Striking, visionary and uniting is how we would describe Kenzo’s new SS17 fashion campaign which is set within the deep heartland of Igbo land in Nigeria.
Centred around a visionary film, entitled GIDI GIDI BỤ UGWU EZE, which translates to “Unity is Strength” in Igbo, the short captures Nigerian youth in stunning visuals. Considering the rural setting, Kenzo’s minimalist shapes and prints blend with the young and hip models who pose with assured casualness.
The tasteful depiction of the campaign is down to UK-based Nigerians, filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr and photographer Ruth Ossai who teamed with stylist, Ibrahim Kamara. Together, they captured the essence of the Nsukka population of Southern Nigeria, meshing the country’s beauty to the brand’s own vision.
The video shows a variety of Igbo traditions and ceremonies within the indigenous community, including motorcycle racing, beauty pageants and dancing rituals. We applaud the film makers for choosing to embrace the spirit of this community.
Speaking about the film, Akinola Davies Jr, said:
“It’s about celebrating young black Nigerian bodies and capturing them celebrating Igbo culture and traditions, showing that beauty is always present when there is a commitment to the celebration of culture. This is what an inclusive pageant created by a community devoted to its own growth looks like.”
The project is part of the fashion house’s first edition of Kenzo Folio, their new quarterly publication. Kenzo Folio will focus on highlighting recent looks, and framing the stories told over each collection through the eyes of filmmakers and photographers.