The Nigerian brand founded by nonbinary Yoruba designer Adeju Thompson combines traditional design with modern elements to deconstruct social norms and explore African futures.

Thompson’s brand focuses on craftsmanship and slow fashion. With Lagos Space Program, they want to return to the idea of durable and long-lasting clothing. Infused by African and Japanese elements, the brand offers floor-length wrap skirts paired with shredded knit vests, voluminous Bermuda pants or apron-style tops. As a result of the ongoing exploration of the centuries-old indigo-dyeing technique, Thompson developed a contemporary process they call “post-adire”.

Yoruba masquerades are an important reference for Lagos Space Program. Thompson uses them to draw parallels with their own experiences and play with gender roles and aesthetics. Their latest collection, Project 5: Aṣọ Lànkí, Kí Ató Ki Ènìyàn, which translates to “We greet dress before we greet its wearer”, discussed the ritual significance of clothing through striking pieces like adire print shoes, scarves, and bronze accessories.

Lagos Space Program ‘s quietly radical approach to fashion has allowed them to be shortlisted for the 2021 #LVMH Prize. With their queer ethos and artisanal approach, the brand is breaking down the misconceptions of African fashion.

Image credits

Image 1 : Ola Waxel and Michael Samuel photographed by Ifebusola Oluwafunmilayo S.

Image 2 : Reversible Apron Vest shot by Isabel Koro

Image 3 : Project 5 Post-Adire Gelede Cape Blouse, Photography by Enyeasi K, Model Toby Akinyosoye

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