The Escape to New Lagos, autumn/winter 2013/2014 collection was the first successful achievement of the Ikiré Jones label, led by Nigerian-born fashion designer Walé Oyédijé. The collection’s lookbook was illustrated by artist Olalekan Jeyfous, alias Vigilism, who transferred the smart, cosmopolitan Ikiré Jones man to a future scenario – Lagos in the year 2081.
Titled Our Africa 2081 A.D., this was the label’s founding myth, which was projected into the future and has been developed further ever since. So far, it has extended to other African metropolises: in six short, fantastically illustrated stories, scenarios unfold from Nairobi, Johannesburg and Lagos at the end of the 21st century. Whether utopian or dystopian, no single setting is completely invented, with a few realistic ties to the present. Each story has its own hero: they appear out of the blue in order to prevent the worst from happening – as in Nairobi, where they fight against omnipresent spying drones. Or, the heroes represent exploited miners – such as those in Johannesburg, who are able to catapult themselves back to the light and into the midst of a new society. All of these heroes wear Ikiré Jones items as a symbol of emancipation from their past. The brand itself finds an embodiment in the figure of a young tailor’s apprentice in the future city of Lagos, a child who is too ambitious for his age and dreams of nothing else than to tailor fine clothes for the reputable bodies of the inhabitants of a new Africa.