Photo by Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Dan Levy’s Tux at the Oscars Afterparty Had a Hidden Message From a Canadian Poet

If you look closely, you'll see a short poem embroidered on the sleeve.

On Sunday night, Dan Levy headed for the buzzy Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty wearing a two-toned Valentino tux that, in his own words, “makes him emotional.” Aside from the fact that it’s a beautiful suit made by a master Italian designer, there’s an additional reason for Levy’s special connection to it. On the right cuff, if you look closely, you’ll see a short poem by Mustafa the Poet embroidered on the sleeve.

“This love isn’t blind
this love has eyes
we cannot hide.”

Fashion insiders will be familiar with Mustafa Ahmed’s work. The Toronto-based poet, singer and songwriter collaborated with Valentino last year on a special poetry-themed collection for Fall 2019, with his poems embroidered on a total of 25 pieces in the collection.

“A lot of what I was writing came from the perspective of black love and what that meant to me,” Ahmed told Complex about the collaboration with Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli on a collection inspired by love and romance. “Like, “I thought I was too dark until I stretched into a galaxy.” I wanted to offer hope.”

The Sudanese-Canadian poet has also collaborated with musical artists like Daniel Caesar, Camila Cabello and The Weeknd, with whom he co-wrote the track “Attention” on the singer’s 2016 album Starboy. He has served on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Youth Council and in 2019, he worked with Drake on a documentary about gun violence in Toronto.

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After much blood & tears, it’s finally out, link is in my bio. I created “Remember Me, Toronto” after thinking about how my dead friends want to be remembered, after thinking about how we all want to be remembered. I created this for the artists in this video & everyone in our communities. To the young boy looking for revenge, to the young boy carrying hate, I was there, sometimes I’m still there. This project is for that boy to realize that the greater issue is not between us, there is a larger beast and systemic structure working against us. The city’s “priority neighbourhoods” are tucked away. They tuck away our truth and our humanity. Our memories are often distorted and buried so I wanted to give us an opportunity to rewrite our memories and the memories of those we lost. We’ll always have our voices, to hopefully live above our deaths being announced with dated mugshots & criminal records. We’re bringing this video into our schools to facilitate discussions around remembrance & to offer the kids in our city a new perspective, kids who look up to these artists. The following video will interview the mothers who lost their sons to gun violence, they will speak on how they want their sons to be remembered in their mother tongues. Thank you to everyone who made this possible, I’m going to cry so I’ll stop here. (That’s Smoke Dawg speaking in the background ??)

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Given that Levy’s show Schitt’s Creek is also about love, vulnerability and finding light in the darkness, this special suit seems like a perfect fit.