South Sudanese model Aluad Deng Anei stars in the Toronto-shot lookbook for Canada-based label Chinedesign's winter/fall capsule collection.
Chinedesign is the Toronto-based brainchild of UK-born Nigeria/Dubai/Canada-raised creative Chinedu Ukabam. The label, which began in 2003 as a small line of tees to promote Ukabam's (who started out as an emcee/producer) upcoming release, has since expanded to include full seasonal collections. For their winter/fall capsule, the label set out to conquer Canada's harsh climate with a bold update on traditional outerwear. The collection, titled The Braving Ritual, features a mix of leather and wax print with Scottish tartan wool and indigo-dyed bogolan fabrics from Mali, with shapes inspired by everything from 60s shift dresses to victorian military tailcoats. For its lookbook, Ukabam (as creative director) teamed with Toronto-based street style photographer Adeyemi Adegbasan (aka SoTeeOh) and South Sudanese model Aluad Deng Anei to tell the story of a woman and the collection of coats she wears. Shot in and around Toronto, the series plays with symmetry and juxtaposition against a hazy-skied urban backdrop. "I wrote a short story about a young African woman trying to survive this brutal Canadian winter in style and I created a collection of winter outerwear around it. Doing away with the cliche of boring black coats," Ukabam told us in an email. Read the full short story below:
"She sits on the lone dining chair in her apartment studio - phone in one hand - absentmindedly scrolling through pictures of perfect strangers. With her free hand she reaches into the slouch tote bag hanging on the side of the chair and starts feeling around inside it for some winter morning motivation. She shifts her weight slightly, shoves her right hand deeper into the bag so that it reaches past her elbow and searches reflexively without looking up from the stream of pictures on the phone's screen. As her fingers trace the familiar contours of the rectangular box, her posture relaxes and she sighs audibly. She pulls out one cigarette from the packet, puts the phone down on the crowded table and heads to the kitchenette to look for one of her hotel-branded matches in the drawer with the take out menus and coupons."