19-year-old Nigerian designer Taofeek Abijako recently showed his new collection under his brand, Head of State+, at New York Fashion Week: Men’s—making him the youngest designer to do so, Teen Vogue reports.
Abijako’s SS19 collection, Genesis, is his interpretation of Parliament-Funkadelic and Sun Ra’safrofuturism of the 1970s through the lens of West African youth culture. He also continues to pay homage to Fela Kuti, as Head of State+ is named after a song by the afrobeat legend.
This new collection is a constant of Abijako’s vision of his brand.
“I’m a Naija boy so I grew up listening to Fela, Sunny Ade, Fuji music, Pasuma, Lagbaja—pretty much all the 70s music. I also studied studio photography of the 60s and 70s of West African photographers like Malick Sidibé and Sory Sanlé,” he says in an interview with OkayAfrica. ” I think, however, through music, I caught an inspiration to tell an African story of the way we communicate and relate with one another. Nigeria is rough but I think we as people operate with a sense of joy and pride and it carries over in our style.”
Abijako also notes that being a young designer comes with the challenge of constantly proving himself to others—but this history making moment proves he’s well on his way and one to keep a close eye on.
Revisit the full interview here, and take a look at some of the looks from Genesis below: