During my last fashion shoot, I picked up a fabulous silver-grey jacket my assistant had pulled for me and did a double take as I read out the brand name on the label, it read Bobby Kolade. Kolade, I thought, that must be Nigerian name.
If you read my blog and are familiar me with my work, you will know I get such a rush when I discover talented African designers, and even more so when they are based in Germany.
As soon as I got home, I did some research and here is what I found out:
BOBBY KOLADE 101
- The 26-year-old designer hails from Weißensee Kunsthochschuler, he recently debuted his 26-look collection, “Things Fall Apart“ at the WYE in Berlin.
Ps Loooove the title, as it takes me back to the similar named TV show which I used to watch as a child in Port-Harcourt. I must have been about 8 or 9, and I still remember the theme song!
- Things Fall Apart is both the name and the concept of his collection, and originates from Ugandan and Japanese traditions. In a recent interview he said, “Certain pieces weren’t perfect when fitting, but instead of just discarding them, I reworked them into the collection. The same with the bark cloth, as it comes with tears that have to be stitched together.”
- The designer references his African upbringing in his collection by inserting bark cloth into his debut collection. The fabric, made from the bark of a fig tree was added to UNESCO’s list of intangible Cultural Heritage in 2008 and is the oldest textile known to mankind.
- Kolade interned at power brands, Margiela and Balenciaga which he claims had a strong influence in shaping who he became as a designer. The experience also allowed him to return to Berlin with a new set of eyes and understanding of the fashion world that now inform his work and business.
- He won Fist Prize in the fashion contest, Start Your Fashion Business which was organized by the state initiative Project Future. He was awarded 25,000 euros in prize money with his debut collection “Things Fall Apart”.
- For the debut show of his collection, models of all races walked down the runway dressed in tailored wool suits, loosely fitted bark cloth coats and skirts with undone belts and collars, baby blue teddy sweaters with gaping shoulders, flaired trousers with slits up the shin, and deconstructed silk dresses.
- Press agency, Silk Relations (Berlin) now stock his pieces.
Now he is on my radar, I look forward to working with more of his pieces and meeting the man himself very soon.