Over the last few weeks, Kenzo enchanted the fashion world with images from its campaign titled Unity Is Strength, or Gidi gidi bu ugwu eze. Now the French fashion house has released the short film for the campaign; and simply put, it’s beautiful. Apart from showcasing pieces from Kenzo, the short film builds on the narrative initially created by the images, which were photographed by Ruth Ossai and styled by Ib Kamara. Director Akinola Davies Jr takes us on a journey through Nsukka, Nigeria where the women and men support one another ahead of a beauty pageant. The film, says the director, is an act of celebrating ‘young black Nigerian bodies (by) capturing them celebrating Igbo culture and traditions, showing that beauty is always present when there is a commitment to the celebration of culture.’ The video, like the images, celebrates the youth of Nigeria and their own unique approach to fashion and beauty. The short film also gives us a closer look at some stunning pieces from Kenzo’s summer collection. Jewellery, shoes, skirts and many more vibrant pieces are filmed exquisitely in the beautiful setting of the village.
Ruth Ossai herself is from Nsukka and all the women and men in the photographs and the film were found in and around the town from churches, schools and the marketplace, offering an authentic perspective of life and culture. Unity Is Strength forms part of a project Kenzo is launching: an electronic publication titled Folio. This ezine will be a platform through which the house will explore and explain their various collections. If Unity Is Strength is anything to go by, we have a lot to look forward to from Kenzo. You can view the short film below.