The imagery around Christmas in the UK, even in 2021, is very white. But for the first time ever, Selfridges will be stocking handmade festive figures and tree decorations with Black skin – from Black Santa ornaments to a Black nativity play.
The products have been created by March Muses, a company started in the kitchens of Croydon parents Natalie Duvall and Alison Burton. They came up with the project after searching for and struggling to find any festive decorations that represented themselves. ‘Seeing the kids’ faces light up when they feel represented on the Christmas tree is just magical, and these products are long overdue in the UK,’ Burton said on the March Muses website.
March Muses has been trading online for three years but found it hard to get its products on to the high street. It was only when Martyn Stroud, buying director for home, technology, childrenswear and toys at Selfridges, saw a video Duvall shared online of her venting her frustrations, that they made it into the mainstream.
Stroud said: ‘March Muses is an inspiring brand created by mums on a mission to help make the festive season more inclusive, and we’re incredibly excited to kick-start a partnership in our Oxford Street store this Christmas.’
Duvall and Burton aren’t the only parents who took it upon themselves to change things when they found the lack of diversity in Christmas imagery frustrating: Charlotte Lewis, founder of Noir Kringle, launched her first Black Santa pop-up in 2019. It’ll be spreading festive cheer with three days of sold-out grottos in Shoreditch on December 18 to 20.
March Muses’s products will be available in the Christmas shop on the fourth floor of Selfridges on December 11 and 12. You can also order them from the company’s website.