The protestant: SS/21 collection of Ejiro Amos Tafiri
...is a reflection of hope, celebration and reconciled diversity
The happenings of 2020 in Nigeria were pretty unprecedented, especially with the global pandemic and Endsars protest shaking everyone to dark corners. Although 2021 is starting to go smoothly for most people, others are still trying to grasp at the remains of what we have left, as they remain shaken by their own personal experiences. In cases where words fail, fashion has always been a way of telling inspiring, hopeful and expressive stories.
Like every other collection, the SS/21 collection of Ejiro Amos Tafiri, The Protestant, delves into storytelling that reflects hope, celebration and reconciled diversity. “I will always play my part in using my art to tell stories. This collection is a total documentation of the times we live in,” she tells me. “The collection displays our thoughts and feelings of uncertainty. It is a celebration of our past,” she goes on to add.
Ejiro Amos Tafiri, popularly called E.A.T, is an eponymous womenswear label founded by the very talented Ejiro Amos Tafiri. Her story is an all-time familiar one, especially to folks looking to be a part of the Nigerian fashion industry. From gaining a degree in fashion designing at the prestigious Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria, interning with some of Nigeria’s biggest womenswear brands like Tiffany Amber and Zizi Cardow, to attending fashion shows and masterclasses put together by the organizers of Fashion Weeks, E.A.T has set up a really powerful fashion house animated from storytelling and lived experiences. “It may seem as though fashion isn’t deliberate about documenting our times,” she says.
For the SS/21 collection, the brand takes us on a journey to the unprecedented experiences of Nigerians in the year 2020, stemming from the corona virus pandemic, to the time young Nigerians took a stand against police brutality in the country, making the #ENDSARS protest a trendy one. This collection, overwhelmed with prints and well-draped breezy fabrics, is an ode to life and survival. The designs were a careful emblem of thoughtfulness and documentation. Unlike the brands’ regular aesthetics filled with colours and lush, this new collection took a deliberate turn at colour selection and grading. “We were very deliberate with this collection,” she tells me. “We didn’t want to use something too flashy because we understood that people weren’t going out at the time. We also didn’t want to do something too segregated with the times. Hence, we opted for richness, opulence and interests.”
What most people wouldn’t know about this collection is that it was meant to mark the celebration of the brands’ 10th year anniversary in 2020. However, the pandemic struck and there became a purposeful lockdown in Lagos, Nigeria, which started during the mid-times of March, that year. The collection was also to celebrate powerful women across the world, placing in focus, clients in its three retail hubs in Lagos, Abuja and Portharcourt.
According to the official PR statement of the brand;
The Ejiro Amos Tafiri SS/21 is inspired by the course of the year as the pandemic hits. It reflects hope, celebration, and reconciled diversity.
The year has been one full of changes, one that forced us to adapt, and one of stimulated growth. It’s one where we look for the future and know that it will only be what we make it.
I was inspired to create a common ground for all by using intimate moments with each outfit, as they highlight the intricate nature of life while representing the tiniest detail of every event.
The idea was based on nostalgic feelings stemming from the variations of designs. Each outfit takes one on a trip down memory lane, as it hints at details from previous collections.
The collection is therefore celebrating the milestones and adapting to the ever-changing scope of our world today.
Art Direction: @ms.e.a.t
Photography: @Emmanueloyeleke & @eopstudios
Videography: @Eddie_maven for EOPstudios.
Models: @Lizz.usen & @Darchie_1
Set Production: Abolore Shobayo of @Jelosimiartcenter
Make-up Artist: @Casskoncept1