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Angela Bassett, Queen of Wakanda, wears $169 dress from African designer

(Photo: Getty Images)

At the 2018 American Black Film Festival Honors Awards on Sunday night, Angela Bassett looked like a million bucks in a dress that costs just over a hundred.

Bassett was presenting an award at the event, and channeled the African Queen she plays in Black Panther to do so.


The Oscar nominee wowed in a colorful printed midi dress. And she seemingly didn’t just pick it simply because it looks amazing on her and only retails for $169 — although those are two great reasons. As her stylist Jennifer Austin implied, Bassett also chose it because of where it comes from. “@im.angelabassett for @americanblackfilmfestival awards…celebrating our history and culture,” Austin wrote on Instagram.

The dress was designed by an African brand called Mangishi Doll Co. It was founded by African designer, Kapasa Musonda, who was born and raised in Zambia. Bassett’s dress, the MD Marsha Pencil II, is made of a traditional cloth called Chitenge. “Whether it is used as a means of carrying a baby, as a bag to carry groceries on one’s head or simply as an extra layer if the weather changes, most Zambians won’t leave the house without a spare chitenge or two,” BBC wrote of the material.

(Photo: Getty Images)

The vibrant dress with faux leather piping and a fringed hem is ethically crafted and designed in Zambia.

You could have channeled your own inner Queen Ramonda for under $200, but unfortunately the dress is now sold out.

Bassett enhanced the look with bulky gold earrings, matching bangles and an oversized round statement ring; and her hair styled naturally.

It’s not the first time Bassett has repped this affordable and authentic African brand. She wore a blue printed duster by the designer last week. While she only wore the jacket, it comes in a 3-piece set with pants and a bra top for only $189.


This is a complete 180 from last month’s Black Panther premiere, at which there was a lack of African designers represented on the carpet, and people were perplexed. Bassett made a point of naming the black designers she wore in an Instagram photo. “Rings and Earrings by Darrell Roache (Black Designer) Ring by Dorriean (Black Designer),” she captioned a photo of her in the yellow-gold fringed jumpsuit she wore at the premiere. However, the centerpiece — the jumpsuit — was designed by Naeem Khan.

Clearly, she’s now making a major effort to represent this film and her character as genuinely as possible.

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