Founded in 2015 by Faith Oluwajimi, BLOKE is an artisanal Nigeria brand that is part of the new wave of fashion houses changing the landscape for African talent. BLOKE celebrates the African culture it is borne out of through the use of colour, textiles and craftsmanship of the continent.
Titled “Homecoming of the Masquerade”, the SS22 collection takes us to the designer’s hometown of Ijebu Ode in southwest Nigeria, drawing on the experiences of his formative teenage years spent exploring the cultures and traditions of the town.
Inspired by the Agemo masquerade festival, an annual celebration in honor of the deity Agemo who is thought to be the protector of children, Oluwajimi reimagines the festival’s ceremonial regalia for the modern day. Occurring every summer, the festival features dancers and performers who parade in the streets dressed in elaborate and colorful masked costumes that are meant to invoke ancestral spirits.
To explore folklore, mysticism and antique ancestral traditions within the collection, Oluwajimi employs manufacturing processes that breathe new life into age-old techniques by making use of hand-dyed fabrics, colorful knitwear and hand-embroidered stitches. Models are styled in head-to-toe prints, with their heads under large hats that obscure their faces, recalling the masks of the masquerade festival.
View the video and images from BLOKE’s Spring/Summer 2022 London Fashion Week presentation below. Sign up to receive our email updates to be the first to know when the new collection arrives on The Folklore.
Creative direction: Faith Oluwajimi
Filmmaker: Chukwuka Nwobi
Photography: Jimi Agboola
Models: Dami Oni, Badmus Lawal, Ann Eneanya
Makeup: Lauretta Orji
Styling: Faith Oluwajimi and Abiodun Hassan
Studio Assistant: Luqman Ajani
Soundtrack: “Ijebu” by Chief Ebenezer Obey
Shot and filmed in Ijebu Ode, Nigeria