Thesis Collection: I Am the Black Woman

Ruth Headlam
Fashion Design (School of Art and Design)

About this Item

Thesis Collection: I Am the Black Woman
Contributor Names
Headlam, Ruth (Creator, Designer)
Lindenthal, Philippa (Thesis advisor)
Summary/Artist's Statement
I was born in Jamaica, a Caribbean island nation, but grew up in the British Virgin Islands where I was exposed to art and design. I found myself interested in art when I was around four or five years old, but it wasn't until I was in high school, when I realized that I enjoyed designing clothes. My unique perspective to design is that I enjoy telling stories and creating clothing that women can relate to. My aesthetic is a cross between alternative fashion and Afrocentric fashion in the United States and the Caribbean.
Image 1: This two-piece look, "I Am the Black Woman," is inspired by Caribbean history and culture stemming from West Africa. The look is completely reversible, making it a versatile piece for any occasion.
Image 2: The skirt is made of a patchwork of fabrics inspired by traditional West African textiles. Along with the wrap skirt are traditional waist beads meant to highlight the waist.
Image 3: The first reverse side features the Ankara print, which is often worn as a complete look and is reserved for formal occasions.
Image 4: Closures for the wrap skirt include a brooch and chains with lobster claw attachments. This closure method enables the skirt to be worn on either side.
Image 5: The back is kept clean, focusing on the Caribbean aesthetic. The top is made to be worn as a cold-shoulder top, but can also be worn with chained straps.
Still Image
Moving Image
Course/Degree Information
Program/Degree: Fashion Design BFA
Specialization: Sportswear
Professor: Philippa Lindenthal
Academic semester: Spring 2021
In Copyright
The copyright for this work is held by its author/creator(s). Usage of this material beyond what is permitted by copyright law must first be cleared with the rights-holder(s). This work has been made available online by the Fashion Institute of Technology Gladys Marcus Library strictly for research and educational purposes. If you are the copyright holder for this work and have any objections to this work being made available online, please notify us immediately at [email protected].
FIT Repository ID: fof_2021_0166


Headlam, R. (2021). Thesis Collection: I Am the Black Woman. FIT Institutional Repository.
Headlam, Ruth. Thesis Collection: I Am the Black Woman. 2021. FIT Digital Repository,
Headlam, Ruth. "Thesis Collection: I Am the Black Woman." FIT Digital Repository, 2021.