As numerous well-known names converge in the city of New York, a teenager from Nigeria is currently making headlines with his debut. Taofeek Abijako, who is only 19 years old, has officially broken the record as the youngest designer to ever feature a collection Men’s New York Fashion Week.
Abijako’s brand is called Head of State+, is centered on the concept of Afro-Futurism; which explores the marriage of the culture of Africa with technological fantasy. His point of inspiration, something which he calls genesis – Newsone defines it as a celebration of Afro-futurism “through high-end streetwear garments and …a little 70s nostalgia.”
Abijako used to be a soccer player. He officially began his brand in 2016 when it received attention from Japanese retailer United Arrows. This gave his brand a great deal of exposure, as Abijako’s designs began to appear in publications such as The New York Times Style Magazine.
Abijako has given a statement: “Genesis is the translation of Afro-futurism portrayed by the likes of Parliament-Funkadelic and Sun-Ra through the lens of West African youth culture in the ‘70s and drawing parallels to the modern time.”
To Abijako, the brand is perhaps a deeper foray into his heritage and what it means to him. “I approach Head of State+ as less of a brand and more of a case study. It’s me digging into my cultural upbringing while trying to have a firm grasp and understanding of it.”