first time, clothes that made me happy. My favourite outfit was a pair of ankara-print shorts, a damask top, and yellow high-heel shoes... I no longer pretend not to care about clothes. Because I do care. I love embroidery and texture. I love lace and full skirts and cinched waists. I love black, and I love colour. I love heels, and I love flats... I admire well-dressed women and often make a point to tell them so. Just because."