Dualism has been a constant theme explored in various forms of art, literature, music, faith, and even fashion. The idea of interacting with two opposing constructs - good and evil, night and day, right and wrong - and exploring their deeper connection is an endless source of inspiration. One look at IAMISIGO’s collections is a clear indication that the well is far from dry.
Bubu Ogisi has quite a contrasting personality herself; for someone who makes beautifully bold statements in her work, she’s quite reserved and doesn’t like to be the centre of attention. “People find it hard to believe sometimes, but I’m not that person,” she says. “People don’t necessarily need to know the face behind a label to enjoy the clothing; most people don’t know who’s behind Prada or Céline. People are in love with the label because of the aesthetics and the branding that’s been made to create a certain look and feel. It’s not really about me as a person, it’s about my vision.”
Bubu’s vision and love for duality has clearly kept the label innovative. Her recent fall/winter collection ‘East of West’ was inspired by the parallels she faced in her youth and took cues from Calamity Jane, a 1950’s Western movie based on a young heroine of the same name who explores her duality, first as a ‘tomboy’ and then as a woman in pursuit of love. The upcoming collection ‘Modern Hunters’ takes inspiration from celebrated history of Ghana, the place where it all started for IAMISIGO as a brand five years ago.
The collection pays homage to “the modern hunter in us” and takes inspiration from the 17th century folktales surrounding an ancient fabric technique called Kente locally known as “nwentoma”, a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan people of Ghana.
“There’s one ancient story behind the ‘nwentoma’ technique that revolves around two hunting brothers, Nana Kuragu and Nana Ameyaw” Bubu explains. “They discovered a spider weaving it’s web. The web grew bigger with each day, and the brothers observes the process and turned it into what we now know as the kente weaving machine.”
The collection also takes inspiration from the culture of hunting as a sport. Many Ghanaian warriors were hunters, including the great Ghanaian female hunting warrior Queen “Yaa Asantewaa” - the same women who led men to fight the British in 1900.
The ‘Modern Hunters’ collection focuses on fabrics and colours that suit the hunter aesthetic. The use of red, for instance, represents the blood of the great Ghanaian ancestry. The fabric thrives primarily on a lot of power athletic mesh and velvet for its sporty looks and 100% cotton for the crisp shredded shirts, all created by Ghanaian weavers to celebrate the culture and reflect the diverse clan of women who wear IAMISIGO.