THEOPHILIO A Celebration of the Diaspora

Article for Metal Magazine

Fashion can tell stories but more importantly, it can be manipulated as a tool to recount our souvenirs and life experiences. Edvin Thompson, the creator of the Brooklyn-based label Theophilio, knows how to use it to share his valuable leanings and perspectives from his background. Theophilio is Thompson’s autobiography, from his early years spent in Jamaica to his current reality in the creative universe of Brooklyn. By sharing his point of view, he aims to connect with his community.

Born in Jamaica, Thompson spent his childhood in beautiful and diverse surroundings. Although the mainstream psyche has specific references when it comes to this culture, from “Bob Marley, jerk chicken, yellow, green and black,” he insists on the fact that “It is beyond that. The country is vast and full of diverse individuals.” As part of it, he is the vessel of one of the many subgroups nested in this multi-dimensional culture. Through his designs made under Theophilio, he is narrating his aspirations from his community with an approach that embraces various types of bodies and celebrating the sense of belonging to a diaspora, this way it is a label meant to be experienced.

For his Spring/Summer 2021 collection – named Migration – presented under the CFDA 360 initiative, Thompson got deeper into the search for identity as an immigrant. “I really wanted to dive in and initiate a conversation about the immigrant community, especially in this political climate,” he states. To explore this social position, he relied on his own experience – which can speak to people from diverse types of heritages. Although the pandemic has shaken up the fashion industry, he has managed to evolve and progress in such a complex context. It is truly exciting to see advancements made by designers. It is even more thrilling when they are using their labels are an extension of themselves – as creative Edvin Thompson is doing through Theophilio.

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