The fact that more and more top international fashion designers increasingly are seeking their inspiration in Africa is a trend which is being rapidly noticed by the fashion world. The latest fashion house to follow this trend is KENZO, this time looking at southern Nigeria as the source of rich traditional values and elements for their SS17 collection. And in line with the brand’s long time tradition they are backing up the collection launce with an amazing video and photo portfolio, conceived and produced by director Akinola Davies and photographer, Ruth Ossai, who are both UK-based Nigerians.
Photos as well as the video were shot in Nsukka, one of the Igbo communities of Nigeria where the Igbo half of Ossai’ has her roots, and these powerful images focus on the life of the local youths showing their various rites, rituals and ceremonies – from hair to beauty pageants – with all participating youngsters cast celebration from the schools, churches and markets of Nsukka. The result is stunning and in addition to feature the outfits a celebration of “young black Nigerian bodies (by) capturing them celebrating Igbo culture and traditions, showing that beauty is always present when there is a commitment to the celebration of culture.”, as Akinola Davies put it, continuing “It’s about the nuances of beauty in relation to their own community.”
The production is part of a bigger project which the brand is calling their KENZO folio series, and apparently only the beginning of a number of works which will form a portrait of what it means to be young in Nigeria right now.