Kenneth Ize Fall 2020 Ready to Wear at Paris Fashion Week
Kenneth Ize made his official debut at Paris Fashion Week tonight, though his eponymous label has been making waves on the international circuit for the past few seasons. The Austrian-Nigerian designer was an LVMH prize finalist this past September having first caught the world’s attention at Lagos Fashion Week a few months prior.
Images of Naomi Campbell and Imaan Hammam striding down Ize’s runway in his signature handwoven checks, a traditional Nigerian fabric known as Asoke, caused something of a global social media frenzy.
Both women were present at the show this evening Hammam opened, while Campbell closed what was a truly impressive first outing for Ize. The designer is best known for his men’s tailoring, though he kicked things off on a distinctly feminine note with a quilted striped mini skirt and matching funnel neck zippered jacket.
Ize tends to work best in an androgynous zone, however, and his strongest moments were shaped by a workwear influence think, carpenter pants spun from silk and fringed at the hem. Adwoa Aboah looked especially striking in one of his new quilted boiler suits.
Ize has been working with a small circle of Asoke weavers in Nigeria with the hopes of preserving the centuries-old craft from the brink of extinction. For fall, he expanded on that commitment to local artisanship by collaborating with Austrian lace-makers in Vienna where he was born and raised.
The green and orange lace tunics and suiting were a nod to Ize’s mother, who, like many West African women, would source Viennese lace to make custom outfits for special occasions. The collection was largely inspired by her meticulous approach to Sunday Best in particular; the devil was in the details here, with matching fringed bucket bags and clutches made in collaboration with Austrian accessories label, Sagan. It’s exquisite transcultural fashion experiments like these that will put Ize and his heirloom-worthy designs on the map.
This article originally appeared on Vogue