Launched last month, Wafrica — Africa plus wa for Japan — has unveiled a range of kimono handcrafted in an array of African cotton fabrics that would seem to be a million miles from the subtle silks more commonly associated with traditional Japanese dress. Yet despite the orange comets and flashes of lightning tearing across a moss-green background, and the tribal swirls in colors that recall the sun-drenched African soil, the prints blend seamlessly into the kimono form before they surprise Japanese shoppers with their foreign origin.
The cultural cocktail is the brainchild of Serge Mouangue, a Tokyo-based concept- car designer for Nissan, who joined forces with Kururi, a Tokyo-based kimono- maker, to produce the traditional Japanese attire in 18 African prints sourced in markets from Nigeria to Senegal.
"The definition of Afro Goth is a subculture of African and dark skinned men and women that have a passion for goth and/or emo style in dress, music, and personality. The goth style tends to gravitate towards a darker palette and both clothes and makeup using cimmerian undertones."