Style

This New Fashion Editorial From Ikiré Jones Is an Assault on American Hypocrisy

Ikiré Jones presents their new editorial for their FW17 collection as a call to denounce hypocrisy and embrace hope in America.

Ikiré Jones returns with yet another striking approach to storytelling through an editorial presenting their FW17 line, Awake & At Home In America.


The meticulous tailoring and bold prints are accompanied by prose that makes America hold up a mirror to take a discerning look at itself.

"Although the promises of the past may not have been made with us in mind

We fully intended to hold them to account

Regardless of what tongues we speak

Regardless of what names we choose to call in prayer

Regardless of what offense it might cause to the delicate sensibilities of the old guard

We are the America that is here to stay

We are awake and we are very much at home"

We caught up with the brand's creative director, Walé Oyéjidé, on the purpose and inspiration of the line.

"This collection continues in the vein of my work mining the refugee and immigrant experience," Oyéjidé says. "Previously, we examined the lives of migrants in Europe. Now, we are turning our lenses to people on American soil that are seen as outsiders even though they have just as much a right to be here as anyone else."

He continues:

"The collection affirms the notion that the principles that this country were founded upon have not historically been applied to all its citizens. It is also a reminder that many of the people who so firmly claim ownership to this nation are themselves descended from immigrants (to put it kindly).

The collection is a call to denounce hypocrisy and embrace hope. Because ultimately, that is the only way we are going to keep this grand experiment we call a country in one piece."

Take a look at our favorites from Ikiré Jones' Awake & At Home In America editorial, photographed by Joshua Kissi, below:

[oka-gallery]

Credits

Photography: Joshua Kissi

Models: Alysia Beckford, Mominatu Boog, Lawrence Annunziata, Jason Kusimo, Naima

Make Up: Alana Wright

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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