Rigorously embracing the intricate and traditional crafts of the lands that make his heritage designer Kenneth Ize’s rise to international notoriety has everything to do with whence he came. Raised in Austria to Nigerian parents and educated at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna Ize’s fashion education included stints with avant-garde designers Hussein Chalayan and Bernhard Willhelm. Along the way, the designer relocated to Lagos and his embrace of the fine art of the craftsperson became a fundamental dictate of his design work.
His collections showcase handwoven Asoke, and traditional Nigerian fabric, and this season he included the work of Austrian lace-makers whos work is equally nearly a lost art. From his menswear to his woman’s wear and unisex workwear the designers meticulous tailoring and delightful flourishes, like fringed hems, stripes on stripes compositions, color-play, quilting, and fitted knits, are delightfully sunny and vibrant. Recalling African fashion with full reverence, the collection decidedly internationally present. Last February the designer’s first runway show in Paris, for his fall-winter 2020 collection showcased the designer’s international flair and cultural approbations were a ray of brilliant sunshine. Kenneth Ize.