youngest of us were forcefully taken from our classrooms. Spirited away
by ideologues who believed only in what they could wrench from the
praying hands of people who sought peace. Elsewhere. When the virus
swept through our town, it dragged us from the embraces of our mothers’
arms, and into the sterile sadness of hospital wards that could not
conceal us from the dark. Meanwhile, at the edges the Mediterranean,
some of us were washed-up on the shores. Separated from homes that were
miles across the desert. Separated from families that were miles beneath
We are the children of migration. Some of us were the
victims of cruel circumstance and crueler men. Many of us were taken
before our time.
But we are here. And from beyond the skies, our voices will guide you, if you listen. As we forever sing.
*Please donot marginalize our work by removing our message/tags from our images. This is an expression of our cultural heritage, with the intent of telling our own stories, and we would like to keep it that way.
I think there is a common notion that style is inherent and cannot be taught. This is probably true to a degree. However, style is just a matter of self discovery. Everyone has an ideal self: A perfect vision of who they want to be, or who they want to look like, when they close their eyes. This isn’t necessarily just about what clothes you wear, but about the kind of man you want to be. Every day, we strive toward this ideal. Some days, we fall back, some days, we grow better. Style is no different. Every man should feel free to experiment and try things, until he finally reaches that comfortable spot. Clothes are just clothes. They won’t change who you are, but they will teach you about yourself. It’s a bit of a paradox, but the clothes you wear outside can teach you about the person you are on the inside.
Our friend Wale Oyejide recently started a new clothing line called Ikire Jones. I’ve actually been in touch with Wale about his project for the last year and a half or so, as we used to trade emails about clothing production, design, and distribution. For a time, I was thinking about starting a small accessories company, but work got too busy for me. Wale, on the other hand, has been working hard to make his company happen, and his first collection of jackets and pocket squares were released a month or so ago.
Wale sent me a few of his pocket squares to check out and I’m rather impressed with what he put together. The squares are made from a 70/ 30 wool-silk blend and the edges have nice plump rolls. Each square is also generously sized at 45cm x 45cm. It’s harder and harder to find pocket squares this size nowadays, as many manufacturers need to cut down on their costs, so they skimp on material, but a bigger square means getting something that won’t slip down in your breast pocket throughout the day.
What I like most is the artwork, which are inspired by Wale’s Nigerian heritage and hand printed in Macclesfield, England (where much of the world’s best printing is done). As a matter of practicality, it’s easier to wear pocket squares like these since you never want your squares to match too closely with your ties. Thus, when you have a big, bold pattern – as opposed to a small repeating one such as pin dots – you can always be assured that they’ll stand on their own, but still harmonize through a complementary color. And, with a little turning here and there, you can show off which colors you want most. I’ve taken my favorite of Wale’s five designs, the darker red “Iya Ni Wun” square, which celebrates the relationship between a mother and her child, and put it in one of my pockets to demonstrate. With a little turning, the square can be a dark mottled green, a light celery green, or a pumpkin orange.
Wale’s squares sell for $65, which is a great price for what these are. You can check out everything at his webstore and follow him on his blog Less Gentlemen. We wish him the best of luck with his new venture.
Wale absolutely killed it with this one. Having seen these jackets in person, I cannot even begin to describe the gnarliness of these pieces. It’s great to see someone like Wale holding it down for the city of Philadelphia.
Also, I’ve tried on that belted yellow safari jacket, and I haven’t wanted to wear anything else for S/S since that moment. One of the most incredible lightweight outerwear pieces with which I’ve ever come in contact.
A meditation on the global cycle of media (in)attention when tragedy strikes on the continent of Africa. 1. “An Angel Returned to Chibok.” 2. “The Passing Moment of Global Concern.” 3. “The Darkness of Diplomacy.” 4. “The Coronation.” 5. “In the Court of the Crimson King.”
For his Spring/Summer 2014 Ikiré Jones collection, Nigerian designer Wale Oyejide places Africans in the context of Renaissance art. I caught up with him to discuss what he has titled “The Untold Renaissance”.
Likewise you’d recognize Wiley’s suits when you see them. He sources colorful fabrics from all over the world to use as source material for his backgrounds, and sometimes those fabrics make their way into his tailored wardrobe; allegedly he has over 100 suits, some made by a Beijing tailor and some by Ron and Ron, a New York outfit. He usually wears a simple black shirt to complement the brightly patterned suitings. The takeaway is to let your life influence your wardrobe and not be afraid of standing out sometimes–whether that’s adding accessories picked up in your globe-trotting or letting some painterly qualities into your suit fabric choices.
A successful painter can get away with wearing whatever he wants (just ask Picasso). But if you’re looking for something more broadly available in the same spirit as Wiley’s suits, you might consider Ikire Jones.
Ikiré Jones SS16 …& Other Stories By Our Stolen Children.
A study of the commonly disregarded people whose lives are
salaciously dissected in search of news-worthy sadness to satiate the
appetites of a voyeuristic West. 1. “Portrait of a Mother from Chibok.” 2. “Portrait of a Father from Chibok.” 3. “Portrait of the Nobles.” 4. “Portrait of the Ambassador’s Illegitimate Son.”