In 2016, the Nigerian born and multidisciplinary artist Taofeek Abijako launched his brand Head of State (HOS).
The brand focuses on luxury mens streetwear, and was started up while Taofeek was still in high school, at the age of 17.
Source: Office Magazine
The name of the brand stems from the title of a song by the late Nigerian political activist and father of Afrobeat music, Fela Kuti, who Abijako says inspires his designs.
Thanks to his vibrant childhood and multi-cultural upbringing, Abijako developed a curiosity for design very young. Following his father’s footsteps, a classically trained fashion designer in Nigeria, Abijako adopts a modern and youthful approach to fashion. According to the CFDA, HOS “pays homage to his past by celebrating his West African culture through a contemporary perspective”.
His ideas and creations are derived from his own social and political ideas, combining narratives, material study, and historical contexts. All this while conveying his fascination for everyday social relationships in marginalized spaces.
His collections consist of 40 unisex pieces, made out of 80% sustainable materials. These include organic cotton and leather, recycled nylon, polyester, and others. Making use of a cold pad batch dyeing technique, fewer resources are needed than with traditional dyeing methods.
Source: Head of State NY
While starting a luxury streetwear label at the age of 17 is impressive, it doesn’t even come close to how jaw-dropping his brand actually is.
At 19, Taofeek became the youngest designer ever to present a full collection at New York Fashion Week.
Even though he might be young, he’s certainly not afraid to speak his mind. The Nigerian-born designer is using his platform to reinforce meaningful cultural dialogue.
Abijako’s current and second collection, “Johnny Just Come,” carries the name of a Nigerian slang expression used to describe an African migrant who’s new to living in the West.
The brand sells worldwide via the e-commerce on their website. And according to The Spin Off: Its sales also provide funding for various initiatives dedicated to helping underserved communities in the South End of Albany and Lagos, Nigeria to build a more sustainable future through innovation in the education, infrastructure, and sanitation sectors.
Taofeek Abijako is definitely a designer to look out for in the future, and don’t hesitate to check out his webshop and scroll through archives!