The New York Times

Where's That Jumpsuit From? It's a Long Story

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

LOMÉ, Togo — Most of the brick-and-mortar shops in the Grand Marché de Hedzranawoe are shuttered, but plywood boutiques overflow the hallways and plazas that run through its geometric tiled corridors. Velvet dresses, boxer briefs, ties, overalls, wedding dresses and ear muffs hang from exposed beams like curtains on display.

One morning in March, Amah Ayivi, a designer and clothing dealer, dug through mounds of utility jumpsuits, his hands bedecked with heavy silver rings. His soft eyes squinted and darted as he systematically sorted through the piles.

“You can go through all of this and only find one, or

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