OGIDI OKUNRIN which translates ‘The Strong Man’ in English – Tokyo James latest collection premiered at the Milan Fashion Week. The almost five (5) minutes video directed by rolayf pays tribute to the Yoruba culture (One of the major tribes in Nigeria) while critically paying close attention to what seems to be the unity and masculinity from the gaze of the modern Nigerian man.
Tokyo James, a Nigerian-British Designer who is bridging the divide between the global fashion explores the idea of intersection and commonality (different view points of masculinity) through his designs. He remains true to his roots nevertheless and this was very much evident in the fashion video.
As a strong believer of strength in unity, James offers aa fresh perspective in menswear fueled by his dual Nigerian and British heritage. He tells VOGUE in an interview “We combine techniques used in European tailoring and mix them with African techniques to create something new and fresh.”
The collection itself makes use of various material from sequins to intricately woven fabrics (for bomber and biker jackets) as well as wrinkled embossed leather for pants. The designs connote the rugged and rough road that the idealism of masculinity is built upon. And while the line-up and introduction of the OGIDI OKUNRIN convey a powerful message, the video fails to explain the relationship between the Eyo festival ( a cultural and traditional masquerade display unique to Lagos, Nigeria) and celestial celebration with the search to show different expressions of masculinity.