B'ham business sees increased interest in African attire ahead of 'Black Panther' premiere

B'ham business sees increased interest in African attire ahead of 'Black Panther' premiere
Shirley Ferrill has found herself busier than usual these days. (Source: WBRC video)
Shirley Ferrill has found herself busier than usual these days. (Source: WBRC video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Shirley Ferrill has found herself busier than usual these days.

She owns  Ferrill's African Wear on 16th Street North in the historic Civil Rights District.

"The guys want to wear a  full suit.  The pants and the dashiki,  the kufi, which is the hat," described Ferrill.  " The ladies are looking for something really colorful and splashy. Honestly, they want to look fancy," she continued. 

They want the fancy fashion for a movie.  Ferrill said the red carpet premiere of Marvel Studio's Black Panther movie has generated a lot of buzz and that has translated into business for her.

"It's generating a lot of excitement so people have been contacting me wanting to get African wear to wear to the premiere here," she said.

Ferrill said initially she had no idea what customers were talking about, but they quickly explained and got her up to date.

"I'm not a movie person. I wasn't really aware so when they were telling me panther, I was like, 'That movie is old,'" she said.

Celebrities dressed in traditional African clothing or African inspired designs on the red carpet at the movie's premiere.

Fans, are wanting to wear similar looks to the movie's opening day.

"We want everyone going to look as queenly and kingly as possible and I carry traditional authentic African wear,  supplemented by popular wear-- the dashikis and the kufi. The stars on the red carpet were styled out in African wear-- beautiful stuff and they come here or they call and they want something similar," she continued.

Ferrill, a self-proclaimed history buff, said this moment is bigger than fashion.

"It's tying into a lot of people's desire to know more about our history and our culture."

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.