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Watch: this Kenzo film is a vivid take on Nigerian youth

Shot by Akinola Davies Jr and Ruth Ossai, the colourful clip captures a street-cast group of young Nigerians riding motorcycles and getting dressed up

Kenzo’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are no strangers to fashion films – previously working on projects with directors like The Doom Generation’s Gregg Araki and Lemonade’Kahlil Joseph. Their most recent offering is with director Akinola Davies Jr and photographer Ruth Ossai, and is an offshoot of the Kenzo folio project – a new publication produced by the brand to bring their collections to life.

Folio #1, named Gidi Gidi Bụ Ugwu Eze (‘Unity is Strength’), is a celebration of youth in one of Nigeria’s Igbo communities Nsukka. Ossai – who has dual Igbo/Yorkshire heritage – has a special place in her heart for the town. She, like Davies Jr, wanted to use the project to showcase “young black Nigerian bodies, capturing them celebrating Igbo culture and traditions.” Debuting here, the film is in addition to the photographic portfolio shot by Ossai released earlier this month.

Similarly to the bright and vivid images from folio #1, the film showcases a cast picked by Ossai from the churches, schools, and markets of Nsukka getting their hair done, wearing pageant sashes and riding motorcycles around the town – all while wearing Kenzo’s SS17 collection . The added dimension of movement gives the stunning images even more life, helping to relay the overall message “that beauty is always present when there is a commitment to the celebration of a culture.” 

In addition to the photography and film set, there will also be an exhibition held in Kenzo’s London flagship store on from 27th April-10th May, where the first issue of the quarterly publication will be available. The folio series is part of an ongoing project that will explore the story of each collection through the eyes of a number of up-and-coming photographers and filmmakers.

Watch the full ‘Unity is Strength’ film exclusively below, and see more unseen images from Kenzo folio in the gallery above.