‘We are here, and this is who we are, ehn!’

Maki Oh is a Nigerian womenswear brand that creates a perfect melange between traditional motives and contemporary techniques. Their focus is to create eye-catching pieces and to view and tell the fashion story through a womanist lens. Maki Oh and modern women are topics that go hand in hand, especially with the new collection ‚Ehn‘.

Maki Oh’s collection ‘ehn’ derives its name from the Nigerian word of multiple dimensions. The word itself is interesting because its complexity is often hidden in its three-letter exterior. Maki Oh believes the word connects to the modern African woman, as she is often misunderstood, despite her best efforts to present a magical aura. The collection is truly a homage to women today as each woman needs to push past the prejudice and create a world that is limitless in terms of her dimensions. With this in mind, Maki Oh created the AW 2016 collection to materialise and pay respect to this everyday resistance.

In this collection, silk chiffons, pearls, and ribbons are all visible as markers of the hyper-feminine expectations society has for black women. In addition to this, the shapes and structures of this collection are inspired from traditional Nigerian womenswear which again highlights heritage and pride. The colours in this collection remind us of the Nigerian landscapes, featuring lush greens, and earth tones. Nevertheless, we are quickly reminded of the boldness and confidence in culture – this materialises through the bursts of pastels. Furthermore, the use of the traditional Yoruba adire print of ‘inner eyes’ again emphasises the need for realisation and self-reflection.

In terms of Accessories; Maki Oh collaborated with Nigerian accessory brand, Zashadu to create handmade bags to finalise and complete the look and theme of Maki Oh and Modern Women. The underlying ideas in the bags were there to echo themes of knowing and sight. The bags in connection to the garments create a complexity and unity between the collection and the individual pieces.

Photography by Sushi Oh