Tag Archives: Chinedu Ukabam

Inspiration: Futurustic-Nostalgic Hairstyles in Anticipation of #StylenProfile16

SUPAFRIK’s Creative Director, Chinedu Ukabam, is transforming the bathroom at the Gladstone hotel into anode to Afro-pop art and the distinct aesthetic of barbershops across Africa. He’s one of the featured designers at the hotel’s annual Come Up To My Room design event, where artists are given free reign to transform areas of the hotel into immersive installations. Imagine a (futuristic!) nostalgic alternate dimension dedicated to hair and its capacity to shape, mold, and coiffe identity; his exhibit, “Style and Profile”, is exactly that.

Hair. Wouldn’t it be interesting to look inside the heads of Black men and women and see how our brains respond to a simple mention of the world, or is it just us? Hair is a powerful component in our experience.  Chinedu Ukabam was inspired by the fact that, for many, walking into barbershops provides the opportunity for them to pick an identity—haircuts that promise to turn wearers into Lumumba‘s or Private Eye‘s, or more recently, The Weeknd—and of course, to debate and disseminate today’s hottest topics.

In “Style and Profile”, Ukabam has created a barbershop that takes the shaping of identities very seriously, and very literally. It’s a futuristic comment on the ways in which people have chosen to portray themselves, especially via social media. If hairstyles were all we had before, lighting and angles filter the images we depict today; notwithstanding a stream of selfies reflecting bathroom mirrors and the caricature we most identify with.

Oh, how we see ourselves…

So, while The Lumumba might still be your look of choice, such cuts are an accessory to the multi-dimensional narratives in our virtual timelines.

Chinedu Ukabam’s Style ‘n Profile exhilarates our senses in a captivating installation at the Gladstone Hotel from January 21-24. Below, you have some African pop-cultural references inspiring the themes running across the thread of his art…

Which one is most you? From The Prince to The Flattop, The Executive to Suave, insta-choose the look that is most you! Most true. Most new. most astute.

As we reminisce, isn’t it profound to see the return of old styles and the periods in which they’ve come back? From Lumumba’s iconic part, to the Weeknd’s rather wicked renaissance of the Mini Dread.

Now talk about futuristic nostalgia! Here we have a Rwandan man with an Amasunzu hairstyle circa 1923. What name would you give for this style if it was one of the options in the first image?

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Oh ladies, how varying the styles can be! So much to choose from.

 

Artist Chinedu Ukabam used various pop-culture references as inspiration for his installation.

Come and join us for a once in a lifetime barbershop experience at the Gladstone Hotel from January 21st – 24th. Pre-purchase your tickets at Eventbrite here. Join the conversation online with the hashtag #StylenProfile16.

By: Daniella Kalinda

 

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SUPAFRIK Takes Over Toronto To Kick Off the New Year!

Happy New Year!

We hope your 2016 ring-in was filled with love, laughter, and lots of Afrobeats. On our end, we’ve been quietly working towards getting ready to kick in SUPAFRIK’s 2016 debut, and it’s looking to be a great. We have linked up with some of the marquee institutions in Toronto, and we’re planning on sprinkling contemporary Africana fairy-dust everywhere we go. Keep reading to find out more!

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January 21-24 | Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St. W, Toronto |
‘Style & Profile’ at Come Up to My Room 
SUPAFRIK Founder Chinedu Ukabam has been selected as a featured artist at “Come Up to My Room” at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St W). In case you aren’t familiar, it’s the biggest alternative design festival in Toronto. The hotel invites artists and designers to transform rooms and spaces into a world of their own. Chinedu’s installation, “Style and Profile”, is an ode to Afro-Pop-Art. It is inspired by African barbershops and explores notions of identity in all its seriousness and absurdity. He will be creating original prints and mixed media artwork, and collaborating on some furniture designs with his old friend and man of many woods Gregorio Jimenez. We’re inviting you all to come up to HIS room. PS: The big reception party is on the Saturday 23rd.

Exhibition Admission:
$10 | General admission (per day)
$25 | School groups book tours with lukus@gladstonehotel.com.
$5 | Student day on Jan 22  (with student id)

February 5 | Royal Ontario Museum | Water Carry Me Go @ Royal Ontario Museum Friday Night Live and Kuumba
This one, we’re super excited about! Water Carry Me Go is a fashion-art exhibition featuring seven African and Afro-diasporic designers from Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, UK and of course, Canada. Each designer is creating an avant-garde garment for the show.  The unique exhibit will centre on the theme of water, an element that connects Africa and its Diasporas in a multitude of ways—as a passage, a cause of displacement and the origin of mythology. The show aims to dismantle artificial distinctions between fashion and art.  We could not have done this without the support of TD Bank, Seven Continents, and Honour Carpentry. “Water Carry Me Go” will first debut as a performance art piece with “live” mannequins during the Royal Ontario Museum’s Friday Night Live, before being permanently installed at the Harbourfront Centre’s Architectural Gallery from February 6-12 for their Kuumba festivalLearn more about the artists here!

