Tokyo James’s AW16 ad campaign shows a softer side to the brand

Tapping in-demand photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo to shoot your ad campaigns is quite the coup (Ogunbanwo’s work is forming the major skeleton of Nigeria’s entry to the Fashion Cities Africa exhibition), so when we found out, we had to see it.

Tokyo James’s AW16 collection debuted at the 2016 Winter South Africa Menswear week and left us with mixed feelings. While much of the collection was impressive, it was marred by the label’s misguided use of the Arewa symbol out of context. In light of that, we hoped that the label’s subsequent show notes and campaign would shed light on the inspirations and motivations behind the collection.

What we get is a much softer, more accessible Tokyo James. Gone is the need to be ‘edgy’ or ‘avantgarde’, under Ogunbanwo’s trained eye, the clothes are allowed to stay the subject of the campaign and speak for themselves. And speak they do, the lush prints gleam against dark skin, the models twist around each other in poses that are both inviting and forbidding. They seem to draw the viewer in while questioning the viewer’s personal belief biases.

“What does Freedom mean to you?” They seem to say.

Tokyo James Tokyo 4 Tokyo 3 Tokyo 2 Tokyo

We do wish more jackets were featured in the campaign, as they collectively form the highlight of the collection, but you can’t have everything, can you?

We wait to see what the actual look book looks like. Hopefully Ogunbanwo finds time to shoot that too.

Website: @tokyojamess

Photography: Lakin Ogunbanwo @lakinogunbanwo
Styling: Funmi Fagbemi @vrcreativeagency
Models: Oluwadami Noah, Davidson, Chima Paul Boluwatife @bethmodelafrica

Read our review of the collection here. 

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