Debuting the collection at the New York Fashion Week In 2019 , Adebayo Lawal says he is changing the African narrative and combating stereotypes.
“A lot of men are fighting things and these shadows are haunting them but it’s like no one knows. It’s about teaching men to be vulnerable, it’s about teaching men to explore other narratives and ideologies about how they should present themselves.”
Pushing through with the discussion, Orange Culture releases this campaign by bringing together Eight Nigerian creatives and they share their voices on self love, diversity, acceptance, inclusion, creativity, gender fluidity and other forward conversations .
From Photojournalists to Artists, fashion consultant,storytellers, these guys are amazing at what they do and are truly breaking the African stereotype.
- Yagazieemezi, A photojournalist styles herself in a colorful Androgynous set from the collection.
Through her photojournalism and artistry Yagazie has used her platform to speak on representation , diversity , gender and redefinition of beauty , Yagazie says – “ I’m passionate about storytelling, the diversity of stories and the people who tell them. I’m always going to push for the fairness of representation in the photo industry, especially among women of color. I also try to use myself as one of the many representations of how African women can be multi-faceted. We are kick-ass daredevils, innovators, record-breakers and ultimately, boundless “ .
2. Denola Grey, An Actor, TV Presenter, Fashion Consultant and Digital Content Creator styled himself in a chandelier hat , Joseph robe , sheer shirt and fitted pants from the SS20 collection.
“My personal style has always been a multifaceted tool for me. It serves, simultaneously, as my armor, my therapy and as the way I communicate (visually) with the world. (Style in this instance is not only fashion related. It also refers to carriage, presentation and content.)
One thing that has always fascinated and been a topic of intrigue to me is the rigid and stringent ways we have been taught to define ourselves. We have learned to place these rules on what and how we are expected to be, based on our gender. Beliefs that have trickled down and permeated all aspects of our lives including fashion and personal style. Through my personal style and presentation, I want the world to understand that the vastness of our beings can be interpreted and conveyed in so many different, colorful ways; celebrating our innate divine masculine and feminine energies by embracing it, instead of living in the tension that lies between the societally forced seperation of the two. Which as history continues to prove causes more harm than good” .
3. Stephen Tayo, A Photographer styles himself in this aso-oke jacket , easy shorts and a print shirt.
When asked about self, Stephen Tayo responded beautifully “ I’d love to think of myself as a photographer that challenges what has been or existed, in terms of Documentary Photography that reflects Africans particularly Nigerians. For me the question of Why and What if, is what I think about when I try to explore any body of work “ .
“ I think the major point or what I would love my work to reference the most is having to tell my own story. Stories that celebrate so many people, cultures, age groups, social groups in an African way. I like to think that there are things that happen around us that are very peculiar to us and that is what makes us different. That is our voice”
4. Gideon White, A Model styles himself in the print faces set with a leather belt and matching scarf.
When asked about self , Gideon said , “ I would like to be described as a model with a difference; a unique personality ; the kind of model that inspires other unique personas to want to endeavor into modelling; a voice to my fellow albinos; most of all as a professional model.” .
On Using His Platform; “I am most passionate about
i. utilizing my work to show that i am capable of execution(work), if i can others can too.
ii. I am indeed an albino.
iii. I believe i have a voice that serves as a panacea to the misfortunes albinos in general go through. Basically it covers all three.” .
5. Vincent Desmond, A storyteller styled himself in a light SS20 pieces because he values comfort.
“ I’m a storyteller. At the core of what I do and everything I’ve ever done is stories and telling them. I occasionally refer to myself or other people refer to me as a journalist or a writer and while that’s technically accurate, I think storyteller properly describes my career as it is now and as it will be in the future better than any term does or ever will.”
“ I am most fascinated by the stories of marginalized people and I want to have conversations about them and make others do so too. Been born queer in a hetero-normative worlds makes you view and navigate the world differently. Conversations about queer rights, conversations about being marginalized, conversations about how people who are like me view and navigate the world through fashion, culture and so much more intrigue me. I want to talk about it, write about it, tell stories about it and I want to make other people do so. I want to tell people about how queer people talk, move, feel and everything in between.”
6. Falana, An Artist, Singer & Musician, styled herself in a lace trouser suit with a printed scarf and an over sized bow tie.
“ My femininity, my style, my music, is unique to me and I embrace it! If I can encourage just one young girl or woman to feel beautiful and proud of all of their unique qualities, and to inspire them to have their own voice (and style!) that is most important!. Once you have the courage to truly accept your every gift and imperfection that’s when the magic happens. Courage is so important in fulfilling purpose. You need to be brave to drown out naysayers (sometimes you need to drown out your own doubt and fear). You need to be brave to follow the path God has prepared for you. You need to be brave to be honest. I try to live this out through my work. “
7. Uche Ubah, An Artist, Fashion Designer & model styles himself in a shadow man rainbow print coat and matching shirt .
“I appreciate that my persona and how i choose to dress constantly challenges the norm and expectations here. It’s almost like a rebellion”
“Colors and character. Silhouette and movement has for a while been the most dominant thing about my outlook but for this shoot i wanted to still have that, but with the inclusion of prints and color. I wanted more character “
8. Daniel Obasi, An Artist styled himself in a hand beaded vest , organza parachute shirt and pleated pants.
“ I would describe myself as an artist, because of the freedom it gives me to constantly move through different mediums and create. I am always experimenting and being an artist makes it possible to easily and constantly evolve.”
“ My work has always been a way for me to express my views on ideals within my society; what is the concept of beauty especially as a Nigerian, the politics of the black skin and how can we own that narrative and stir it away from a western imposed narrative. Masculinity and Sexuality what does it mean for men to be vulnerable, Soft, beautiful and whimsical. Gender is also a big part of my work. These are ideals that I am passionate about and constantly exploring with my work and self.”
Photography – Mikey Oshai