ESTABLISHED IN 2017
We are nothing but a group of young Africans telling stories and sharing emotions through clothes, photographs, texts, ideas and concepts.
In such an interconnected world, Kente Gentlemen is a means to discover, value, celebrate, and foster our diverse socio-cultural heritage and identities through fashion, aesthetics, lifestyle, photography, and other visual arts. Our roots essentially originate from West Africa: a vibrant, colourful, mysterious, and exciting region, in all shapes and forms. It's only fair that we embrace and portray those rightful attributes to the global village we all belong to.
We hold a strong affection for local craftsmanship and sartorial tailoring, as to introduce tradi-modern, elegant, and edgy clothing items into the international market. And with every article, we set a standard for superior quality, ethical, and fair-priced fashion, with high respects paid to the artwork of our local collaborators.
Growing up, we would often eyeball our mothers and fathers being dressed up for work, casual events, parties, or night outings. How they put on a suit, a dress, or any other garment they had ordered in for sewing or tailoring at the local atelier. How they mixed different designs, colours and patterns, in exquisite fashion, while adorning both local and foreign fabrics. And to our amused eyes, all of that made room for a playful and friendly game between us kids. A game we called "tout complet", or "all matching" translated from French. That's how our love for fashion truly began. Indeed each shirt, pant, shoe, accessory that one puts on, ought to complete and fit into the overall outfit. The colours and patterns ought to match, enough to bring both cohesion and coherence to one's unique style.
If Africans do not tell their own stories, Africa will soon disappear.
We also aim to provide a fresh, authentically cultural, aesthetically driven, and genuine narrative of the continent. Soon after being inspired by our travels into the mainland, we would surely get to write elemental diaries and tailor clothing items that speak of the cultures and traditions of the locals. As we remain eager to value, celebrate, and respect them, with the ambition to better represent them throughout this platform.
While honouring our own heritage, Kente Gentlemen truly intends to bridge the gaps and extend appreciation to other traditions, cultures, fashion etiquettes, and techniques of textile production, regardless of their origins. And in doing so, create something outside of the norm - something that speaks to us, but to you as well. As we sincerely all belong to this universal platform engaged in and for the exchange of ideas, cultures, and values.
In light of this, we ask, if it is possible for someone like you, no matter who you are, what you have, and where you come from, to wear such collections and styles, to read into the stories and debates being developed here, and to feel engaged in the narrative, marketplace, visual poetry, and travelogue that we ever so wish to share with you?
Abidjan Paris New York City