Meet Kenneth Ize, 29 year old Nigerian designer who’s trending for his Paris Fashion Week debut

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Kenneth Ize who was born in Lagos, has grown to be a formidable designer, and right now he’s making an unforgettable debut at the Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collection.

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On Monday, February 24, 2020, Kenneth Ize made an incredible debut in Paris with top class models like Naomi Campbell, Imaan Hammam, Mayowa Nicholas, Alton Mason, Adwoa Aboah and several others. Ize is not a newbie in the fashion industry.

Ize launched his brand at Lagos Fashion Week in 2013 but took a two-year break to complete a master’s program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in fashion design. He did this under the tutelage of fashion icon, Hussein Chalayan in Austria.

According to Financial Times, Ize had his big breakthrough in January 2019, when he took a risk by exhibiting his menswear collection at a friend’s apartment.

The 29-year-old designer was an LVMH Prize finalist alongside other African designers in 2019. His brand focuses on reinterpreting the Nigerian craft to create an original perspective on luxury production within textile and fashion.

According to his website, “The label is devoted to the long-established traditions of Nigerian craft and local artisanship, merging a new design aesthetic with a specifically local handcraft practice.”

He executed this with the use of ‘aso-oke’ fabric for the Fall 2020 ready-to-wear collection displayed at the Paris Fashion Week. Ize got the inspiration from his last visit to the UNESCO world heritage site in Osun state (Osun-Osogbo Grove), Nigeria.

This concept has attracted several international publications like Vogue, Financial Times and fashion icons like Naomi Campbell. He became more popular when Burna Boy wore one of his design piece at Coachella in 2019.

The most interesting part of this is that he works with Nigerian artisans across, Lagos, Kwara, Osun, and Kogi. These artisans preserve their African heritage by making handwoven ‘aso-oke’ into several conventional pieces.

For this collection, he played with fringes, patterns, bold and bright colours. Ize got everyone’s attention in the hall with this collection.

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