Future Classic: Ikiré Jones & The Role of Story In Fashion

From the Ikiré Jones website:

"The things that we make may not be widely accepted as beautiful to everyone, but they will be fiercely embraced as beautiful by a special few. It is for people like you that we work so hard. It is because of dreams like yours, and ours, that we have chosen to brave this path.  It is because we know that someone has to make things better, and that it might as well be us."

Here at AEY Consulting we have not found another brand that embraces that ethos of TXTR quite like Ikiré Jones, a Philadelphia-based menswear brand dedicated to making carefully tailored West African-inspired clothing with a focus on storytelling and political context. 

Ikiré Jones is the endeavor of designer/afrobeat musician/attorney Walé Oyéjidé, and musician/bespoke tailor Sam Hubler -  "two artists with a zeal for creating beautiful things that sit to the left of what has been resignedly accepted as the status quo".

In addition to a bold, stunning approach to menswear, Ikiré Jones understands the role of story in their work. From the Ikiré Jones site: "there is magic in the idea that every item we produce means something; and more importantly, means something different to different people. We strive to give each piece an identity and history of its own. It is our hope that these small pieces of (often-invented) history will give the wearer a story to tell, a place to visit, and a new memory to create."

“[Our clothing line] pays homage to African children all over the world whose lives were tragically shortened by domestic terrorism, disease and by the perils of migration,” the brand’s Nigerian-born creative director Walé Oyéjidé explains. The designer added that the collection’s array of Renaissance-era tapestry-styled silk scarves featuring people of color intends to offer social commentary on Western perceptions of Africa.

October 12, 2015 - Monday's Kick

If anyone is looking for an exercise in humility and hard work (outside of just living life), look no further than entrepreneurship.

If you're a passionate person, and feel numbed by the constraints of 9-5, there are few greater challenges than waking up each day knowing that what you do each day makes/breaks your professional (and personal) reality. 

I did this once before. I worked 80 hr weeks for two years straight. On the verge of burnout I finally took a vacation (three weeks of surfing here). When I returned back to the states, I realized I was done. I had gone too hard for too long and my energy for what I was doing was officially depleted.

Passionate people always want the mountains and so it is no surprise that they burn out in the quest. As my mother once said: "You can't suck the marrow out of the bone every damn day".

My challenge was never the mountains - it has always been the peebles. When you are not minding the peebles you self-destruct.

This week we focus on the peebles - the small, mundane tasks and the necessary stepping stones to long term, sustainable achievement.

Because we're going to get it right this time.



Monday's Kick is kicking it a tad different today.  

Today's feature focuses on our favorite videos from NOWNESS, a site I spend a lot of time with for creative inspiration (as I don't watch TV, my time gets focused here).


October 5, 2015 - Monday's Kick

We're riding one serious energy high coming off an excellent week with three events that had us moving around the rain last week like nobody's business.

A special shout-out to the organizing team at Washington DC Ad Week and a special thanks to Scott Williams, COO of the Newseum, for kindly inviting us to speak. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the event.

Outside of event hopping last week also notable was an epic run-in with some carrot cake (the tuna here was amazing).  We'll behave this week.

It is the first week in October and officially Get Organized Week (it's also Eat Country Ham Month). But before we go do either one, it's time for Monday's Kick.




Here we go:

  • Kanye West recently said he wants to be the Creative Director for The Gap. We think he should go here instead. 
  • Design has become the new language of business and the ultimate disruptor. Exploring this theme is "Design Disruptors", a documentary by Invision. 
  • My style, in style. It was just a matter of time.
  • In thinking of brand and texture (AEY's signature approach to brand), it's worth noting Vanessa Friedman's article in the NY Times today on Alexander Wang's final collection for Balenciaga. Writes Ms. Friedman "occupied by his own house back in New York, he never had the time (or took the time, depending on how you want to look at it) to truly learn the Balenciaga catechism. And it’s only when you know it by heart that you can begin to deconstruct it, the better to rewrite it". A lesson for anyone looking to craft a new vision for a brand.
  • The decline of big soda - "the single largest change in the American diet in the last decade". Good news for health, challenging news for soda brands. 
  • Showing hometown love to LaToya Ruby Frazier, the only photographer among this year’s 24 winners of the prestigious MacArthur Genius Grants. From Ms. Frazier's site announcement: "Frazier explores identities of place, race, and family in work that is a hybrid of self-portraiture and social narrative. The crumbling landscape of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a once-thriving steel town, forms the backdrop of her images, which make manifest both the environmental and infrastructural decay caused by postindustrial decline and the lives of those who continue—largely by necessity—to live amongst it."

September 14, 2015 - Monday's Kick

Each Monday we do a round-up of a few things that have caught our eye - part inspiration, part fancy. Getting our tanks full for the week ahead. 

And here we go:

  • When individualism becomes brand - what Kanye West and Nick Wooster can teach brands about texture.
  • A bit dated, but an excellent read. Angela Arendhts providing the 2010 Ball State Commencement.
  • Hank Richardson, a Design Coach at the Portfiolo Center in Atlanta, GA, writes about Lance Wyman, the iconic designer of the 1968 Olympic games. I particularly liked the exploration of design as a moral transaction - applying values through storytelling in design.
  • 10 Intriguing quotes by street artists.
  • And then there is this. Just because.