I recently collaborated with photographer Istifanus Zamani, creative director Russell Solomon and designer Aisha Abu-bakr Luxury Designs (AALD) for this fun new challenge that allowed me do something I wouldn’t do on a normal day, such as; consciously allow myself be in front of a camera and wearing bum shorts. I always dread being in front of the camera because I know I don’t photograph well, and I don’t wear shorts at all because I fear my legs might not just be that great, but I put all those fears behind me for this challenge. So, understand when I say I really, really went out of my way to do this.
My everyday style is actually basic. A good pair of denim pants or chinos and usually slippers/sneakers paired with a nice long-sleeve shirt or tee. Wearing this matchy set was first of all a tad too far-reaching for me, I prefer breaking up the flow of outfits with something else (in this case the white tee), but Russell wouldn’t let me, he insisted I do the pair and spent the rest of the 2 hours that it took us to shoot the pictures re-assuring me about how amazing I looked, even though I wasn’t there yet.
As you can see, my look comprised of a pattern-on-pattern set—a huge menswear trend at the moment—and a brown suede oxford shoe I love to death. I switched it down with a white tee that took me through the rest of the day.
After the shoot, I had a concert sort-of-festival to go to and needed something to wear. Truth is, I’d spent the better part of the previous night playing with the possibility of wearing the bum shorts from the photoshoot to the festival, I had messaged nearly ten people (including the organiser) asking if it was okay to wear shorts to Jam Rock. Now, a lot of you that know what Abuja feels like will know what I was battling with. Abuja isn’t Lagos. Wearing this in Lagos wouldn’t be anything new, in fact, I’m assuming it might even be quite long for some daring hearts.
Once we were done, we left the shoot location for a late lunch at some bukka that Istifanus swore by. The bukka, a typical ‘garden’ set up with kaftan wearing middle-aged men, in company of women, eating mostly swallow. That has never been my ideal set up, but in the spirit of my challenge, I decided to sit still and order for a plate of semovita and okra soup that I didn’t end up eating.
We were there for quite awhile and all through that while I was quite uneasy. I became the centre of attention as everyone’s gaze was in my direction. I particularly felt self-aware for the better part of that day as I went from one point to the other taking meetings and what not. I noticed men and women probingly staring at me. I overheard remarks, I saw them point hands and make faces. I’d love to say I didn’t care, but I did.
The rest of the evening went by pretty much the same. I however started getting really comfortable in my shorts as the day went by. I met up with Russell and my new friend Rasheed joined us shortly at the festival. We all had something to drink; Russell a piña colada, Rasheed a beer, and I had chapman. And as luck would have it we all shared a table with two gorgeous law school students – Yvonne and Odochi who told me I’d “really hot legs for a man” and somehow, that one compliment made up for the day-long discomfort I’d to put up with. In fact, my hot legs got us talking, my hot shorts was the conversation starter and now, my bum shorts challenge got me two new beautiful friends that I didn’t know I needed.
How’s that for a challenging day?
More of my not so fabulous pictures? Check me out on Instagram: @richardakuson