What is the modern, divine female aesthetic?
I.AM.ISIGO, the Ghana-, Paris-, Lagos-based womenswear label is on a mission to find out. Founded by Nigerian, Bubu Ogisi in 2009, the label that began as an experiment in fusing African culture with a minimal design aesthetic, has become the flagship of a global conversation and a disruptive force at home and abroad. Influenced by the sleek, head-turning cuts of the Parisian runway and the African story-telling tradition, Ogisi uses textured fabrics and defined silhouettes to tell a modern African story.
Following a rebrand in 2013, I.AM.ISIGO includes clothing art, furniture, and functional design that highlight the connections between architecture, history, identity as well as the designer's own questions about the future. The label is derived from Ogisi’s own surname, which she turned around, added “I AM” to and stylized. Like the name, the line captures the designer’s own struggle with identity and ownership in post-colonial Africa. Recent awards include Young designer of the Year, Finalist, MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week, 2011.
"Coming to terms with our eco-system our plastic in Lagos, which is arguably one of the highest plastic consumers in the world."
For its most reason season, the brand presented a high-concept collection at Paris and Lagos Fashion Weeks dubbed 'Supreme Higher Entity,' an exploration of fabrics through the great African cities: Kampala with Barkcloth, Nairobi with Kikoi and Lagos with recycled PVC. Full of rusted, earthy hues and select high-gloss PVC pieces, the display forces both viewers and wearers to examine femininity through the past, present, and future of the fashion industry and to place it in conversation with sustainability in the African ecosystem.
"We journey through a divine female aesthetic, in a neo-colonial world looking to understand the past, present and future of our emerging fashion industry," comments the brand in a recent post. "Coming to terms with our eco-system our plastic in Lagos, which is arguably one of the highest plastic consumers in the world, we broke it down, recycled and converted it into wearable PVC, exploring a future of garments through plastic waste."
All I.AM.ISIGO textiles are sourced in Africa, with unbleached twill, cotton and recyclable materials at the core of most pieces. The muted color palette is heavily symbolic. Roselle plants dye fabrics pink and honor Mother Earth, deep browns and blacks channel the spirits and weathered fabrics highlight our connection to the past.
- Amber Nicole Alston Amber Nicole Alston is a New York-based beauty and culture writer. Her work frames urban life, fashion, and beauty around specific histories and cultures. In addition to writing, Amber also styles and conceptualizes fashion shoots.