Fruché’s “Ode to Gabo” Collection Is a Tribute to Family and Simplicity
Lagos-based contemporary fashion brand Fruché has unveiled its latest 2023 collection, “Ode to Gabo,” a heartfelt homage to the late father of the brand’s founder and creative director, Frank Aghuno. The collection draws inspiration from Aghuno’s personal journey, childhood memories, and the serene simplicity of village life, creating a deeply meaningful and visually stunning line of clothing.
Aghuno’s father played a pivotal role in shaping his creative career, fostering his early experimentation with fashion. In his preteen years, Aghuno would deconstruct his father’s clothes and his mother’s scarves, using them to craft his own hand-sewn outfits. Instead of scolding him, his father encouraged his creativity, even providing more clothing items for Aghuno to practice on. This formative experience laid the foundation for his future in the fashion industry.
The “Ode to Gabo” collection serves as a touching tribute to Aghuno’s late father, who was affectionately called Gabo, a nickname derived from Gabriel. Gabo passed away in 2021 after battling illness for several years, and his loss profoundly impacted Aghuno and his family. Despite the challenges they faced, Aghuno is grateful for the unwavering emotional support he received from his family, especially during these difficult times.
The inspiration for the collection also draws from the experiences surrounding Gabo’s burial, which took place in the family’s village of Idumuje Unor in the Delta state of Nigeria. Aghuno and his brother would make the journey to the local market on motorcycles, passing through scenic fields where life flourished. Despite his fear of motorcycles, Aghuno found solace in these rides, and the refreshing simplicity of village life left a lasting impression. This simplicity, characterized by the lush greenery, tall grass, farmlands, and raffia, has been beautifully incorporated into the collection’s gender-neutral design elements.
“Ode to Gabo” features the use of suiting and shirting fabrics reminiscent of Gabo’s clothing. Aghuno revisits his childhood practice of crafting garments, creating an array of shirt dresses and suits in a vibrant spectrum of colors, symbolizing inclusivity and diversity. These pieces represent an all-embracing image of love and convey the promise of brighter days ahead.
The collection’s title, “Ode to Gabo”, encapsulates the deep sense of nostalgia and remembrance that inspired it. It’s a tribute to Aghuno’s father’s playful and affectionate nature, symbolized by his unique version of a hug – snapping his fingers with the tips of his children’s ears to elicit laughter. Aghuno fondly remembers his father as an attentive, fun-loving, and kind-hearted man.
The collection also pays homage to Aghuno’s mother, who serves as his eternal muse. The models are styled to resemble her, featuring the wrapped hair, red lips, and nails that she often wore in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Fruché's “Ode to Gabo” collection is a deeply personal and visually captivating tribute to family, simplicity, and the enduring influence of loved ones. It encapsulates the emotional journey of its designer and celebrates the beauty of life’s most cherished memories.
Fruché 2023 “Ode to Gabo”