Style

First Look: Awale Studio's Handmade, Ivorian Summer Collection

We give you an exclusive first look of Awale Studio's newest collection, "ETE89."

ABIDJAN—Awale Studio is a dynamic, Abidjan-based clothing line offering clean and colorful apparel inspired by everyday life in Côte d'Ivoire.


The studio gets its name from the popular board game by the same name, played across several West African nations. Awale also means "love one another" in the Dida language spoken in the Gôh-Djiboua district of the country.

The fabrics used are made from cotton cultivated in Khorogo, in north Côte d’Ivoire and are hand-spun and woven by local men and women.

With its vibrant hues and breezy tie-dye designs, the brand's latest collection captures the radiant essence of Abidjan's central district and the dreamy appeal of an "endless summer."

Today, we present an exclusive first look of Awale Studio's newest collection, "ETE89."

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Photo courtesy of Awale Studio.

Interview

Interview: Omah Lay Is Nigeria's New Young Act to W​atch

We sit down with the rising Port Harcourt-born musician to talk about his latest EP, Get Layd.

Omah Lay's music is at once introspective and hedonistic, matched with the vibrancy of alt-pop production, sometimes crafted by the artist himself. The Nigerian act, who released his debut EP, Get Layd, earlier this year has been described as wielding the "lyricism of Burna Boy and the melodies of Wizkid."

Omah Lay's grandfather played in Celestine Ukwu's highlife band; his father played the drums too. Being put through his paces in Nigeria's South region—specifically Port Harcourt—supplies the grit to Omah's velvety singing. The starkness of the world he inhabits is a wonder and his lyrics are too. Phrases like "You dun burst my eyeglass" and "Omo she be SARS and she carry full van" are a cultural stamp, a burst out of the ordinary for listeners, many of whom now declare Omah Lay as "special."

Following the validating reception of singles "You" and "Bad Influence," Omah Lay shared the Get Layd EP on May 22. Including just three new songs might have posed a gamble and not defined his sound well enough, but the musician shattered those judgements. Omah Lay is a gifted artist and has the uncanny ability to exist in his space, even when circling around the afro-fusion tag that has seen a recent rise in adaptability.

Below, Omah Lay speaks to OkayAfrica about his Get Layd EP, coming to Lagos, and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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