Nigerian Designer, Kenneth Makes Official Debut At Paris Fashion Week
Austrian- Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize made his official debut at Paris Fashion Week, after making waves with his label on the international circuit for the past few seasons.
He was an LVMH prize finalist this past September, having first caught the world’s attention at Lagos Fashion Week a few months prior.
Images of Naomi Campbell and Imaan Hammam striding down Ize’s runway in his signature handwoven checks, a traditional Nigerian fabric known as Asoke, caused something of a global social media frenzy.
Kenneth is best known for his men’s tailoring, though he kicked things off on a distinctly feminine note with a quilted striped miniskirt and matching funnel-neck zippered jacket.
He tends to work best in an androgynous zone, however, and his strongest moments were shaped by a workwear influence think carpenter pants spun from silk and fringed at the hem. Adwoa Aboah looked especially striking in one of his new quilted boilersuits.
Ize has been working with a small circle of Asoke weavers in Nigeria with the hopes of preserving the centuries-old craft from the brink of extinction.
For fall, he expanded on that commitment to local artisanship by collaborating with Austrian lace-makers in Vienna where he was born and raised.
The green and orange lace tunics and suiting were a nod to Ize’s mother, who, like many West African women, would source Viennese lace to make custom outfits for special occasions.