Threads of identity: a photo essay

For many, clothing is a unique opportunity to explore identity and expression.

Britt, who is seen threading a sewing machine, has benefitted from the technical expertise she has gained while attending the University of Minnesota.

Kamaan Richards

Britt, who is seen threading a sewing machine, has benefitted from the technical expertise she has gained while attending the University of Minnesota.

Kamaan Richards

Every day, the clothes we wear shape the way we are perceived by those around us, offering a measure of control over the image we present to the world. For these Minneapolis fashion designers, clothing presents a unique opportunity for personal expression and identity confirmation.  

Denimani Livingstone, who goes by the moniker Denimani, is a Minneapolis apparel designer. He produces custom clothing from his apartment studio, leaning heavily on the skills learned from his mother Irene Bensah, an accomplished seamstress who immigrated from Ghana. Denimani’s work promotes self-improvement and creativity.

Maxine Britt, fashion designer and University of Minnesota senior, designs and produces fashion for all genders. In addition to a collection she released during her junior year, Britt is working on a new line to be exhibited in spring 2020 for her senior capstone project. Britt chairs the fashion show for the University’s apparel design program and credits the University with helping to provide the technical skills and professional input that has helped her in her recent successes.

Despite the differing paths they have taken to achieve their personal successes in the industry, both share a passion for providing opportunities for personal image expression through apparel design.