Exhibition Admission:
ROM Friday Night Live | Tickets can be purchased at this link
Kuumba @ Harbourfront Centre| Admission is free for everyone.

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February 5 | Royal Ontario Museum | GUMBO #4 @FNLROM + Tattoo
GUMBO is back, this time at 2 locations! The ROM will be hosting the 4th edition of the popular GUMBO music series that Chinedu and Wan Luv started last summer. The first party was at Caribana. The last party took us to New Orleans. This time, we’re pulling out all the stops for Carnival time. First, it’ll start it off as a public dance class with renowned choreographers Esie Mensah and Pulga Cesar Muchochoma with music by DJ Revy B to get you up to speed with all the latest dances from Africa and the Caribbean. Then, it’ll morph into an intense Afrobeats/Afrohouse Soca Reggae dance party with Deemaks, Sean Sax, and Donet at Tattoo (567 Queen Street West).

Exhibition Admission:
ROM Friday Night Live | Tickets can be purchased at this link
GUMBO After party | gumbo4.eventbrite.ca

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We’ll be updating you all with more information leading up to the event! Be sure to follow us on Instagram @SUPAFRIK and on Twitter @Chinedesign. If you have any questions, email hawa@SUPAFRIK.com.

 

 

 

SUPAFRIK NOLA! A recap of Pop-Up #8 in New Orleans.

Two weeks ago we went down to New Orleans, Louisiana to set up shop for the eight edition of SUPAFRIK. It was an amazing experience worthy of a few thousand words. Instead here’s a hundred or so pictures instead of New Orleanians experiencing SUPAFRIK and us experiencing New Orleans. SUPAFRIK Weekend was a blast and we are already planning to do it again (join the FB page and stay tuned). To the beautiful people of New Orleans and the village that it took to make this happen: Thank you!

Words by Chinedu Ukabam | Photos by Aden Abebe

The beautiful Joan Mitchell Center where we lived, worked and played for the duration of our trip

The beautiful Joan Mitchell Center where we lived, worked and played for the duration of our trip

Thanks to the students from State University New Orlean's Museum Studies program. They were the best install we could have asked for. Erika Evans, Maya Mathews and Kazim Oyewuwo

Thanks to the students from State University New Orlean’s Museum Studies program. They were the best install we could have asked for. Erika Evans, Maya Mathews and Kazim Oyewuwo

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We passed through a cool event put on by DOPEciety called "Couches". It's like bringing the coolest cutting edge bands into your living room to jam just for you. They transformed the space at PORT beautifully to fit with the theme. A few days later we used this same space to throw our GUMBO dance party.

We passed through a cool event put on by DOPEciety called “Couches”. It’s like bringing the coolest cutting edge bands into your living room to jam just for you. They transformed the space at PORT beautifully to fit with the theme. A few days later we used this same space to throw our GUMBO dance party.

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Recap: SUPAFRIK Shhhhhhhh Secret BBQ Party

Moments captured by Taiwo Bah
Words by Chinedu Ukabam

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“Yesterday was the hottest day of the Toronto summer so far. Humidity so thick, the city issued a heat warning that sent people scampering to the nearest air conditioned enclosure. It was the type of heat that would make someone want to throw a trash can through the front window of a pizza parlor. Continue reading

Palattes of Africa returns with a Brazilian “Brunch”… from West Africa with Love

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Now in its third installation after its sold-out debuts in Toronto(2012) and Paris(2013) , Palattes of Africa is a unique food meets art event spearheaded by fashion designer, curator and food lover, Chinedu Ukabam in collaboration with a rotating cast of burgeoning young chefs and artists. Palattes is presented in the form of a pop-up restaurant and explores West African cuisine by showcasing traditional African dishes as well as original “Afro-fusion” takes on the familiar (think Jollof Rice “Sushi” rolls stuffed with jerked catfish). Equal parts history and culinary art, Palattes aims to delight the senses while engaging the intellect. The proliferation of international cuisine in cosmopolitan cities means that the average food enthusiast has at least a passing familiarity with everything from Korean and Caribbean to Mediterranean and Latin American.  However with only a smattering of restaurants scattered outside the core, West African cuisine still remains the final food frontier in Toronto. There are a few deliciously original “discoveries” still left to be made in food and a good number of them are to be found in the cuisine of West Africa, as rich in flavor and texture as it is in symbolism. 

