Collection: Ilé Iwé SS23

Ilé ìwé means School in Yoruba. The literal translation is the House of books or studies. 

The collection is a reflection of my time as a student in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, and in other countries around the world, students wear traditional British uniforms to the school every day.
At school, you had to conform to very strict rules.
Girls wore skirts and dresses and men wore trousers, no exceptions. Women had elasticated fake ties and boys learned how to fasten one properly. In a lot of schools, both boys and girls had to have a low cut hairstyle, to keep their hair ‘well groomed and tidy’. Not allowing any other languages other than English on the premises. Using violence to reinforce the rules.
These policies are the legacy of colonialism and still perpetuate racism.

With this capsule collection, I am reimagining the school uniform and exploring the elements within the British uniform, the Nigerian traditional attire and a play on gender. All the while celebrating individuality and diversity.

I have been using dead stock fabrics that I have accumulated over the years which in turn has inspired the direction of this collection.


Photographer: Damilola Emmanuel
Model: Olokunade
Makeup artist: Mélanie Vargas