Nigerian designer Soji Solarin has released new capsule labelled ‘Golden Boy.’ Determined to proceed with business as usual under lockdown conditions the berlin-based brand has collaborated with CGI artist Zion Koenig to create a digitalised photoshoot depicting ‘isolation in the digital realm’. During lockdown, we have seen a rise in the use of AI within fashion, this time has forced people in the industry to think out of the box and those that have been brave enough to step out into the unknown are being recognised for their innovation.
Born in Nigeria and moving to the US, Soji Solarin’s work speaks to the challenges and questions surrounding his black identity and where he feels he fits in society. Having both American and Nigerian ties, the 26-year-old designer found a split in his identity struggling to understand himself and why things are the way they are. This started his interest in expressing what it means to be black in today’s society through fashion. His collection focuses on simple graphic t-shirts and hoodies that illustrate different ideas on blackness. The campaign for the ‘Golden Boy’ collection illustrates black people doing ordinary things in order to normalise black people as just human beings in an attempt to change the negative stereotypes given to black people over the years due to colonisation, slavery and various other racist systems.
Solarin’s passion for his culture and community is clear through his work, for example, having t-shirts written ‘Africa Rising’ but also speaks openly about voting to create change. Just a few months ago Rihanna made history being the first person to wear a durag on the cover of Vogue, In this issue, Rihana uses her platform to speak on the struggles faced by black people. Rihanna talks about how she has seen different facets of racism living in both the US and the UK she talks about the importance of seeing black culture normalised similarly to Solarin’s work aiming to give light to blackness.
Black culture has so much to offer, yet we have been silenced due to colonisation and the oppression of black people all around the world, designers like Solarin are giving visibility to a culture that has been attempted for centuries to be made invisible.
Check out the collection here