New Viola Davis and Julius Tennon Series to Document Black Dandy Culture

By Sameer Rao Mar 08, 2018

The next project from JuVee Productions, the production studio created by Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis (“Fences”) and her husband Julius Tennon (“Custody”), takes a deep dive into the Black dandy subculture. 

Deadline reported yesterday (March 7) that JuVee teamed up with 44 Blue Productions ("Hollywood Medium") for "Dandy Lions." The documentary series takes its name from 2017 book, "Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style." Written by curator and researcher Shantrelle P. Lewis, the book higlights how dandies combine the bespoke fashion of 19th-century European aristocracy with modern colors and patterns. Lewis traces this sartorial movement from its origins in the enslavement of Africans by members of English high society to the present, where celebrities like Janelle Monáe and Jidenna embrace the culture.

Lewis, who also curates a traveling art installation around the book’s themes, told Deadline that the docuseries will explore how these dandies use fashion to express their Blackness.

“Today, when race sits at the center of many conversations, ‘Dandy Lions’ argues how style has, and can be, a tool of resistance, while also asserting that Blackness, despite its often one-dimensional misrepresentation in the media, is not a monolith,” Lewis said.

Lewis will executive produce the docuseries alongside Davis and Tennon.