Some of them packed what little they had, and strode across an endless desert. Some of them abandoned established careers and respected titles to sit at the bottom rungs of a foreign society. Some climbed fences. Many boarded planes. But all of them came from far away, to live in a place where they would be mocked if they weren’t ignored. Of course, they did it all for us
Nigerian born designer Ikire Jones has always through his eponymous fashion label, kept his eye on the bigger picture. The designer’s body of work over the last few years (including a stint at the prestigious Imagine Africa showcase at the Pitti Uomo,) has always relied heavily on Afro-futurism and storytelling to ground his collection and weave them into a cohesive whole. And Jones is the consummate story teller, drawing us in with imagery and metaphor.
His Fall 16 collection saw him shift his focus to the immigrant crisis that plagued Europe for most of 2015, tackling the history of migration influencing the historical and cultural growth of Europe. It was received critically and set Ikire Jones apart from other African owned labels as one that could meld social issues, design and contemporary trends into a cohesive whole. The new collection builds on this narrative, narrowing it’s focus to immigrants of colour and how their hidden sacrifices continue to be misunderstood and underappreciated.
We are the children of engineers that drove your taxis. We are the sons of surgeons that served your tables, and we are the daughters of diplomats that held open your doors. In spite of their genius, our parents were bedevilled by the black magic of bureaucracy and backward immigration policies. But not us. we are the future that their hard-work and discarded dreams foresaw. We are that tomorrow that was claimed by brave women and men who had little, but risked it all because they believed. We are the children that were born between borders. Influenced by a new world, and inspired by the old they left behind. We carry our parents dreams with us; like ghosts that no one can look past. There are no tables we will not overturn and there are no locked doors we will not dislodge. Get to know us.
Using the motif of Africans juxtaposed in classic European art and architecture contrasted with African style prints cut into contemporary silhouettes, Ikire Jones shows us why they are the label to beat, or emulate.