Funmi Couldn't Go To Paris

A collaboration with Temi Kogbe aka "mon cousin" Abidjan based photographer and founder of Afrobeat record label Odion Livingstone. We came up with the concept for this shoot as a way to express longevity and re-use. And ideas of Africa's thriving second hand clothing culture known colloquially as 'bend down selector', where many 'ordinary' Africans buy their clothes came to mind. I wanted a classic shot, without it being a voyeuristic cliché, seeing an old Pokit bag from England being reused on the teeming streets of Lagos in traffic.  I knew Temi's eye would capture it perfectly.

It's a comment on x 5 hand-me-down culture where products from the West are upcycled, down-cycled and recycled, and still going strong, portraying Lagos spirit showing that even in the most challenging circumstances somehow people still find space for creativity and self expression. Whether innocently or deliberate is a matter of debate but it's certainly not done for art directors or the influencers' selfie lense.

The bag was meant to be taken by Funmi in Paris.  It didn't work out that way but there was a hidden poignancy in the title, 'Funmi Couldn't go to Paris' it made me think about fashion in Africa and how countless indigenous talents, the Funmi's, the Bola's and Femi's never make it to Paris but get on perfectly well…..

Photos: Temi Kogbe @livingstonestudio Styling: Leslie Love @leslielove01 Words: Bayode @pokitstyle