We don’t have an image of this object online yet. V&A Images may have a photograph that we can’t show online, but it may be possible to supply one to you. Email us at vaimages@vam.ac.uk for guidance about fees and timescales, quoting the accession number: T.26-2022
Find out about our images

Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Ensemble

2021 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Lagos-born and based designer Kenneth Ize is known for his innovative use in contemporary fashion design of aṣọ-òkè. Made by the Yoruba, aṣọ-òkè is a hand-woven cloth said to originate from the city of Ibadan in the 15th century. Traditionally made from cotton, dyed in various colours and designs, it is a very prestigious cloth and often worn for special occasions. Ize works with a community of 10-15 weavers at his factory in Ilorin to create aṣọ-òkè for his collections. It takes around 24 hours over the course of a week to weave enough aṣọ-òkè for a jacket.

The Spring/Summer 2021 collection was created during the coronavirus pandemic and various lockdowns while Ize was often working from home in Lagos; much of the design process for the collection was done over WhatsApp with the weavers in Ilorin.

The collection was also a pointed critique of Nigeria’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights, where, at the time of writing in 2022, homosexuality is still punishable with a 14-year prison sentence. Speaking with i-D magazine, Ize remarked: ‘I'm a gay man, and I'm a gay Black designer. Living in Nigeria for the past five years, I feel like I hid this side of myself’. For the collection’s launch in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo, Ize commissioned Maty Biayenda, a Black trans painter, to create a mural during the presentation.

The womenswear ensemble acquired by the V&A is one of the 13 looks created for the collection. It is made from multi-coloured aṣọ-òkè and the dress, designed to be worn over trousers, has a deep fringed hem which is often found in Ize’s collections.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Top
  • Trousers
Materials and techniques
hand-woven aso oke
Brief description
Ensemble, top and trousers, multi-coloured striped aso oke, designed by Kenneth Ize, Lagos, Nigeria, Spring/Summer 2021
Physical description
Sleeveless top with deep fringe from hip to knee. Made from mulitcoloured hand-woven aso oke, woven in stripes.

Trousers in multicoloured striped hand-woven aso oke, high-rise with straight leg.
Production typeReady to wear
Gallery label
Turned into fringed tunic dresses and tailored ensembles, aṣọ-òkè, a handwoven cloth historically produced by the Yoruba, is a staple of Ize’s work. For him, aṣọ-òkè is more than a fabric, it is a national resource and part of Nigeria’s cultural heritage which deserves celebration. V&A, Room 40, Africa Fashion (02/07/2022 - 16/04/2023)
Summary
Lagos-born and based designer Kenneth Ize is known for his innovative use in contemporary fashion design of aṣọ-òkè. Made by the Yoruba, aṣọ-òkè is a hand-woven cloth said to originate from the city of Ibadan in the 15th century. Traditionally made from cotton, dyed in various colours and designs, it is a very prestigious cloth and often worn for special occasions. Ize works with a community of 10-15 weavers at his factory in Ilorin to create aṣọ-òkè for his collections. It takes around 24 hours over the course of a week to weave enough aṣọ-òkè for a jacket.

The Spring/Summer 2021 collection was created during the coronavirus pandemic and various lockdowns while Ize was often working from home in Lagos; much of the design process for the collection was done over WhatsApp with the weavers in Ilorin.

The collection was also a pointed critique of Nigeria’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights, where, at the time of writing in 2022, homosexuality is still punishable with a 14-year prison sentence. Speaking with i-D magazine, Ize remarked: ‘I'm a gay man, and I'm a gay Black designer. Living in Nigeria for the past five years, I feel like I hid this side of myself’. For the collection’s launch in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo, Ize commissioned Maty Biayenda, a Black trans painter, to create a mural during the presentation.

The womenswear ensemble acquired by the V&A is one of the 13 looks created for the collection. It is made from multi-coloured aṣọ-òkè and the dress, designed to be worn over trousers, has a deep fringed hem which is often found in Ize’s collections.
Collection
Accession number
T.26-2022

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest feedback

Record createdJanuary 11, 2022
Record URL
Download as: JSON