'Black Panther' inspires African fashions, first 'WakandaCon' in Chicago

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Kayra Imports, in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood, has been cashing in on the success of "Black Panther."

Black Panther is continuing to break records at the box office. Now, it's earned more money that the blockbuster "Titanic," so it's no surprise that there is a clear "Black Panther Effect."

"It's a wonderful movie. I went to see it a couple of times and I'm going back again," said Alasane Soumare of Kayra Imports in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood.

Soumare said his business has been cashing in on the success of "Black Panther."

More people have been coming in the past couple of months, buying African clothing and even getting custom tailored outfits made, like prom dresses.

Soumare said the movie has caused his customers to want to display their African heritage.

"We look forward to seeing another type of movie because this helps us stay in business," he said.

Abdul Brimah with the African Festival of the Arts in Washington Park anticipates large crowds during the festival this Labor Day, and even hopes to have a Black Panther screening.

"I had to go see it with my children. I was so happy to see it," Brimah said.

The popularity of the movie has also inspired the very first WakandaCon, a fan convention for all things "Black Panther" at the Hilton later this summer.

"Our theme is celebrating Afro-futurism, which is science fiction based on imagining a different future and a different world for the African diaspora," said Ali Barthwell, a co-founder of WakandaCon.

Tickets for WakandaCon went on sale Thursday, and 300 have already been sold. A sign that the movie continues to resonate with audiences.
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entertainmentBlack PanthermoviefashionfestivalChicagoChatham
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