Talkin’ ‘Bout Our Generation
Here at FWO, we don’t believe “generation” is defined by an age group, an “ethnicity” (whatever that even means … if it ever meant much to begin with), or a geographic area. Generation is more of a mindset. If you’re alive, right now, reading this (and we hope you are, alive, otherwise the zombie apocalypse thing is finally here … although it’s comforting to know most of the zombies are online), you’re a member of this generation.
But what does that have to do with menswear?
Maybe not a lot, unless you consider the ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative‘s upcoming show at Pitti, called “Generation Africa.”
Now we’re of the rather bold notion that all humans are, at root, African. Because all people originated in Africa, and there’s only one race: the human race. But we still think it’s super nifty to be supporting the burgeoning creativity flowering on this particular human continent, right now. Anyone with half a brain (including us), can tell Africa is home to some of the most startlingly beautiful textile patterns on Planet Earth (Mars not having been colonized yet): from Sierra Leone to Somalia; from Kinshasa to Capetown.
Africa is home to some of the most startlingly beautiful textile patterns on Planet Earth.
Now some of these continental designers will be showcased at Pitti Uomo in Florence … arguably the most important international event for menswear and men accessories collections.
Here are the 4 designers you can expect to see at the Pitti Immagine showcase.
AKJP // Keith Henning & Jody Paulsen – SOUTH AFRICA
AKJP (Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen) is a menswear and womenswear brand founded by South African designer duo, Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen. AKJP signature is its artful contemporary twist on classic and utilitarian menswear. The development of strong prints and sports-inspired motifs for each collection has become core to AKJP. AKJP use layering, boxy silhouettes and asymmetrical detailing as a signature styling feature. AKJP has been recognised as one of South Africa’s most innovative brands, bringing contemporary and cool to the South African fashion landscape. In 2015, AKJP was one of the finalists at Vogue Italia’s Who Is On Next? Dubai. Learn more.
AKJP signature is its artful contemporary twist on classic and utilitarian menswear.
Ikiré Jones // Walé Oyéjidé – USA & NIGERIA
(Photo: Rog Walker)
Ikiré Jones (pronounced “E-kee-rae Jones”) is a menswear company that marries African aesthetics with classic art from all over the world. Each of the brand’s pieces tells a contemporary story by using historical artwork as a medium for modern expression. With every collection, the brand places a strong emphasis on societal issues that affect immigrant and transient populations across the globe. Importantly, Ikiré Jones seeks to properly introduce modern African culture to the world. Through clothing, we seek to weave together a tighter global community. The brand’s tailoring is done in the United States, and its accessories are printed and hand-rolled in Macclesfield, United Kingdom. Learn more.
AIkiré Jones marries African aesthetics with classic art from all over the world.
Lukhanyo Mdingi X Nicholas Coutts – SOUTH AFRICA
(Photo: Travys Owen)
South African designers Lukhanyo Mdingi and Nicholas Coutts collaborate to illuminate each other’s aesthetics. The design partnership combines Mdingi’s minimalist approach with Coutts’ distinctive signature weaving style. Together, the designers create a menswear collection that embodies strength, empowerment and contemporary sophistication.
Lukhanyo Mdingi interprets minimal aesthetics through his clothing, finding the balance between line, form and texture. Mdingi creates minimal looks that are distinct and powerful, with a flare of contemporary elegance and sophistication.
Nicholas Coutts’ signature is creating garments that are textured and using fabrication to create a pleasing contrasting visual. Influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement, Coutts specialises in using handwoven fabrics and hand knitted items. Learn more.
The design partnership combines Mdingi’s minimalist approach with Coutts’ distinctive signature weaving style.
U.Mi-1 // Gozi Ochonogor – NIGERIA & UK
U.Mi-1 (pronounced you.me.one) is Gozi Ochonogor’s second brand, which she began while living in Tokyo in 2008. It has a following of actors and musicians, and she has collaborated with brands such as ±0 and Puma. In 2011, Gozi moved back to the UK. She refocused U.Mi-1 as a brand whose collections were inspired by Nigerian culture, mixed with British and Japanese aesthetics, believing it is through our similarities that we begin to appreciate our differences. The brand is stocked in stores in the UK, Japan and Nigeria. Learn more.
U.Mi-1 is inspired by Nigerian culture, mixed with British and Japanese aesthetics.
More info.: PittiImmagine.com