Clothing brand Ugo Monye has solidified itself as one of the leading lights in the contemporary menswear industry in Nigeria. Since its iconic agbada worn by TV presenter Ebuka Obi-Uchendu in 2017 to his friend, musician Banky W‘s wedding to actress Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Ugo Monye has become a one-stop destination for grooms and stars alike.
Their soon to be unveiled collection tagged Wazalendo will be yet again one of the most vibrant reflections of patriotism through fashion in the country. According to the creative director and founder of the brand Ugo Monye, the collection is iridescent of important political moments in the development of Nigeria’s modern leadership and political power. He looks at history with a fresh perspective from both the military rule and the civilian democratic rule that the country is currently operating.
“The Collection is inspired by the recognition of positives from both eras. The moments of brilliance in our history; exemplary and colourful contributions of both military and democratic dispensations, and the individuals who offered selfless service to our nation,” the creative director of the brand says.
He adds that he wants to utilise this collection to bring to fore watershed moments that might not have been given its due recognition in Nigeria’s history.
“You can tell a person from the clothes they wear, fashion has always been an African language. Hence why I chose the colours of the earth to tell the stories of the earth. In this case the story of Africa through moments in Nigerian history.”
Nigerians largely speak of military rule with dark colours, paying no mind to credit the military for positive contributions as we wove the fabric of our early years. Nigerians speak of democracy as the answer to all Nigeria’s problems, and with the same fervour, bemoan neverending disappointments of 20 years of democracy.”
Monye with this collection is presenting his case and demanding that the military be given their roses now and be celebrated for the work that they did in the country. He says that the military had an idea of nationhood first before their ethnicity and with this collection, he is determined to pour libations before their feet.
“I find Nigeria has an identity problem, that problem compounded by a lack of appreciation for what we have achieved however far in-between, we have a culture of forgetting individuals who served Nigeria, individuals who held to the idea of nationhood first, not tribe, not religion, but an ideology bigger than the sum of who they were and where they came from. They believed in the idea that we are at our best when each of us values the other’s right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and so they set themselves to the defence of those rights for others, they placed the collective before self and earned the term patriots.”
The Ugo Monye brand celebrates those who lived and died for Nigeria, and through this collection implores others to live up to the standards they set.
Ugo Monye will present Wazalendo his Spring/Summer 2020 collection on Saturday the 26th of October at the 2019 Lagos Fashion Week.
Photo Credit: Ugo Monye