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The third installment in the Palattes series intends to build on the same elements that made the first two successful, whilst honing in on the thematic focus of the event. Neatly dovetailing with the world cup fever thats taking over the city for the next month, Palattes will celebrate the West African roots of Brazilian cuisine and the Brazilian origins of  West African food! Presented in the form of a brunch, the menu developed in collaboration with up and coming chef Lohi Ogolo, will contain elements of a Brazillian breakfast, street food from Ghana and drinks from Senegal. The event will also feature the artwork and contribution of Komi Olaf as well as a SUPAFRIK pop-up shop that will allows visitors to purchase items from the online shop. Seating is with advance tickets only which can be purchased from palattesofafrica.eventbrite.ca 

Date: Sunday June 29th Time: 12noon to 3pm Venue: 952 Queen St West, Toronto (Enter through MOCCA courtyard)

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Masquerade – Multimedia Fashion Presentation and Masked Ball Party

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On February 15, 2013 masked and decorated guests will join to celebrate modern fashion infused with African and Caribbean aesthetics and traditions. Toronto fashion label, Chinedesign presents “Masquerade”; the brand’s second exhibition mixing fashion and art as part of TD’s “Then and Now” Series for Black History Month.

Masquerade as it is performed all over Africa, is a complex and often secret ritual that is interwoven into the religious, political and social fabric of the people. The masks or the masquerade costumes are often believed to represent the spirits of ancestors and local deities. Carnival as it is practiced in the Caribbean and in South America is a mix of European and African notions of Masquerade and is becoming increasingly popular in Africa as well.

“Growing up in Nigeria, I have always been fascinated by Masquerades. I was captivated by the myth, costumes, and entranced by the music.” Shares Chinedu, designer of Chinedesign.

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Taking place simultaneously with popular Carnival celebrations around the globe, the evening will feature a mix of cultural elements beginning with a Diptych digital presentation by Another Africa, depicting the influence of African Masquerade on fashion, photography and art. The Masquerade Collection runway presentation is paired with an original soundtrack composed exclusively by Chinedu, and to celebrate the Carnival festivities a Masked Ball will follow where masks are mandatory until midnight.

The avant-garde “Masquerade” Collection features more than a dozen looks that Chinedu describes as, “designed for the spirits”, including custom designed prints. Each design features unorthodox materials such as cowry shells, woven chains, fringed leather, lace, traditional African indigo fabric, plants and large seeds that are commonly used in West African masquerade. Exquisite headpieces created in collaboration with British Milliner Keiron Vine, complete the style.

“As a fashion designer, my appreciation of masquerade has come to take on another dimension. I am enthralled by the aesthetic and garment technology of the masquerade and I have long nurtured the idea of creating my first “couture” collection, as opposed to “ready to wear”, by deconstructing and remixing elements of masquerade “

The event will take place on Friday February 15th at Daniels Spectrum, located at 585 Dundas Street East, Toronto. Doors open at 9pm and the multimedia fashion presentation will begin at 10pm followed by the Masquerade Ball. The style code is formal or African Traditional and masks are mandatory until midnight. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit www.chinedesign.com/masquerade

Recap: SUPAFRIK #4 [DC Edition]


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Last month, we partnered up with Lunchbox Theory, took the SUPAFRIK pop-up shop/gallery on the road and made our U.S. debut in Washington, D.C. About 300 people passed through Gallery O on H for the Thursday night launch event which included a fashion show featuring Chinedesign’s newest collection: “Marrakesh”, accesories by Ann & Arayata and an initimate acoustic set by Grammy nominated singer/songwriter and DC native Wayna. In addition to the work of Ethiopian-Canadian artist Kalikidan Assefa, the SUPAFRIK gallery also featured the amazing artwork of 11 local artists from DC/Maryland/Virginia area

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We also had an Afro-House Party with DJ Drewcool and a SUPAFRIK special Food Truck by the Fojol Brothers. DC came out in a major way and the event got alot of positive reviews from The Washington Post (Editor’s Pick!)AllThingsFashionDCLSP and bloggers ThatGirlKellieTriflesandTreasures and Heart|Print|Style. It was also listed as the go to event in HuffingtonPostWashingtonCity PaperDCistPrinceofPetworthThe Ravenous Creator, Fashion Dolls Noir and many more. Check out the {{[[video]]}} below by Siobhan Boland for a teaser of what we got up to in DC and check out instagram to experience it through the eyes of the audience.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/52979568 w=500&h=400]

(Special Shout Out to the DMV family discovering SUPAFRIK for the first time! Thanks for welcoming us warmly! If you have not already joined us on facebook please do. We update it more regularly than this blog).

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