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19-Year-Old Taofeek Abijako Makes History as the Youngest Designer To Present at Men’s NYFW

The Nigerian designer showed his SS19 collection, ‘Genesis,’ which nods to 1970s afrofuturism and West African youth culture.

 

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, PasumaLagbaja—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:

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