The Untold Renaissance of Ikire Jones: The Squares collection SS14


Before coming across Ikire Jones' 'Squares' collection, I had seen the dashingly stylish and striking images of their Spring/Summer '14 collection of on Tumblr. Needless to say, I was mesmerised and blown away by the creativity behind the brand's products and its heritage. Ikire Jones is a US-based menswear tailoring company. Pairing African aesthetics and Neopolitan tailoring, the brand's take on men's style is breathtakingly refreshing and permeated with creativity and purposefulness. Ikire Jones prides itself on 'offering a new perspective through an old lens; a new dialect for an old tongue; an irreverent approach that twists the portrait askew while paying homage to the most classic of canvases–the suit.'

The Untold Renaissance pays homage to 18th century textiles and tapestries while exploring the absence of persons of colour in Medieval and Renaissance-era European art. Borrowing from the sampling method employed in hip hop culture, each reinvented piece tells an original narrative from the perspective of Africans who have been placed in an alien context. Through this reverse lens to the past, the present circumstances of individuals who feel displaced and alienated may also be considered.

As well as paying homage while exploring the absence of persons of colour in Medieval and Renaissance-era European art, the collection also illustrates the history of Catholicism and its relationship and effects in Africa and on the African people. The images though are not divisive, if anything, it's a to a certain extent a beautiful depiction of our human commonalities.  Every figure and element in the design seems to belong, regardless of their juxtapositions in eras. In fulfilling its aim, Ikire Jones through this collection certifiably includes the  omitted narratives of Africans in history - prodding any interested viewer or customer to go unto to seek more...perhaps.


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