Buki Akib Menswear Is Modern Art

Buki Akib Menswear Is Modern Art

Buki Akib designs knitwear and accessories for men. She tells stories with her garments, spins lores, passes on history through her textiles. Buki Akib makes nothing short of wearable modern art.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, she moved to London as a child and was talented enough to win a place at the prestigious Central St Martins Art School to study design.

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Buki’s graduate collection was entitled “FELA” after the ubiquitous Nigerian activist and creator of Afrobreat. Her collection was then selected to show at the L’Oreal press show in London.

After her studies, she became an assistant stylist for those bastions of uber-cool, I-D, ABOVE and ZOO. She created her menswear label in 2010 claiming it to be a ‘nostalgic ode’ through art to her experience growing up in Nigeria.

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Buki is well known for combining African textiles such as the Yoruba hand woven Aso-oke with modern materials like silk, linen, and cotton to impressive effects. The outcomes are often unconventional pieces of art which sing back to her heritage yet are firmly placed in modern design. These designs are not for everybody, only the sexy people. Could you wear the outfit below?

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She has now moved the menswear label to an ‘ART’ label giving herself the freedom to combine her love of visual art with her clothing designs and exploring contemporary uses for the traditional textiles she loves, creating usable, wearable art pieces.

Buki says on her website she is looking to explore the golden wonders of the African continent through its tradition, culture and spirituality. “Travelling around the continent is like an open book, one is constantly learning”.

Buki’s work has featured at exhibitions in Frankfurt, New York and London. She has featured in Essential Homme magazine and her accessories were part of the Urban Outfitters Bazzarre Pop store launch in LA.

Buki is now planning to open a textile and artistry studio in Ghana with support from the government in a bid to restart the African textile and art industries.

African Designers: Ilaria Orsini
Photo credit by Ilaria Orsini

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