Akinola Davies Jr, Ruth Ossai and Ibrahim Kamara present ‘Gidi gidi bu ugwu eze’.
“It’s about celebrating young Black Nigerian bodies and capturing them celebrating Igbo culture and traditions, showing that beauty is always present when there is a commitment to the celebration of culture,” explains Akinola Davies Jr of his new collaboration with Kenzo.
The director, elsewhere responsible for last year’s beautiful “Marks of Worship” short for London musician Klein, has been tapped by the French fashion brand for the first edition of a new quarterly project that explores its ongoing commitment to capturing ‘spontaneous beauty and the discovery of style in the most unexpected of situations’.
For SS17 this led the Kenzo team, under the direction of Davies Jr, to the south eastern town of Nsukka in Nigeria. Asked to utilise the new men’s, women’s and accessories collection within the framework of ‘celebration’, here Akinola worked with photographer Ruth Ossai and stylist Ibrahim Kamara for Gidi gidi bu ugwu eze, the powerful image series displayed above and below, named after the Igbo proverb meaning ‘Unity is Strength’; a video is set to follow later in April.
Likewise later in the month, Kenzo will play host to a pop-up exhibition – one in Paris at 27 Boulevard de la Madeleine and one in London on Bruton Street in Mayfair – celebrating the arrival of Folio #1 with an IRL show of Ossai’s pictures. Launching on the 20th and 26th April respectively (creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon will be making a cameo in the UK), fans wanting the first look can request tickets via [email protected] Insta at the ready?