Style

Ikiré Jones’ Latest Fashion Editorial 'Born Between Borders' Is Dedicated to American Immigrants

'Our parents were bedeviled by the black magic of bureaucracy and backward immigration policies. But not us.'

Last we checked in with Ikiré Jones, a Philadelphia-based, politically-engaged, West African bespoke streetwear line, its Fall 2016 Collection had been unveiled. Shot in Florence, it sought to cast an elegant and humane light on African male migrants, who have been fleeing their home countries with the promise of asylum in Italy.


Now Walé Oyéjidé, the brand’s Nigerian-born creative director, has set his sights on a collection dedicated to American immigrants called Born Between Borders.  In the pictorial, models styled by Patrice Worthy, are enrobed in zebra and gothic-patterned suit-jackets with en vogue white-paint markings whisked across some of their faces. The direction is aptly timed as June commemorates Immigrant Heritage Month.

A short story accompanies the new collection on the Ikiré Jones website:

Some of them packed what little they had, and strode across an endless desert. Some of them abandoned established careers and respected titles to sit at the bottom rungs of a foreign society. Some climbed fences. Many boarded planes. But all of them came from far away, to live in a place where they would be mocked if they weren't ignored. Of course, they did it all for us.

It continues,

 We are the children of engineers that drove your taxis. We are the sons of surgeons that served your tables, and we are the daughters of diplomats that held open your doors. In spite of their genius, our parents were bedeviled by the black magic of bureaucracy and backward immigration policies. But not us. we are the future that their hard-work and discarded dreams foresaw. We are that tomorrow that was claimed by brave women and men who had little, but risked it all because they believed. We are the children that were born between borders. Influenced by a new world, and inspired by the old they left behind. We carry our parents dreams with us; like ghosts that no one can look past. There are no tables we will not overturn and there are no locked doors we will not dislodge. Get to know us.

See below photo highlights from Ikiré Jones’ Born Between Borders, photographed by Rog Walker, and view past and present collections at ikirejones.com.

Image by Rog Walker, Courtesy of Ikiré Jones

Image by Rog Walker, Courtesy of Ikiré Jones

Image by Rog Walker, Courtesy of Ikiré Jones

Image by Rog Walker, Courtesy of Ikiré Jones

Image by Rog Walker, Courtesy of Ikiré Jones

Image by Rog Walker, Courtesy of Ikiré Jones

Image by Rog Walker, Courtesy of Ikiré Jones

Image by Rog Walker, Courtesy of Ikiré Jones

Models:

Kamau Hosten

James Jean

Jeremiah Nvamah

Patricia Kissi-Nvamah

Stephen Obisanya

Evan Rossi

Patrice Worthy

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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