Threads For the Intellect
100% OXOSSI, Protectors of The People
Photo shoots, no matter how bohemian or leisurely they look, are typically not. There’s a makeup artist rearranging the features of model. A photographer tinkering with his camera, moving lights to achieve the perfect shot. It’s a process, and normally the only thing that’s pretty and whimsical is the finished product. But not this sunny Sunday in Atlanta. As gentle and easygoing as the breeze that’s making a home in Leon Dale’s apartment, the models walk in one by one. They’re quintessential “everyday people”. I am pleasantly surprised – not to mention intrigued – to see their bare faces uniquely made up of only their God-given characteristics. I soon learned that this is what the OXOSSI clothing line is all about; accepting and embracing who we are as individuals.
“OXOSSI stands for protector of the people. It’s more or less of an intellectual revolution,” explains designer, Atu Nii-Owoo. His zeal goes beyond gushing over fabrics and cuts. OXOSSI is not just about pretty patterns. It has a point.
“Our shirts are a silent protest. You are what you wear. People can look at your clothing and decide a lot about you. Versus talking about it, you can wear a statement that you feel strongly about. I’m an artist, and I felt like fashion was our best medium to get our expressions out,” he adds on.
The brand currently houses T-shirts and hats, but they’ll soon be expanding their fashion offerings, along with their message. “Our mission is to remedy the glorification of the negative aspects of our world culture,” fellow designer Tai Rotan explains. The OXOSSI collection incites hope and intellect through its display of iconic characters such as Huey P. Newton, Dizzy Gillespie, and Oxossi’s emblem, which showcases words like freedom, peace and love enclosed in Africa’s country outline.
Similar to the unity-embracing aesthetics of the United Colors of Benetton, Atu reaffirms he and his partner’s dedication to “inclusion,” in an industry that looks down on lower economic on-lookers. “We’re trying to merge into the middle tier where we’re not excluding anybody. It’s not just Black, it’s not just White. We tried to make our clothing attainable because we’re trying to merge substance with fashion.”
Like, most of us in a post-Obama era, Tai reveals that long before our charismatic president resurrected change, OXOSSI was already employing the principles that drove his campaign. “We push ourselves and those around us to be better, which is in alignment with Obama’s campaign strategy. Another element would be President Obama’s use of positive affirmations – Yes we can – which is a cornerstone of OXOSSI ‘s ideologies.”
Void of a materialistic motive, one might contend that designers Tai Rotan and Atu Nii-Owoo place more importance in statements, than style. Not true. The collection is impressive to say the least. It’s unmistakably eclectic and slips easily into the uptown girl or skater boy’s closet. Filled with vibrant colors and eye-catching designs, OXOSSI leaves a lingering desire to know more about the intent behind the threads. Mission accomplished.
Posted in Fashion
and tagged with atlanta
. RSS 2.0