Poetry. Color. Culture.
These are the essential themes conveyed in all and throughout the very first, Première Collection pieces for Kente Gentlemen. A collection that will set the tone for our vision going forward. And here, in short, is why.
First, there’s poetry. What is poetry? Poetry in motion, what's that too? Truly, there’s poetry in making, feeling, touching, and wearing a fabric. Poetry, from the emotions we feel when we embrace a cloth, a style, a trend. Poetry, in the words full of pride and honesty, that we speak with our lungs gasping for air and our eyes drenched in tears. Poetry, with our bodies covered in sweat, from how much work! went into making each fabric, each cloth, and each garment.
Color. What is color? Is color that one thing which dilates our pupils to full blown excitement and joy? Or is color, that one thing which saddens us, while we sit on the dock of the (gloomy) bay? Color is indeed very present in Africa. It is what we see in the people, in their markets, streets, corners, alleys, houses, and even hear in the noises coming from all things. It is the billion of palettes and trillion of pixels that our minds can never sort through. There is color everywhere out here! And we mean all colors! And we cannot, for the sake of us, get away from it. That thing called color.
Dur dur la culture! Oh yes, that's tough! How do we represent culture in this first collection? How do we remain respectful, fair, and unassuming ahead of this very HARD and BOLD task? Some pieces shown in this collection have sources and origins deep within the fabric culture of our local regions, especially that of the Baoulé and Mannois people. The pieces remain at the crossroads, between traditionally handmade fabrics and modern designs. It's a translation of our heritage into modernity. There's also the prominence of made to measure tailoring in many of our local ateliers. Besides the presence of clothing malls, to sell ready-to-wear items, the typical African man or woman usually requests for his or her piece to be done with their own unique measurements. We wish to push that culture even further by granting our customers, regardless of their origins and locations, the opportunity to purchase made-to-order clothing items. As we work in full collaboration with professional, local designers and tailors. Yet again, there are countless cultures and sub-cultures, deemed of being represented, that thrive within one country, let alone one region, and, moreover throughout such a huge African continent. But we ought not to shy away from the task, even granted the very little we would accomplish after all.
Art Direction: Aristide Loua / Dadi
Production / Text: Aristide Loua
All courtesy of Kente Gentlemen L.L.C. All rights reserved.