Ghanaian label Nipo Skin opened the Kumasi Fashion week with a collection in collaboration with premium wax fabric maker, Da Viva called ‘From All Walks Of Life’. This is the label’s second showing at Kumasi Fashion Week, it showed last year when the showcase was still KNUST.
A menswear collection, deviating from it’s agendered showcase last year, Nipo Skin’s AW16 saw the brand try to channel the lived experiences of a broad swath of men (a gamble that can sometimes backfire). It featured colour blocked pieces with heavy piping detailing, lots of black and a heavy adherence to traditional silhouettes. There was a definite youthfulness to the collection evinced by the sheer number of cuffed shorts the designer sent down the runway, often accessorized with print visor hats.
With international couturiers Viktor and Rolf shattering all the stereotypes about the versatility of African inspired prints, many have come to expect a lot more from designers who choose to use the fabric as the foundation of a collection and in that regard, Nipo Skin grossly underutilized their African print pieces. Asides their ingenious use of the prints for piping as regards detailing, they largely follow the conventional trends, colour blocked and or used as panelling.
Our favourite look from the collection is Nipo Skin’s interpretation of the traditional agbada, adding structure and asymmetry to give edge and character to their iteration. The accessories in the collection were also pretty strong, the visor hats, knapsacks and carry on bags are ingenious enough to gain a mass market audience.