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On The Catwalk: Orange Culture, Mai Atafo, Tokyo James, Kola Kuddus and Maxivive Left a Lasting Impression at 2016 SA Menswear Week

Richard Akuson

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‘On The Catwalk’ is a new weekly column by BellaNaija‘s former fashion writer and critic turned fashion publicist and vloggerRichard Akuson that explores the length and breadth of the emerging Nigerian fashion industry, weighing in his thoughts on happenings within the industry, one week at a time. 

Since inception, South Africa Menswear Week (SAMW) has given a platform to the creme of Nigeria’s slightly disregarded menswear industry, strategically positioning SAMW in the consciousness of the Nigerian fashion insiders.

This season, unlike those past, for the most part, participating Nigerian designers showcased their most striking collections, with some taking a more commercial approach and others sticking to their niche-specific aesthetics. The clothes were exceptionally stunning with well put-together collections that combined a stellar cast of models and cutting-edge use of styling to achieve gorgeous presentations.

Read below for my thoughts on the individual collections

Mai Atafo

Mai Atafo’s Spring/Summer collection at SAMW proved to be the designer’s most memorable and pared down collection, a glaring departure from the brand’s nearly tired aesthetic. This couldn’t have been more timely. Just when I thought I could confidently predict the brand’s preferred fashion week lineup/formula of classic and double breasted suits, then this happened. A much relaxed and smart mash-up of casual and dressy options for today’s discerning man.

Unique Selling Point: On the surface, clean lines and impeccable tailoring appear the most obvious, but beneath that, the collection pops with the right balance of colour, quirk and youth that in a sense stretches and breathes vitality to the storied brand.

mai atafo samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283372016_ mai atafo samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283272016_ mai atafo samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283172016_ mai atafo samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283072016_ mai atafo samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_282972016_

See more photos here

Tokyo James

Ditching the clean lines that characterized the brand’s last season collection, Tokyo James went downtown for some body modification-esque, punk-indie, hardcore vibe all thanks to the iron rings of varying sizes appended to the pieces. This collection, unlike anything Tokyo James has done in the past, oozes of a startling unmistakable manly vigor that is the most transformation that I have ever witnessed of any Nigerian brand’s aesthetic. It comes as a shock, but a pleasant and unforgettable one. I might not have the nerve to wear most of the pieces, but give me the all black number and beige coat below and I’ll show you how it’s done, my way.

Unique Selling Point: This is the most cool and experimental that Tokyo James has ever been, and it’s the most likely to sell-out all thanks to the cult-like aesthetic and statement pieces.

Tokyo James samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284672016_ Tokyo James samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284772016_ Tokyo James samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284872016_ Tokyo James samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284972016_ Tokyo James samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_285072016_

See more photos here

Orange Culture

Orange  Culture’s next season man had better start hitting the gym as for such a man, showing some chiseled chest, clear skin and toned legs à la manière de collection will be non-negotiable. Although a simpler version of the typical Orange Culture collection, I am tempted to say that in its simplicity lies its biggest treasure: a more commercial and likely best-selling collection that isn’t too left-winged nor popular, beautifully seating in-between two parallels forging a necessary meeting point.

Unique Selling Point: The collection successfully strikes a balance between broad appeal and signature Orange Culture aesthetics of fun colours and youthful quirks, with extra print delight.

Orange Culture samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284072016_ Orange Culture samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284172016_ Orange Culture samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284272016_ Orange Culture samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284372016_ Orange Culture samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284572016_Orange Culture samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_284472016_
See more photos here

Maxivive

Emerging menswear designer brand Maxivive just keeps getting better with every season. This season, their Spring Summer 2017 collection is an elaborate continuation of their Autumn Winter 2016 collection. In this case, the most difference being the change in fabrication, in the case of the latter, the brand favored irridiscent tarpaulin fabrics over the airtex mesh and luxe organza used this season. It’s not just a matter of fabrication alone, the brand further explores the athleisure theme of last season a little further with a commendable improvement and familiarity that makes this a HD version of the previous season.

Unique Selling Point: The collection offers breathable, functional and practical statement pieces.

Maxivive samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283472016_Maxivive samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283572016_Maxivive samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283672016_Maxivive samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283772016_Maxivive samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283872016_Maxivive samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_283972016_Maxivive samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_285172016_

See more photos here

Kola Kuddus

Kola Kuddus continues to reinvent the familiar while expanding his narration and interpretation of such. The brand takes the classic tunic and pants set, reinvents it with uneven hemlines, geometry and tracings of directional lines and what appears to be roads. Kola’s unparalleled mastery of colours comes into full bloom with an alluring appeal that one wouldn’t expect from a collection of tunics and pants, but Kuddus somehow makes it work.

Unique Selling Point: The collection offers a modern and stylish alternative to  traditional Nigerian menswear attires.

Kola Kuddus samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_282872016_ Kola Kuddus samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_282772016_ Kola Kuddus samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_282672016_ Kola Kuddus samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_282572016_

See more photos here

Emmy Kasbit

SA Menswear Week first timer, Emmy Kasbit also got to present a three mannequin installation of his work in collaboration with London based leather accessories brand, 1702 London.

emmy kasbit samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_285572016_ emmy kasbit samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_285472016_ emmy kasbit samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_285372016_ emmy kasbit samw 2016 bellanaijaIMG_285272016_

Photo Credit: SDR Photos | Emmy Kasbit

Richard Akuson is founder at The PR Boy a boutique media and press relations agency for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands with a specialty in raising the overall awareness of a brand, product or image of a company or person. Richard is also a weekly columnist at Bellanaija.com ('On The Catwalk' and 'Collection Conversations'), he's also a party host at The Front Row and a vlogger at Get Pink with Richard . Want to reach out? Follow @richardakuson on Instagram and @richardakuson on Twitter or send an email to [email protected]

4 Comments

  1. True Life.

    July 15, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Orange culture and Maxivive: NO. NO. NO.

  2. Right here is gold

    July 15, 2016 at 10:58 am

    BN, this is going to be an elaborate comment. I don’t get to comment often, but today Infeel the need.

    1. How and why did you guys let richard go? This guy knows his onions, clearly!

    2. I’ve noticed his post BN articles have been the most memorable.

    3. I loved the last article he wrote about AFWN/LFDW so much so that I shared with some close friends and when they came to read it, you guys had taken it down.

    4. Why??

    5. Richard, don’t give in to bullies. You clearly have a gift with words and especially fashion writing. If only we’d a Nigerian vogue. In the mean time, continue writing from tbe heart and do not let Nigerians get to u.

    6. I won’t forgive u the next time u take down ur article. I won’t just have it.

    7. I love love this piece. Engaging, witty and that little french you added ????

    Phewwwww!

    I’m done!

  3. Ethio

    July 15, 2016 at 11:58 am

    mai atafo’s suit is dope(the one facing his bck) i can’t imagine myself wearing any of these tokyojames unless i took the type of weed i took this morning.. and those fishnets too (maxivive)

  4. Prince

    July 15, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Mai, Orange and Kudus got me. welldone guys

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