The Designer Exploring African Stories Through Traditional Fabrics
“The idea of my work is to decolonize,” Ms. Ogisi said. “To be colonized is to be barricaded, to be controlled, to not be free; so I do that with textures, gravity, mass, density, lighting, everything possible, to open everybody’s mind to a better and freer world.”
For her spring-summer 2022 collection, “Green Water, Blue Forest,” she collaborated with artisans in Kenya who hand-crocheted recycled plastic and wove together silk, cotton and hemp from Agraloop, a company that produces textile-grade fiber from agricultural waste.
Brightly colored plastic, hemp and cotton, intentionally left raw and unfinished, are central to the 14-look collection, which includes tassel dresses, drawstring waist culottes, hand-woven tunics and recycled PVC bikini tops. Pieces from IAMSIGO cost $234 to $750 and can be purchased through the online marketplace Industrie Africa and other retailers.
Omoyemi Akerele, the founder of Lagos Fashion Week, has followed Ms. Ogisi’s work for over a decade.
“It’s just always been clear since day 1 that she had a considered approach to creating,” Ms. Akerele said. “She had a distinct point of view that always drew you in and invited you to take a deeper and closer look at the inspiration behind the collection.
“So not just what you’re seeing, but the story behind it, where the materials been sourced from, where it came from, the community of people that she’s collaborated with just bring it to life,” she said.