Our SS17 menswear collection, entitled ‘Okoro’, celebrates the influx of African art that permeated British culture in the late 60s through to the early 80s. From the groundbreaking photography of Malick Sidibé, who documented how Western fashions influenced African teenagers, to the Ethiopian Funk 45s and Cameroonian synth tracks that made an indelible mark on British music, ‘Okoro’ celebrates the cross-pollination of cultural artifacts between Britain and Africa.
Abstract discharge prints, hand stitched embroideries; silk and jacquard are the key textiles in this collection. T-shirts are transformed from staples to hero pieces with intricate beadwork adornments. Muted tones of burnt red and royal blue form a backdrop against which highlights of bright lemon, vibrant orange and dirty pink create a complex and sophisticated colour palette. Key outerwear offerings include raw edged suede jackets, reversible collarless MA1 bombers, and luxe fishtail parkas. Classic YMC silhouettes are present albeit through a filter of African influence. Cropped wide leg chinos, flared jeans and silk boiler suits reference the past but are here distinctly modern, a vital part of Okoro’s amalgamation of influences.
Artisan techniques punctuate the collection with intricate details transforming each garment. Luxe fabrics are reworked to create new textiles; floral jacquard cotton, abstract design linen and crinkled plaid shirting offer new alternatives to traditional Summer fabrics. The collection’s accessories are laden with the kind of idiosyncrasies that have always set YMC apart from everyone else. Tabi toe trainers and traditional fisherman pants are future classics, perfect examples of YMC’s unique approach to menswear. In collaboration with the British Museum and Botswanian artist Ann Gollifer the collection also features t-shirts printed with “Mother Tongue”, an artwork that forms part of the Museum’s Africa collection. This collaboration creates a perfect circle of artistic exchange.