WHAT: SUPAFRIK Pop-Up Shop/Gallery
WHEN: Oct 18th to Oct 21th
WHERE: Gallery O on H, Washington DC
LAUNCH PARTY: Thursday October 18th 6PM -11PM
Last summer, Toronto’s Kensington Market neighborhood played host to the wildly successful first installation of SUPAFRIK at Hotshot Gallery, an experimental “pop-up” concept: part exhibit and part shop. It was featured in TheGrid, NOW Magazine, TorontoLife and blogs like blogto and the Torontoist and attracted over 1500 visitors who came to shop, peruse and participate. SUPAFRIK will feature the works of artists and designers that take inspiration from the African continent. It is curated around the theme of “Urban Contemporary Africana” and will showcase artwork and design that re-contextualize African aesthetics and traditions within a modern framework.
SUPAFRIK is the brainchild of Toronto fashion designer Chinedu Ukabam of the clothing label Chinedesign. Chinedu travelled to New York, Paris and London collecting some of the unique items for sale at SUPAFRIK and documented the journey on the SUPAFRIK blog (www.supafrik.com).
Past featured designers included Chinedesign’s Afrotropolis collection (Toronto/Nigeria) and UK based Chichia London which is ethically manufactured in Tanzania using traditional kanga textiles, exclusive home-ware and fabrics by Shine Shine (Cape Town, South Africa), Made in Africa sneakers by SAWA Shoes (Paris), graphic t’s by Malyka (Toronto) and Africa Is The Future (Paris/Rep of Congo/Togo). The gallery also featured the work of visual artists, some inspired by Maasai patterns and aboriginal “dot art”. A Different Booklist bookstore (Toronto) supplied works from established and new authors from Africa and the Diaspora as well books on African art and culture.
Now in its fourth installation, SUPAFRIK will double as a space for programmed interactive events. These will include DJ sets at the opening party showcasing the Afrobeats (not to be confused with Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat) and Afro-House music that is taking Europe by storm and “Palattes of Africa”, an art-infused foodtasting event to sample Chinedu’s afro-fusion “designer” food menu. There are four main components to the SUPAFRIK pop-up concept: Fashion, Music, Art, Food.
Chinedesign was founded by Chinedu Ukabam. Also known as musician, Eye + Eye, his foray into the fashion scene began with a production of T-shirts to promote the release of his “Love.Life.Music” album. Without any prior fashion industry experience or exposure, the “Love.Life.Music” T-shirt sold over 300 units alone. Today, Chinedesign has expanded from just graphic T’s to a full range of menswear and womenswear that have been sold in boutiques from Toronto to Tokyo. Taking inspiration from his upbringing in Nigeria, the UK, Dubai and Canada, Chinedu has created seasonal collections which have been featured in magazines, and recently on the cover of NOW Magazine with supermodel Stacey McKenzie, on television shows such as Entertainment Tonight, Divas and Dimes and Da Kink and in feature films such as Charles Officer’s “Nurse.Fighter.Boy”. Chinedu recently returned to Toronto after a two-year hiatus in Paris to enhance his knowledge of the fashion business and find new inspiration for his designs.