For Spring/Summer 2020, Emmy Kasbit invokes the spirit of celebration. In a tense socio-political climate, the brand looks on the bright side with a collection as vibrant and energetic as it could be. Emmanuel Okoro, the Creative Director is known for referencing the past as a way of story-telling and preserving the culture, and this collection is no different.
In Arochukwu, a city in Abia State, the New Yam Festival (also known as Ikeji or Iri Ji Ohuu) is held every year. It is a means of strength reaffirmation and conveying loyalty within the communities. Held within 17 days in September, the festival marks the end of the farming season and the start of a new one, preceded with celebrations. Always larger than life, the celebration is filled with masquerades, dancing, and a juxtaposition communal flair.
Emmanuel wanted to capture the soul of Ikeji in this collection. Using his signature Akwete, a unique traditionally handwoven fabric, the communal symbols were woven into the fabrics with exceptionally fine craftsmanship.
Focusing on the menswear, with pieces for women based on the silhouettes of the men’s clothing, creating an androgynous finish. The shapes are strong; a post-modern take on the traditional blazer, reconstructed sleeves, and tailored shorts. Emmanuel explores the mild fragility of lace, a nod towards the traditional lace worn by chiefs.
The brand’s most colorful collection, yet. The pieces have a touch of red flowing through the collection which symbolizes unity. Shades of green and orange, almost but not quite neon, is base for the pieces.
On the pieces, Emmanuel said;
This collection has been months in the making, and what I want is to tell a story and preserve history in my way. It is a celebration. I want people to feel joy when they see it.
Photography: Stephen Tayo @Stephen.Tayo
Creative Direction: Kwen Maye @KwenMaye
Styling: Moses Ebite @MosesEbite of @WhiteLineProduction
Makeup: Uche Enyokwa @Sutchay
Models: @BethModelAfrica @MyBookerModel
Footwear In Collaboration with @ScarLuxury