British-Nigerian designer Tokyo James’ new label Morse explores the intersection between fashion and art.
From Nigerian Afro-fusion singer/songwriter Burna Boy donning a patent black trench coat and red leather pants from the Tokyo James AW19 collection at a concert in Lagos, Nigeria, to the CEO of Chime Group, Udochi Igbokwe, wearing Tokyo James in Forbes magazine, the designer has gained massive traction since the first show of his eponymous label at South African Menswear Week (SAMW) in 2015.
Now Tokyo, whose creative career began as a fashion stylist for a variety of international brands, is launching a new label called Morse. The Morse campaign launch (featured here) was produced by AFRICA IS NOW’s editor Chrisna de Bruyn and the video was directed by Maxime Thaysen.
In terms of the fashion label’s ideology, Tokyo says: ‘With Morse, we’re interested in how fashion plays and intersects with art from various cultures. It also looks at the visual representation of how fashion and various cultures’ art forms meet and how to interpret that into the real modern world. It’s a system of language that communicates visually to the everyday person how societies express themselves and see themselves through art. After all, fashion in and of itself is an art form.’
While traditional techniques, clean lines and wearability are always at the core of his first label, Tokyo James, this year’s menswear show at SAMW will feature ‘a lot of colour and new fabrics’. ‘I’ve used a mixture of fabrics that I’ve never played around with before,’ says Tokyo. ‘There’s a lot of tie-dye, leather and plastics. I hope people like it, it’ll be exciting to see.’
The Tokyo James AW19 SAMW show is at 8pm on 9 February 2019 at the V&A Waterfront. For the full schedule, click here.
PHOTOGRAPHER: HYLTON BOUCHER @HYLTONBOUCHER @ONELEAGUE STYLIST: LOUW KOTZE @LOUW.77
ASSISTANT: BRIGITTE ARNDT
GROOMING: RICHARD WILKINSON @RICHARDPAINT @HEROCREATIVEMANAGEMENT MORSE COLLECTION BY TOKYO JAMES @TOKYOJAMESS PRODUCER: CHRISNA DE BRUYN @CHRISNADEBRUYN @AFRICAISNOWMAGAZINE