Since launching his label in 2013, Nigeria-born, Barcelona-based designer Wekaforé Jibril has been quietly celebrating Africa’s creative diaspora via his label Wekafore.
For his newly released collection – entitled SPIRIT 002 – Jibril explored the meeting point of primitivity and Afrofuturism. “The complexities of African primitivity remains the underlying motif of all my work,” he tells us. “With the new collection, I wanted to dive a little bit more into the futuristic and functional aspects of 'primitivity' while almost fetishising the idea as a form of self-love and worship.”
The collection itself nods to the 70s-tinged looks that preceded SPIRIT 002, but has more emphasis on Afrofuturistic elements like hoodies printed with ‘SPIRIT’. Elsewhere trousers and harness-esque tops appear made out of a light silk material.
“The previous collection was funkier because I wanted to project some spiritual sensibilities,” says Jibril. “As I go deeper, I want to find new ways of translating that spiritual language and funkiness without depicting a specific era.”
To showcase the collection, the designer enlisted two different photographers to bring the primitive Afrofuture vision to life. Along with the clothed models – who appear wearing the new collection in a studio shoot by Vitalik Melnikov – the images are juxtaposed with nude models photographed by Sendoa Cardoso on the outskirts of Barcelona in a desert-like landscape.
“I realised that a number of people are quite uncomfortable with black African nakedness, but I wanted to normalise it” – Wekaforé Jibril
“I wanted to incite curiosity,” the designer explains. “I realised that a number of people are quite uncomfortable with black African nakedness, but I wanted to normalise it. Initially, I wanted to create a fashion campaign with no clothes, but that would have been too ironic.”
Following the release of the new collection, Jibril will be working on projects beyond the label’s collections. Stay tuned for his new sci-fi film series Spirit & The Machines, coming soon.