If there is anything that turned our collective gazes keenly towards the Accra Mens Fashion Week 2016, it is the diverse roster of designers slotted for showcase. Many of the fashion shows organized in Africa are predominantly a closed community, showcasing indigent designers aiming to court an indigent buyer base. By opening its roster to the whole of West Africa, AMFW sent a clear message of its ambition. This ambition brought much needed diversity to the AMFW runway. It also introduced us to Beninoise athleisure inspired label Team Onction.
Team Onction was one of the few labels to take on current trends at the Accra Mens Fashion Week (the others are Ghanaian labels Quophi Akoutuah and Debon Afrik).
The Benin based label was the only one however to try and interpret the trend through the lens of alternative streetwear. The label embraces many of the quirks of the street wear aesthetic; cosmetic zip and drawstring closures, hoodies. It also uses a lot of utiltarian inspired influences like epaulettes and cosmetic double breasted buttons done in jersey and lycra, a decision that keeps the collection largely functional, in spite of it’s very ceremonial look.
The collection suffers however, from the lack of actual or referential African influences. In a such heavily western collection even the slightest nod to the designer’s home country or culture would have gone a long way to grounding the collection.
Photo Credit: Qwesie Asephua Photography.