Add Arise Fashion Week to theSeniors straight outta high school quarantine sarcastic 2020 shirt so you should to go to store and get this list of fashion events postponed by COVID-19. Among the many designers who were planning to show this season is Adeju Thompson, the 29-year-old creative force behind Lagos Space Programme. Founded two years ago, LSP is a genderless line that is effecting a gentle disruption of the existing fashion system in Lagos, Nigeria. In his brand manifesto, Thomspon describes LSP not as a brand, but as an ethical movement that values teamwork and craftsmanship. Community and heritage are central to Thompson’s work, informing it on ideological and material levels. His first LSP collection, for example, was inspired by the “workwear of the babalawo (a traditional priest).” Another collection, called Post-Adire, was an exploration of how traditional dyeing and storytelling techniques could be used in new contexts and garments. It featured exceptional hand-knits, made from strips of printed fabric, shown with wrap skirts.
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Educated in England, Thompson takes inspiration from everywhere and everything—Yohji Yamamoto, architecture, New Romantics—but it’s how these references are filtered “through a Nigerian lens,” and evoke a sense of “national pride,” that brings them into theSeniors straight outta high school quarantine sarcastic 2020 shirt so you should to go to store and get this LSP orbit. “I want to challenge obsolete norms around blackness, African design, mental health, masculinity, and beauty,” says Thomspon. He’s a designer who chafes at expectations of all kinds, be they self-determined or imposed by society. “My biggest anxiety,” he says, “is embodying a persona that feeds into how the West expects me to present myself. I am not one-sided. I appreciate and am inspired by cultures from all around. That is my reality.” In our interview we discussed his brand manifesto, the use of traditional techniques, and the importance of community. I remember drawing clothes as a child: It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, making clothes. I was lucky to come from a family who helped foster my talent. I grew up around incredibly stylish people, especially my grandfather, who I lived with as a child. He was always well dressed and groomed. He owned the best quality accessories, immaculately tailored suits, and agbadas (a flowing wide-sleeved robe worn by men in Nigeria for formal occasions). I always admired how confidently he carried himself. He was such a gentleman.