News

'An Afrofuturist Take On The Modern Suit': Ikire Jones' SS16 Collection

Philadelphia-based, West African-inspired menswear brand Ikiré Jones launches SS16 collection, '…& Other Stories By Our Stolen Children.'

Ikiré Jones is a Philadelphia-based menswear brand dedicated to making carefully tailored West African-inspired clothing with a focus on storytelling and political context. For their Spring/Summer 2016 collection, …& Other Stories By Our Stolen Children, the label showcases a striking mix of high-end tailoring and casual streetwear with intricate patterns, artful textiles and colorful scarves.


"The collection pays homage to African children all over the world whose lives were tragically shortened by domestic terrorism, disease and by the perils of migration," the brand's Nigerian-born creative director Walé Oyéjidé explained in an email. The designer added that the collection's array of Renaissance-era tapestry-styled silk scarves featuring people of color intends to offer social commentary on Western perceptions of Africa.

Accompanying the collection is a short story on the Ikiré Jones website:

"The youngest of us were forcefully taken from our classrooms. Spirited away by ideologues who believed only in what they could wrench from the praying hands of people who sought peace. Elsewhere. When the virus swept through our town, it dragged us from the embraces of our mothers' arms, and into the sterile sadness of hospital wards that could not conceal us from the dark. Meanwhile, at the edges the Mediterranean, some of us were washed-up on the shores. Separated from homes that were miles across the desert. Separated from families that were miles beneath the waves.

We are the children of migration. Some of us were the victims of cruel circumstance and crueler men. Many of us were taken before our time.

But we are here. And from beyond the skies, our voices will guide you, if you listen. As we forever sing."

In a short film that also debuted this week, New York-based filmmaker Jason Harper documents the story of Ikiré Jones as told by its founders, Oyéjidé and the brand's head tailor Sam Hubler. "The brainchild of two first-generation children from Nigeria and Cambodia. A tale of history and rebellion. An Afro-futurist take on the modern suit," reads a description accompanying the video.

"It's really just a method of storytelling through clothing," Oyéjidé says in the film. "It exists because there's a void... Kind of a love letter to my past - clothes that were inspired by Africa but shaped by European tailoring."

Watch History & Rebellion: The Tale Of Ikiré Jones below. See above for photos from Ikiré Jones' SS16 …& Other Stories By Our Stolen Children, shot by Rog Walker. View the entire collection via ikirejones.com.

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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