The reviews of SCAD’s annual SCAD FASHWKND were filled with remarks of senior Rikki Raiford’s collection entitled E’PRESHEN (same pronunciation as oppression). Raiford’s vision for this collection was inspired by topics that are generally sensitive for the population – the enslavement of African Americans, and institutional oppression.

“I felt in my heart that I had the opportunity to really shed a light on how 365 years of slavery has affected the world we live in today,” Raiford said of her collection.

Reference imagery & material development courtesy of scadmanor.com

Raiford’s interest in fashion began in highschool when her grandmother passed along the knowledge of hand sewing and operating a sewing machine. She shares a short story about her early days of designing, “Funny thing, we had to make a bathing suit and mine was horrible. It’s amazing to see how far I’ve come since [high school].”

“It’s amazing to see how far I’ve come since [high school].” – Rikki Raiford

E’PRESHEN provides a fresh look into African American history, social constructs, and current trends through fashion. You can see the influence of African American culture vividly in her pieces: wide brimmed hats, oversized knit sweaters, fur covered sleeves, and wide-legged bottoms.

Photo Courtesy of ScadManor

The success of E’PRESHEN at SCAD FASHWKND helped this emerging menswear designer gain popularity, recognition, and a hopeful future in the fashion industry.

We all look forward to seeing more of Rikki Raiford and the growth of Rikki J, the brand.