The Queen was designed to be something of an idealized older Zahara. Wise, powerful, still charismatic. Maybe something like a female Mufasa.
We were inspired by tales of the warrior queens of medieval Africa, which were not unusual in many areas of the continent including the Hausa people of Nigeria.
In crafting this the African Fantasy, we want to first and foremost tell a universal story that anyone can relate to, regardless of your background. The same way anyone can relate to Lord of the Rings or The Legend of Zelda.
However since we are trying to also base it off of Medieval Africa and fantasizing those time we like to put in things that make it more unique than just being a European Fantasy but with Black people. So little nods to history accentuate the narrative, the idea of having a Queen instead of a King figure we thought was interesting, so we went with it. It’s a little non-traditional but should make for some good story telling.
Her Outfit went through three iterations. The jacket, the cape, and the sash which we ultimately chose. We kept her colors in red to match with Zahara to make it something of the main color for the Lion characters. Like Gryffindor or the Fire Nation. Though we experimented in other colors too. You may think her gele, headdress, is somewhat reminiscent of a Lion’s mane.
We should really start looking into collabs with fashion designers…