Kenzo never fails to surprise and they have proven it yet again with their new SS17 campaign featuring Nigeria's youth. The French brand collaborated with director Akinola Davies Jr and photographer Ruth Ossai for their new project Gidi gidi bu ugwu eze (Unity is strength).
The photos are shot in Nsukka, one of the Igbo communities of Nigeria. They display ceremonies, rituals etc from the youth society in that area. My absolute favourite are the different hair styles presented as portraits on a collage that reminds of the one in front of afro hair salon. I love how a high fashion brand always discovers new ways of advertising their clothe. I can't think of a cooler way than on these young people of this specific community. The creativity with how it's styled and the inspiration the brand seeks from the locals sums up to (what in my eyes, is) the perfect campaign!
April 6, 2017
Labels: On track, May I introduce
With all the models cast from the school, church and markets of Ossai’s own village in Nsukka, this was what the pair wanted to be “an inclusive pageant created by a community devoted to its own growth.” Pictured with pageant sashes and floral bouquets whilst getting their hair done or atop motorcycles (all while dressed in Kenzo’s SS17 collection), these visuals featuring IRL members of this tribe are a refreshing example of Nigerians telling their own stories. For Davies, “It’s about the nuances of beauty in relation to their own community.” (via Dazed & Confused)
Part of a bigger project the brand is calling their KENZO folio series, these photos are only the beginning of a number of works that, in this case, will form a portrait of what it means to be young in Nigeria right now. For Davies, collaborating with Ossai was essential to this: “Ruth’s work...makes me proud to be African and it’s important to see black women lead the way on documenting our cultures and communities.” An exercise in how important it is to “show a commitment to redefining and celebrating culture, showing the textures of a community in celebration of itself,” this particular collaboration between Ruth Ossai and Akinola Davies is an emphasis on how “your community is (also) your extended family,” our strength coming from “utilising one another and trusting each other’s process.” (via Dazed & Confused)
CREDITS: Director: Akinola Davies Jr / Photographer: Ruth Ginika Ossai / Stylist: Ibrahim Kamara / Make up: Afrolion / Hair: Angela Ogdu & Oluchi Jacinta / DOP: Victor Ojevkwe / Producers: Julie Vergez & Wale Davies
Main cast: Chikwelu Ezegwu, Chiwetalu Ezegwu, EzuLovette Chimaza, Chioma Nnadi, EzeEbube Peace, Uroko Akunne, Eze Blessing Chinenye, Eberechukwu Ngozi
Extras: Ezugwu Rita Onyedikachi, Ikwueme Christian, Ojobo Chiamaka, Ogbonna Chidimma, Nnadi Chieso, Eze Perpetual, Ezugwu Chidiebere Ebube, Eze Chibuilse Dubai, Eze Joy Chidera, Nwachukwu Marvellous Ebube, Godson Onyema, Kenith Onyema, Ogene Young Brothers Thank you to the community of Owerre-Eze Orba, G.S.S Girls Secondary School Owerre-Eze Orba, ST Peters Church, Owerre-Eze Orba, Principle Oguadinma Rita Ngozi, Grandma Ossai, Okolo Chibuzo Kevin, Mama Chidrea, Ginika's Salon Nsukka, Ude Ngozi Jivian and Agadanna Ifunanya Innocenthia