The Evan is a jacket from Ikiré Jones’ The Untold Renaissance collection, where cloth and pattern emblematically represent the waxed cloth that is ubiquitous in West African societies.
The significance of the cloth goes well beyond its primary use; it is simultaneously a means of communication, a bearer of remembrance and a prestigious commodity. In contrast to the western fashion world, in their original context these textiles are not traded as finished goods but are sold by the yard and then tailored individually, or are used as cloth for various different purposes. Fashion brand Ikiré Jones, created by designer Walé Oyéjidé, processes this cloth, which is mostly bought, worn and appreciated by women, into a piece of classical menswear. By doing so, the brand successfully translates a West African tradition into a modern, western-style reality in which the difference between men’s and women’s clothing is rapidly disappearing. The Evan thus prompts reflection on a timely issues: no matter how truly African these wax prints seem to be, they are nonetheless a deeply colonial product.