It’s always great to hear that Nigerian labels are collaborating to create new things, especially in this age of intellectual stagnancy, the joining of minds always creates something worthy of scrutiny and eventual admiration.
As far as collaborations go, few have been as extensive as Tunde Owolabi’s Ethnik Studios. The accessories label came into prominence late 2014 for it’s aso oke footwear and bags. After several private commissions, the brand finally announced it’s first official collaboration with womenswear brand, IAMISIGO, creating specialty slides and sandals from the label’s fabric of the season Nwentoma, a variation of aso oke, Ethnik’s fabric of choice.
The brand has been linked with high street menswear design duo JZO post LFDW. The brand credited Owolabi in it’s recently released editorial campaign for its Harmattan collection ‘Aremo‘ but didn’t specify in what capacity Owolabi participated to the collection. The wait is over however, Owolabi just announced recently via Ethnik Studios’ official instagram that the both brands had collaborated to created a line of Aso-oke shorts.
The collaboration uses Owolabi’s distinctive aso-oke motifs and JZO’s expert tailoring. It is a smart move, as JZO already has a strong client base and is currently running at a profit and Ethnik Studios is trying to make proper inroads into menswear fashion. We wonder if the collaboration will extend to a full line or if it will stay a capsule collection. That might depend on how well this current experiment plays out. Either way, we are delighted to see Ethnik studios expanding its brand in tangential ways.