There is this tendency for Nigerian designers to pack their editorials for their collections chock full of famous people. Perhaps they’re trying to tap into the fanbase/mystique said famous person, or they’re trying to bedazzle us with so many pretty faces that we forget we’re actually there to look at the clothes.
That was the distinct impression I got when I came across the ‘AfroEuropean’ ‘Cravat’ collection designed by Sly Monay. If the name doesn’t ring any bells then you’re not alone. I only really saw the collection because of the people in the editorial and the accompanying behind the scenes video. There was everyone, from Juliet Ibrahim, O.C Ukeje, Kenneth Okolie, Belinda Effah, Bryan Okwara (if those names don’t ring a bell either; right there with you). The clothes were the same old run-of-the-mill traditional menswear silhouettes we’ve seen a thousand times.
So to truly absolve myself of not looking at this with neutral eyes, I went to the brand’s website. Now for a Nigerian design label, Sly Monay is way ahead of the curve in it’s digital presence. Its website, while a little gaudy, was easy to navigate and told me everything I needed to know of the brand, which was that Sly Monay was actually more of a tailoring and accessories service than an honest-to-goodness design label. And it’s ‘AfroEuropean Cravat’ revolved around the ‘radical’ idea of wearing a cravat with your kaftan or tunic shirt.
I wont knock their hustle though, you find a niche and ride it into the sunset. I just wish Sly Monay’s marketing strategies weren’t so dishonest.
Anyhow, here’s the collection and BTS video, make of it what you will.
Photographer: Dola Posh
Stylist: Haus of Fade
Make up: Jay Ukachi
Behind the Scene Photos & Videos: A.I Sina & Sjay Ephraim
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