waf. & ALÁRA RELEASE AFRICAN LOVE FABRIC
INSPIRED BY THE LOVE BETWEEN AFRICAN PEOPLE, CLOTHING, TRADITION AND COMMUNITY
LAGOS, Nigeria – waf. skate company and ALÁRA Lagos have collaborated on designing, retailing, and distributing a fabric to usher in their new campaign, African love, paying homage to the histories and rituals from which our affections and care derive on the continent.
The fabric design is a combination of elements pertaining to African history – a silhouette of bamboo sticks; the scarifications of an Ethiopian, Mursi woman; northerners in Nigeria, and the cassava leaf – alongside hand-drawn logos of waf. and ALÁRA. African Love is a celebration centred around affection between African people, a love previously not recognised or acknowledged by global popular culture. There is a direct correlation between African love and the traditions we practice, as co-founder of waf., Jomi Marcus-Bello puts it:
In Nigeria, we have a uniform for love and togetherness, we call it ‘asoebi’ which directly translates to ‘family clothes’.
Fabric has always been a means of communication and solidarity to [express] things like love to a group of people. In our culture, the culture I understand and have been a part of, looking at the fabric someone is wearing can tell you a lot about who they are and where they come from. So, the reasoning behind this is to continue this tradition and celebrate it as we imagine. It documents to the outside world that across our generation this practice happens on a regular basis. We’re simply highlighting the love between us as a [people].
Historically, fabrics and clothing have existed as sites of self-expression, celebration and unity and carrying on the tradition of looking to ourselves and each other for love and support. Alongside the fabric and apparel comes an expected podcast series in April and event in September to actualise the innate desire to tell stories, that both brands exist upon. Led by a creative impulse to reimagine the aesthetics and feel of love and its future possibilities, the campaign also works to cultivate a space for audiences to experience African talent and creativity as designers from four regions on the continent have been chosen and to create with the fabric and feature on the podcast series.
African Love invites thinkers/speakers — whose thoughts and experiences exist in conversation with African traditions and their socio-political and cultural histories — into African Love’s platforms as spaces to engage, think, feel and share from.
AFRICAN LOVE WILL SHOWCASE A RUN OF MULTIMEDIA EVENTS INCLUDING:
• ‘Fabric Launch’ February – Waf. and ALÁRA have come together to design
and produce fabric celebrating African love. African Love fabric is now available at: www.wafflesncream.com
• ‘African Love Podcast’ April to July – Led by the African Love designers, four in-depth conversations will bring people together to tell stories of the human soul. Although not every story is about romantic love, they are all about the connections that bind people together and the interactions we have with the people we care about, whether they be friends, family, romantic partners, coworkers, or anyone else who has an impact on our lives.
• ‘Lagos Fashion Week Event’ September – An experimental event that completes African Love and (re)imagines aseobi through the friends and family in attendance.
waf. and ALÁRA are brands both rooted in the contemporary present and future, with an approach to creation and curation situated in African culture(s) and its people, looking towards practices of community as sites of reclaiming our histories – histories previously interrupted, spoiled and interpreted by prevailing historical actors, often those who pioneered systemic geopolitical inhumanities or otherwise became dominant forces in society.
Looking towards the future — of fashion, of our continent, of love in Africa and its stories — Reni Folawiyo of ALÁRA speaks about what they imagine to be at stake in (re)imagining what is possible where the African Love campaign
What’s at stake is what’s always at stake.
Who gets to tell the story? Who gets to tell what stories and how do they tell them? How do we make sure a narrative is not thrust upon us? How do we develop our own language of storytelling that is authentic and that can travel?
That’s what’s at stake. It’s about making sure that we can be at the forefront of telling our own stories.
Join the family as they connect the continent through love.
Sign up to purchase a piece of the African Love fabric at: https://www. wafflesncream.com/products/african-love-fabrics
Pick up locations in Lagos, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Tc &Cs apply.
To find out more about African Love check out @Africanlove.co on Instagram and Twitter
WAFFLESNCREAM is Nigeria’s first skateboarding company, serving as the very first hub for skate culture and extreme sports in the West African region. Their aim is to grow the culture of skateboarding within Nigeria, by supporting youth who show talent and interest in the sport. Their flagship store – “Shop” – opened its doors in 2017, serving as a safe space for the Lagos underground scene, where Nigerian youth of different backgrounds congregate – further nurturing this fast-growing subculture.
Donate to the Skate Park Project here: https://www.wafflesncream.com/ pages/skate-park-project
ALÁRA, which means “wondrous performer” in Yoruba, is a fashion, art and lifestyle store owned by Nigerian businesswoman Reni Folawiyo. ALÁRA Lagos is a concept store stocking everything from clothes to arts and accessories in its four-story architectural marvel at Victoria Island. The store features inspirational objects of African origin alongside international design and was designed by global practice Adjaye Associates. It features a peculiar exhibition-style retail space, a restaurant and terrace lounge, and
an art gallery.
Find out more about ALÁRA here: https://www.alaralagos.com
Fabric Composition: 100% Cotton
Fabric Measurement: 92cm x 1m % Cotton