African fashion business in Dorchester sees spike in sales thanks to ‘Black Panther’

DORCHESTER (WHDH) — An African fashion business owned by a Dorchester woman is seeing an increase in customers and sales thanks to the hit superhero movie “Black Panther.”

The Marvel movie is the first one to star a black superhero. The movie takes place in the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda and the colorful costumes worn in the movie are inspired by real African clothing.

Ebby Ihionu makes African clothing and has been running her business Elegance African Fashions out of her Dorchester home for the past 12 years. She said the past few weeks have been her busiest, with “Black Panther” bringing about an interest in African fashion. Her husband, Emeka Ihionu said many of their customers have been African-Americans who want to wear traditional African clothing to the movie.

“It’s not about this color, it just brings everybody together,” said Ihionu. “For men and women, it empowers everybody. They want to be there, they want to represent what the movie is trying to portray.

Ihionu’s son Chukwuemeka, a senior at Boston Latin, said it was “very nice” to see the movie inspiring pride in African culture.

“It was the first Marvel superhero movie that was centered around people of color, so that was really nice to see,” said Chukwuemeka Ihionu.

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