Men in Fashion: Tokyo James, Yusuff Aina’s Visionary Collaboration

by Duke

Iniye Tokyo James, a visionary Nigerian designer and fashion stylist renowned for his distinctive style and compelling visual narratives, embarked on his creative journey after pursuing mathematics in London.

His career blossomed as a fashion stylist directing digital campaigns for international publications. The inception of his brand, Tokyo James, occurred in Lagos, Nigeria, though his artistic pursuits have now led him to establish roots in the United Kingdom.

Yusuff Aina Abogunde, an accomplished Nigerian multidisciplinary artist, employs the unique AINAISM medium, a fusion of creative lines, African patterns, and symbols inspired by the name AINA, denoting a child born with an umbilical cord.

Aina’s ‘Expansion’ collection not only delves into the challenges faced by African artists but also endeavors to reshape perceptions of them. A monumental sculpture crafted by Aina symbolizes resilience and unity, echoing the overarching theme of the collection.

The collaborative synergy between Tokyo James and Yusuff Aina, in partnership with Retro Africa and Dolly Kola, seeks to redefine the identity of artists hailing from the global south.

Drawing inspiration from Aina’s enchanting character, The Eniyan, the collection comes to life through meticulous texture fabrication and technique. Tokyo James, as the creative director, showcases a profound connection to Aina’s work, evident in the creation of a bespoke sculpture for the FW24 collections.

During Milan Fashion Week, the dynamic collaboration between designer Tokyo James and artist Yusuff Aina unfolded in the form of the ‘Expansion’ collection. Curated by Dolly Kola, this partnership epitomizes a burgeoning trend wherein designers collaborate with artists, using fashion as a canvas to narrate compelling stories.

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