Meet the Makers: Pith Africa
Pith is a fashion house birthed from Africa based on timelines and identities of minds all over the world. The idea is to curate clothes of both aesthetic and artistic details which represent the distinctions and unique diversity of tastes, cultures, ideas and personalities in our world. An acute use of textiles, colours and creative outlines within every look made. In this interview we meet the makers and mind behind this innovative fashion African brand.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Akhere : I am Akhere Ojemen, co-founder and C/O of PithAfrica, an accountant and a seasonal writer.
First Half of “A.A”.
Adedayo :I’m Adedayo Laketu.
I’m Co-Founder/Creative Inventor of Baroque Age, a writer, journalist, filmmaker in training and Art Director of Pith Africa.
I form the second half of “AA”, we’re a duo of fashion designers leading the design process for every abstraction in Pith Africa.
Tell us a bit about Pith ?
Akhere : Pith is a fashion house I started with my co-founder Nezodo who acts as the CEO birthed from Africa, Nigeria under the Baroque Age conglomerate. It is somewhat difficult to place a tag on Pith’s aesthetic as I visualize fashion as an evolving body of work susceptible to our dynamic environment. Although I can say Pith fixates on creating new facets on how the fashion narrative can be expressed without being restricted by singular feeling of cultural norms and traditions, especially coming from Africa’s emerging market.
Everyday we ask ourselves: how can we challenge the status quo of creativity in Africa? With this core premise, we set ourselves on a platform that explores creativity in a broader outlook, extending the frontiers of this burgeoning industry and subsequently creating global growth.
It’s an idea aimed at garbing humanity in every distinction of life.
what separates us is the goal of unique diversity of cultures, personalities, tastes and ideas all around the world.
Adedayo : Pith is the cornerstone of African beauty and art, it breathes a freedom to be you in your own skin.
Fashion has always been our most vocal form of art, we clutch clothes to our skin as shields. We want to be protected in us.
Pith is this putter layer we know the world aches for, it’s a fashion house with values of creating havens in aesthetic forms with tasteful garments which all take samples of our perspectives to be garbed in.
Pith is the beginning of a fashion revolution which has begun around the world.
What does Dilly mean?
Akhere: Dilly means remarkable, an ongoing narrative exploring Africans uniqueness in all aspects of life. It represents our first attempt to create. The Internet age brought forth a new wave of African youths,minds exposed to streams of endless information, it shapes our ability to dream, create and explore. It’s about the new generation, what their identity is, the uniqueness that comes in living in our era, taking the little things we stand for and bringing it to a platform using clothes. It reflects a culture defined by self- expression and creative freedom. we want to do a lot more for ourselves, add value, inspire, you can see it through the music, food, art and fashion. We are the remarkable ones; the minds that dream, the minds not trapped by identity, form or state.
We want to reinvent the African aesthetics; we see it as one of freedom, freedom to create.
Adedayo : Dilly is the foundation of why we started making clothes.
It’s the beautification of the Africa we see, the remarkable identities our new age birthed. We’re inspired by our friends, our dreams, ourselves and the growing Africa around us.Dilly is the abstract idea of this, a representation of our African story, a story of our early beginnings. It all begins at home, to understand our different identities, to break our limits. Dilly is a call from Africa to the world.
How important is it to you representing African culture in the brand?
Akhere :Africa is the future, ha! don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Africa is a great continent full of riches of wealth, great minds, beautiful personalities,will power and so on. Our cultures, subcultures are enriched with profound ethos of our existence, our stories are yet to be told, our suffering, our resilience in times of great adversities; I always say to Adedayo we have so much to say with the clothes. you see Africa has been scarred, viewed as weak, ugly, unconscious, we have accepted our flaws and now we rise in one voice, we see past what is to define what will be. It is primal that we appreciate our core values, achieve oneness of heart and mind and reflect this conviction in every sublime collection.
We create in Africa, from Africa, to the world. Wearing African garb is pop culture, let’s extend the frontiers of this artistry revolution to the world.
Adedayo :It’s really important, It’s who we are, it’s our identity.
I lived most of my life in Lagos, I’m a Nigerian and it’s my right to wear that on my skin. Being African is a way of life, it’s as subtle as breathing. When we’re working on an abstraction of piece of art, Akhere and I wok without boarders. We don’t try to say, “how can we make sure this is African”, it feels limiting. We’re born in a new age, a generation eager to explore the world through their African ethos.
We create our views cause we know we’re African and no matter what we do, it’s written all over our mind. There’s a culture we’re recreating for our generation of Africa, like Akhere said it’s one of freedom. Freedom to always believe in something more, freedom to be limitless far away from conformed views. Our heritage is beautiful and it’s who we are but it’s not the end of us, being African is a treasure we share with the world via our own personal understanding of how we perceive aesthetics.
To understand the suffering and pain of African, we’re creating clothes which hold this pain bonded with one of hope to change Africa. We’re a fashion house from Africa having a global reach, we want to share our style, our brand, our minds with the world. To do this, we want to harness the beauty of African by immersing ourself in Africa, by having Pith be a truly African brand reflecting ethos and new age identities from different African countries. The content we feel from each African culture and soul pith is immersed in gives us more spirit to showcase in our abstractions.
Did you have any specific cultural reference/inspiration for Dilly?
The black skin is our projection.
We grew up with a black American president, Kanye West & Virgil Alboh, Moonlight.
You also have Africans in Africa creating their own glory, their own beauty.
We have an identity now, we’re becoming our own soul.
Africa is growing and every black skin around the world can feel this wave of consciousness telling us to rise, to create, to innovate, to spark the change. These things are really inspiring, we can create a brand like Pith in our generation cause of the hope we have around us.
The collection juxtaposed in an obvious but subtle way. We used a color palette which complements our black skin with raw aesthetics.
This collection was our free form, our testimony of empowerment to the black culture of the African new age and Africans around the world.
What type of materials goes into the making of the clothes and where do you source these materials?
Akhere: Well, for the first abstraction DILLY I, we used of a range of microsuede Fabric, all fabrics were sourced from local fabric markets here in Nigeria. It took about two weeks of fabric scouting in Lagos, we touched down tejuosho market at yaba, Balogun market and oshodi market. All other raw materials used up in the production process were similarly sourced for locally. We intend to ensure each stage of the production process is actualized on home turf, we believe by doing so we encourage the growth of local artistry/craft and the potential it holds. We initiated work on our next collection and extended the production process to Ibadan, exploring it’s local artistry and creating on its level of craft and taste.
If you had to describe Pith Africa/Dilly in one sentence, what would you say?
Akhere: A move in advance.
Adedayo: “Pith a spark of beauty, a reorientation of the human soul without the boundaries of race or identity with ethos of an African skin creating with an aesthetic love of hope.”