Founded in 2019 by Faith Ibrahim, Vrede 919 is an innovative menswear brand named for the Afrikaans (one of South Africa’s eleven official languages) word for ‘peace and tranquility’, as well as an amalgam of numbers and dates personally significant to the Nigerian-born designer. Having moved to the US at 16-years old to study fashion, Ibrahim has long sought to make a statement through the reimagining of African silhouettes & textures; today she works with local artisans to bring that dream to life, powered by a vision of fostering a global community of Africans that are connected to their creativity, inventiveness, and heritage.
While Vrede 919 was first established in Abuja, Nigeria, the brand’s manufacturing base is now based in Los Angeles, California, where Ibrahim lives. There, she conceptualizes and creates the brightly-hued styles the brand has become known for, their twice-annual collections filled with staples that are a confident refinement of casual everyday pieces. “Our man lives bravely in his confidence between beauty and masculinity,” the designer states of the Vrede 919 customer. “Evolved, he inspires others by breaking down masculine cliches, an influence on the Western World.”
In 2021, the brand made its debut on the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Runway 360 program (a digital platform established to enable designers to present every aspect of a collection launch from show and press, to sales and consumer activations) where they unveiled their Fela Kuti-inspired collection of patchwork kaftans, printed shirts, and bell bottom-style trousers.
A self-proclaimed “denim obsessive,” Ibrahim uses a version produced with little to no water for her collections. The textile’s status as one of the most wasteful products in the fashion industry is something she aims to educate her customers about. In addition to sustainably crafting collections of the highest quality, Ibrahim believes in using fashion as a tool to speak on the issues closest to her, especially those connected to her home country, Nigeria. Social initiatives that support children’s education are of particular and high importance to her, something she hopes initiatives like the brand’s 919 Scholars Program that offers career and educational resources to Nigeria’s youth can effectively address.
- Certificate of Appreciation for Sustainability by the Mayor of Los Angeles, 2019