Taofeek Abijako is the Nigerian fashion designer who is the talk of New York Men’s Fashion Week this year. And he’s only 19. The talented designer, who moved from Nigeria to the States in 2010, started working on his first Head of State collection last year during high school. He funded it by selling custom-painted Vans online — he met actress Amandla Stenberg who brought the shoes even more attention by promoting them on her social media accounts.
So it’s no surprise that Abijako frequently looks to home when producing his line, which has built a following in Japan. For this season, which marks his debut on the official New York Fashion Week: Men’s schedule, Abijako explored works from West African photographers such as Malick Sidibe, Seydou Keïta and Clic Clac Baby, along with the messages in Fela Kuti’s music.
There are echoes of youth service with concise uniforms made up of denim and track jackets, cargo vests and shirts that were styled with trousers and shorts. He energized the line with a strong color palette — mustard, bright red, baby blue and cream — and subtle graphics. The word disorder is stamped on a pair of pants. Disorder is a running theme of Kuti’s music.