Photo by Eva Losada for www.quintral.com
Designer Kenneth Ize has been busy building, in the most literal sense of the word. While juggling a steadily rising eponymous brand and a recent capsule collection with Karl Lagerfeld, Ize built a textile factory in Ilorin, Nigeria to fill the much-needed weaving development gap he constantly addressed in the past. Bringing the means of production internally meant an investment of resources back into his community, a position that came naturally for the young designer whose colorfully signature aso-oke is a tradition centuries in the making. Bringing back his line to Paris, this season Ize stripped down the elements of his debut last February into the essentials, fitting in the time of COVID, unveiling a presentation that was as personal as it was invigorating. Aligning again with stylist Julia Sarr-Jamois and casting director Julia Lange, model muses Amalia Vairelli, Kukua Williams, Aliet Sarah, and Yilan Hua walked with flowers at their feet through a painted landscape by Maty Biayenda. In the spirit of collaboration, friends creatively pitched in with a designed spiral print by Fadekemi Ogunsanya and jewelry designed by Adesuwa Aighewi and Nicolo Taliani. The cross-cultural exchange resulted in a vivid unveiling focused on elongated tailoring, linear lines, and the not-too-distant future of fashion.