KENZO Shows Nigerian Youth In Its Spring/Summer 2017 Lookbook

Parisian fashion brand KENZO presents its new lookbook. Photographer Ruth Ossai shows the Nigerian people in colorful and amazing portraits. The label´s new…

Parisian fashion brand KENZO presents its new lookbook. Photographer Ruth Ossai shows the Nigerian people in colorful and amazing portraits. The label´s new project is called Gidi gidi bu ugwu eze (Unity is trength). Its colorful storytelling gives us a look into the various rituals and ceremonies.

People must be able to tell their own stories
The campaign was shot in Nsukka, Nigeria. Almost all the models are from the village of Ruth Ossai. “It becomes very problematic when Nigerians — and other Africans — cannot tell their own stories: it becomes too often incomplete, inaccurate and stereotyped. This narrative has needed changing for too long now. My work is also honestly partly a reflection of myself; I love and never stop thinking about West Africa, whether I’m home or away,” Ossai says. Because of this it was so important that the Nigerian people were able to tell their stories.

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It´s about celebrating
The models wear the KENZO Spring/Summer 2017 collection customized with flowers and traditional costumes. They represent the young generation and how they celebrate beaty: ”It’s about celebrating young black Nigerian bodies and celebrating Igbo culture and traditions, showing that beauty is always present when there is commitment to celebrating culture,” Davies Jr added.

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A video about this project will be available at KENZO´s website on April 27. The Spring/Summer collection 2017 is already available in KENZO´s stores.

Director and filmmaker: Akinola Davies Jr.
Photographer: Ruth Ossai
Stylist: Ibrahim Kamara
Filmmaker: Akinola Davies Jr.

photos: KENZO