Iniye Tokyo James
Tokyo James is the eponymous brand by British-Nigerian designer Iniye Tokyo James, a creative endeavour he launched to combat stereotypical notions of “African design” and masculinity. Before starting the label, James began his creative career in fashion styling and media, working for various international publications, as well as directing digital campaigns for brands such as Brioni, Issey Miyake and Puma Black Label. He then launched a digital monthly publication, Rough UK—a style, arts and culture digital platform. This foray into editorial led him back to Lagos, where he joined quarterly fashion and lifestyle magazine, MADE, as editor-in-chief, a journey that ultimately led to the birth of the fashion brand that is Tokyo James, debuting at South African Menswear Week in 2015.
Crafted for “modern men who want simplicity with an edge”, James places emphasis on using traditional Nigerian techniques to craft his collections: each piece displays clean lines and a marrying of unusual textiles in crisp, versatile silhouettes which are both comfortable and wearable. Boasting features in publications including The FADER and Elle South Africa, and counting musicians like Burna Boy among their following, James’ fuses traditional European tailoring with elements of streetwear to create a range that is comfortable, wearable, and thoroughly modern. “There is a beauty in balance and as a brand we are rooted in the philosophy of aiming to push the boundaries of tailoring by manipulating its core principles,” James tells American Vogue.
- Mandela Washington Fellowship, Recipient, 2015