Ghanaian afro luxurious fashion brand Boyedoe launched its Spring Summer 23 Collection Wabi Sabi.
The collection was inspired by the ancient Japanese art form of Kintsugi – the art of mending broken objects with gold fillings to give them “golden scars”.
The collection showcased the creative deconstruction and reconstruction of denim around the themes of Sun-Sum (Spirit), Silhouettes, Sustainability, and Sophistication.
The collection featured a range of exquisitely crafted designs with intricate patterns that made a bold and eclectic statement on the acceptance and appreciation of the impermanent, imperfect, and incomplete nature of everything.
We met with the Creative Director of BOYEDOE, David KusiBoye-Doe for an exclusive on his journey as a sustainable fashion designer and the inspiration behind his Wabi SabiCollection.
Can you tell us about this collection and the inspiration behind its creation?
The Wabi Sabi’ – SS23 Collection is inspired by the ancient Japanese artform of Kintsugi –– whereby broken objects are mended with gold fillings, giving them “golden scars.” We have come to believe that one of the things in our lives that make us precious are our imperfections – our struggles, our vulnerabilities, our fears… our scars. This is the core idea that led to the creation of this 40-piece collection of exciting pieces and exclusive new designs.
The crown pieces of the collection feature a dazzling array of garments created with stitched and overlayed pieces of denim that bring the beautiful Kintsugi ‘scars’ to vivid life.
Our desire is for this collection to spark conversations on how cracks in our lives don’t mean one is useless. Surprisingly, it is these seeming cracks that let our light out for others see and celebrate… and this is what makes our new collection perfectly imperfect.
Describe your process for creating your new designs.
I believe that in order to create quality, authentic clothing, there are no shortcuts.
We always begin with the questions of why and how. This then dovetails into pieces that are then inspired by carefully selected themes that touch on pop culture and heritage, with the client at the centre of it all. We also don’t see any virtue in creating clothing or accessories that are not practical.
After verbally conceptualising the design we move on to translating it into rapid sketches that are meant to capture the essence and energy of the ideas without restriction. It is then taken a step further by considering ideas of the garment’s silhouette, practicality, fabric, and colours. Samples are created and vetted before launching into production.
What does imperfection mean to you when creating a design?
Let’s use one of the art masters like Picasso, for example. Picasso was a formally trained artist who moved from the then-modern style of painting to a style similar to the Renaissance and experimented with a lot of other styles. His famous mural, ‘Guernica’, is an examples of what we mean when we at Boyedoe think of imperfection. Boyedoe’s ‘Wabi Sabi’ collection is a conscious rejection of the idea that perfection equals art. To stand out, we need to be relentless in reinventing ourselves and our work and pivoting away from what is seen as trendy or in vogue.
As an emerging sustainable brand, what is a major obstacle you frequently have to overcome when creating or designing new collections?
An obstacle here would be finances. As an emerging brand, the lack of financial muscle to place fabric orders in bulk (such as the smock we use for example) has been frustrating. It results in changes in colour or texture when we ultimately place new orders as the old stock would have run out.
What would you say are the key things that make you a sustainable fashion brand?
As a sustainable fashion brand, we strive to solve not just a global problem but also a local one. Because we create our garments around the themes of deconstruction and reconstruction, we deem it our responsibility to reduce waste and create a sustainable model for the local fashion industry.
This has been showcased prominently in two of our collections: ‘DeÉnim’ and ‘Wabi Sabi’ – where a minimum of 60% of the make-up of our clothes were made from fabrics we recycle with the remaining 40% sourced from our team of artisanal manufacturers in the northern part of Ghana.
Photographer: Nana K Duah (@nanakduah)
Art Direction Nuel Bans (@officialnuelbans)
Makeup: Asare Prince (@thereal_asareprince)
Hair: Hair By Dede
Location: Tunnel Lounge (@tunnelloungeghana)
Production: Debonair Afrik Studios (@debonairafrik.studios)