“There is an essence of a fusion of traditional themes in contemporary ways, casual with informal styles, conservative themes with bold audacious colours and styles. I think these are some of the JZO defining qualities”.
JZO is a Nigerian Menswear brand, founded in 2014, in Kaduna State, by the duo, Joseph O. Ike, and Olamide E. Akindeinde. JZO designs are made from natural fabrics like, cotton, linen and traditional print fabrics which they make themselves. “We are currently on an Adire high, Hahahhaha…we do our traditional print fabrics” says the creative director in a chat with us.
In a world that has not really been able to create a healthy model for how masculinity and feminism can coexist, JZO designs are a light in the tunnel, especially for those coming of age, who might be confused about the new world. “I think the essence of masculinity in the original African context was very much tied to a deep sense of respect and honour for females. And so the idea of being more macho by how much you put a woman down runs contrary to who we are at the core”. Sacrificing only rigidity from the tenets of African masculinity, the Nigerian Menswear brand taps into its understanding of the past and the present, and comes up with designs that attempt to describe an optimistic view of what it means to be a man in modern day Africa. “There is an essence of a fusion of traditional themes in contemporary ways, casual with informal styles, conservative themes with bold audacious colours and styles. I think these are some of the JZO defining qualities”.
Olamide E. Akindeinde was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He has a degree in Biochemistry, from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo state. Joseph O. Ike was also born in Lagos, but grew up in Benin, Edo state, Nigeria. He moved to Florida when he was still in his early teens. Joseph has a degree in Pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Sciences, Philadelphia. In 2007, he moved back home to Nigeria.
The pair met in Lagos and became friends. The partnership that is now JZO came about after the two friends discovered that even though they both had different styles, their differences complimented each other. “Individually, we both have very very different styles, but what we discovered was, when we met each other half way, the outcome was and still is always better, than what either of us imagined”.
JZO’s creative director, Olamide E. Akindeinde, in his SS18 collection for the label titled, Ore Mi, (meaning Friendship in Yoruba) employed a self-expressive artistry that gives an on sight aura of a conscious, detail oriented and purposeful technique on every piece. He was deliberate with the Intentional Raw Hems on some of the pieces; purposeful, with the dual usage of rings as an attachment tool for the cut outs and as part of its aesthetics. The patches of bright colours were Ola’s projection of an open minded modern day African man who can be expressive with his feelings and can still be comfortable in his own skin. “The JZO man is very style conscious, detail oriented, is proud of his heritage, mature, progressive and open minded”
JZO first showcased the “Ore Mi” collection at the LFDW SS18 show. The Nigerian Menswear brand has been featured in have been featured in top National and International Magazines including, GQ South Africa, This Day Style Nigeria, The Guardian, Virgin Atlantic Magazine and so many others.
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