Pith Africa, a steadily growing fashion house in Nigeria, is challenging the status quo of creativity in fashion in Africa with the use of textiles, colours and creative outlines. With the intention to “garb humanity in every distinction of life” in minimal, conceptual and quintessentially aesthetics designs, the fashion house is motivated by the goal of unique diversity of cultures, personalities, tastes and ideas all around the world.
Fashion has undoubtedly cemented itself in the burgeoning African industry as a most vocal form of art and expression with help from young individuals who are not afraid to explore and embrace their individuality. The trio behind Pith Africa, the dual-sex fashion house founded in Lagos: creative director Cosmas Ojemen, Head of Operations Emeka Anazodo, and artistic director Adedayo Laketu, are contributing their bit to taking the continent’s fashion industry global.
Using storytelling, as well as working with multiple creatives in Nigeria and Ghana to create fashion films and editorials, PITH Africa is determined in its resolve. The company launched two mini-collections under an ongoing fashion project called ‘Dilly’, the first earlier in 2017 after it began operations in January that same year.
In an interview with Irinajo, Adedayo recalls, “Dilly is the foundation of why we started making clothes. It’s the beautification of the Africa we see, the remarkable identities our new age birthed. We’re inspired by our friends, our dreams, ourselves and the growing Africa around us… Dilly is a call from Africa to the world.”
The mini-collection features pants, tops, an experimental trench coat, and a mini gown which are all made with a brown suede fabric.
“We created this collection to find an identity within ourselves, using a color palette that felt natural in contrast to our melanin skin and designs minimal to the primitive state of things around us,” Cosmas Ojemen says.
“We asked ourselves who we are, making the designs simple but technical in a way that sees African style prevail within the African struggle. We leave a statement that fashion can be a way to find one’s voice within the chaos of life.” All pieces and accessories of their collections are made locally through indigenous tailors and craftsmen who imbibe local skills using the fashion house’s modern view and perspectives.
Dilly 2 is the most recent mini-collection and is centred on ‘Streetwear’, a concept which is slowly diluting the streamlined perception of an Africa of Ankara prints and fabric. The collection features a onesie, skirt, top, cargo-inspired pants, “a knockoff Tee’’, one strap bags, and a mule.
“While developing our second mini-collection through the lens of Virgil Abloh and Demna Gvasalia, streetwear’s transition into high fashion became mainstream, and it sprinkled down to Africa with the birth of African streetwear brands like WafflesNCream and Modus Vivendii,” Ojemen continues.
Inspired by this new direction of fashion fueled with freedom, rawness, and youthful vigor, Pith Africa’s creative director conceptualized his designs around it; infusing zips, raw cuts, pockets, and prints to bring about the company’s own interpretation of streetwear.
The company has its work cut out to build a fashion house inspired by the refreshed understanding of Africa’s diverse and consciously aware millennial generation. “We aspire to create for young Africans who are more exposed now than ever, a generation of African content creators, athletes, developers, creatives, and innovators who are pioneering bound breaking ideas,” Pith Africa writes. “We are people who set out to create clothes by first and foremost engaging our immediate environment in order to understand the layers and emotions being passed across each garb in search of individuality. For now, we are creating clothes to document a timeline of growth and outburst of the creative scene in Nigeria, and to document our growth trajectory as artists.”