The athleisure trend is the big gift that reality television star driven celebrity has given the fashion world. As we gorge on celebrity culture, our collective eyes train on every mundane thing these celebrities do, they have learnt to keep stay constantly in performance mode. That means even the most casual of outfits are carefully orchestrated to suggest spontaneity while maintaining the illusion of perfection. Brands grew out of the need for that perfect intersection and the craze spread outwards, finally catching on here.
The inaugural Accra Mens Fashion Week was the last place we expected to see athleisure influenced collections, but considering that is exactly what Quophi Akoutuah did, this was a huge oversight on our part.
The label has been on our radar since we first reviewed their womenswear collaboration with fabric giant Da Viva here, at the Kumasi Fashion Week. It had explored formal evening wear, and successfully slipped a few risque looks past us. So we were eager to see if this penchant for subverting convention would spill into their menswear.
What Quophi Akoutuah does, is take traditional menswear and put an athleisure twist to it. Their fabric of choice is airtex mesh, used for sleeves and layered over like a tunic. Danshiki, tunics and an ankle length jacket add elements of drama to the collection. Superb tailoring helps these unlikely unions.
The label drops the ball though when it comes to the cohesiveness of the looks, There are no complementary trousers for many of the pieces and the models wear their own, some models wear distressed skinny jeans and others wear khaki flat fronts and other still wear regular dress pants, creating a disorienting total look.
Photo Credit: Qwesie Asephua Photography