Richard ‘Rich Blk’ Mkoloma has an extensive fashion design background and is a creative trouble-shooter, who has provided creative advisory and design services for the likes of African Fashion International, Adidas Originals, We Are Parable, Napapijri, Hussein Chalayan/Puma, Puma Lifestyle, MO SAIQUE and Sean John to name a few. Tasked with strategic creative and innovative design, Rich has delivered highly regarded global brand concepts and apparel collections that bridge the gap between high fashion, lifestyle and sportswear.
Richard has delivered workshops and presented at key public events including The Dandy Lion Project, TedXEuston Salon, Amnesty international and the Africa Fashion Guide. In 2014 Rich was honoured as a leading designer by the African Society at Cambridge University, and sat on the first ever creative panel at the London Business School’s, African Business Summit.
Committed to growing future talent and creative skills, Rich works with charities, schools, social/community organisations and start-up businesses. He has worked on projects that use design process, creative direction and poetry to positively impact the next generation of talent and provide them with skills and tools that enable them to advocate on issues and pursue their personal goals. Rich has developed fashion training programs in Aruba for arts/education program ‘Art Rules Aruba’ and the RBKC. He has also led a process of facilitating creative writing workshops UK-based women’s rights charity FORWARD for young women across England around the issue of FGM; where he conceptualised and produced a youth-authored poetry book, professionally-designed graphic poster series and curated a series of Art Exhibitions. Rich has also mentored students across two Secondary Schools for the social organisation ROK/Reach out 2 Kids.
Being a true creative polymath, ‘Rich Blk’ is a ‘Spoken Word Hip Hop MC’. Rich’s concept-driven approach to poetic lyricism celebrates the UK's creative community and progressive music scenes and offers a fresh perspective on addressing personal and social subject matter while reflecting his cross-cultural upbringing (Barbados, Malawi and The UK). His writing and music seamlessly merges the worlds of Hip Hop, Afro-Electronica and Spoken Word Poetry.
Rich Blk’s music collaborations include projects by T.Roy/Broadcite, DJ Psykhomantus, Son of Dan and CDR and he has performed at the Royal Festival Hall, Sadler’s Wells, The Albany, ICA and Africa Centre to name a few. Rich has also graced the stage in New York, Amsterdam and Sydney and featured on Vox Africa, OHTV, Channel 4, BET, BBC Radio 1Xtra and Bang FM. His poetry has been published in print; ‘RED: Contemporary Black British Poetry’ anthology (Peepal Press) and ‘IC3: Contemporary Black Writing in Britain’ (Penguin - under the nom de plume, blkmale). His journalism & photographic commission include Soobax, Africa Fashion Guide, Lets Be Brief, Black British Blacklist and Parlour Magazine and others.
What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?
I never went anywhere
standing in front of mirrors that lead their own lives
but move like me at the same time.
Different strokes but sibling in their swagger.
I was a yesterday that they forget
while shielding eyes from a light so bright
While shielding eyes from a light so bright
in order to avoid the stare of Baldwin’s pain.
They 180 - turn backs,
lacking desire for comprehension.
But in my defensive they find offensive,
not the bridges over fences
cluttered with roses that protrude from concrete blues.
I am tomorrow in technicolour,
bathed in contemporary flourishes
that outlive the second and the tenth
speckling the remaining ten with tales of guts and glory and gore that endure.
That always endure.
Where Are You Finding Inspiration Today To Create This Year?
Yinka Ilori and chair workshops . Johannesburg street style . London . Endrime . Son of Dan & Dziko & Enji . @stiilSheRises . @getUpStandOut . ThinkLikeAnArtist.com . ChaleWote . @keyzuz . “contemporary Hip Hop Dance’ . Benji Reid photography . SabolaiMusicFestival . Nomadic People . maXhosa by Laduma . Black Panther comics . African textile traditions . Sci-Fi . Ta-Nahisi Coates . Mr Hare . Hip Hop . Bloody talented friends!
To Learn More About Richard Visit:
- Website: richblk.com
- Twitter: richblkthinks
- Facebook: Rich Blk
- Instagram: richblkshoots
- Soundcloud: Rich Blk Music
- LinkedIn: Richard Mkoloma