Exploring, challenging and subverting widely accepted representations of masculinity across the continent of Africa and beyond, Something Curated takes a closer look at five talented fashion stylists reconsidering the conventional aestheticisation of the male in their work.
In June 2018, trailblazing stylist Ibrahim Kamara joined i-D as fashion editor at large, before being promoted to senior fashion editor in July 2019. Creating arresting visuals imbued with diverse references, the London-based stylist champions equality and freedom of expression through his work, challenging notions of gender. The cultural osmosis present in Kamara’s output is shaped by his formative years; born in Sierra Leone, he grew up in Gambia before moving to London aged 16, where he later studied at Central Saint Martins. Whether he’s styling the youth of Nigeria for Kenzo or working on films with Beyoncé, Kamara’s narratives always uphold a strong sense of cultural and sexual empowerment.
Daniel Obasi is a Nigerian-born art director, stylist and photographer who lives and works and Lagos. His first introduction to the arts was as a graphics design intern at a security company in 2012. While at university, where he studied Language, Obasi found himself developing an interest in the world of fashion and paying special attention to how the society around him perceived gender roles and masculinity. In 2017, Obasi made his first major film and editorial work, Illegal Project on gender non-conforming expressions in an African setting. The project went on to launch his budding career as an artist who questions societal ideals on sexuality, masculinity and gender roles.
Hailing from Nigeria and based in London, KK Obi is a stylist, curator and editor based in London. In 2013 Obi became the fashion editor of Seventh Man Magazine and has styled shoots for names including Crack Magazine and Sang Bleu. In 2017 Obi curated the first manifestation of Boy.Brother.Friend, a portrait series zine celebrating young men who are leading the way in the Black creative community. In 2020, Boy.Brother.Friend returned with an expanded scope, this time as an ambitious biannual publication and digital platform.
An avid collector of fashion magazines as a teenager, burgeoning menswear stylist Olaoluwa Ebiti’s name seems to be popping up everywhere this past year. A graduate of Fashion and Communication from Northumbria University, his work explores nuanced representations of masculinity. “I talk to my mom and her friends about my Nigerian and Yoruba heritage and think of how I can modernise that. I ask them how life was in the 70s especially how they dressed. Their photos influence how I style because for me the high life was the pinnacle of creativity in Nigeria so my styles have Afrofuturism vibes to it. The reason I have the creative vision I have is because I lived in Lagos and then went to the UK, so that has given me a different perspective,” Ebiti explains to The Guardian Nigeria.
Rasharn Agyemang is a creative director hailing from London, with a career spanning styling, photography and fashion design. Having acted as both a stylist and photographer for magazines such as Self Service, Document Journal, LOVE, Interview, Man About Town, V Man, L’Uomo Vogue and The Financial Times, Agyemang boasts a venerable résumé. Following his graduation from University Of The Arts London, Rasharn co-launched the fashion label Jaiden rVa James, which went on to win sponsorship through the initiative Fashion East. Over the last few years Rasharn began experimenting behind the camera and now performs many of his shoots himself. He has shot internationally, recently in both Ghana and Senegal, and has exhibited his work in Paris.
Feature images via @kkobi___, @ibkamara and @olaoluebiti (Left to right)