How Bearded Genius Is Changing The Face Of Streetwear In Nigeria
Streetwear is the point where fashion and social impact converge. From the sidewalk to the runway, international streetwear brands such as Hood By Air, Supreme, and Commes des Garçons, are an important facet of youth pop culture.
In Nigeria, streetwear is slowly emerging as a sub-culture which creates a means for people to express individuality and explore ideas that expand the Nigerian experience. The problem most brands face, however, is a lack of originality – it's not really enough for brands to just slap on a 'cool' logo on a t-shirt and produce 500, that is not fashion.
Since its launch, Bearded Genius has been an integral part of Nigeria’s rising streetwear narrative. In recent times, they have become a brand with huge social impact by creating a niche that has significantly changed the way Nigerian men view grooming (God knows they need it).
They’ve done so by introducing male grooming products to their apparel-based brand, which include beard oils, shaving powders and more; adding an extra layer to their value chain and viability as a lasting business.
Streetwear is a fashion movement that is largely influenced by what is happening on the streets and constantly evolves with ever-changing trends.
Bearded Genius definitely tap into this as a part of their brand's expression. From their earlier collections which featured t-shirts with different areas in Lagos as a logo, they recently produced the merchanside for Davido's worldwide tour, 30 Billion Tour, and have since embarked on a collaboration, BGx47, to further push the culture.
The first lot of BGx47 comprises of 'Fela Tees', with the aim to ensure that Nigerian youth recognise the legend that Fela Kuti is.
Speaking with Konbini about the inspiration behind this collection, collaborative designer Ameer47 said:
"We wanted to symbolise the phrase 'legends never die'. My whole idea was to give the youth a different outlook on Nigerian artists and make them look cool.
We all have retro tees from famous brands around the world like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Nirvana etc, and we don't even have our own.
We definitely concentrate too much on what is going on outside of Africa, and it's only right that we started out with Fela who is an internationally acclaimed African artist."
This isn't even all! A new collection also features 'Aso Oke Traxx', which sees an infusion of traditional fabric into everyday wear. Aso oke is usually only worn during special occasions and doesn't really have a place outside of that.
As is, Nigerian fashion is defined by the opulence and glamour of our traditional clothing, which while great, can be limiting. Fashion in Nigeria has become more than a need to cover up, and its time to redefine our identity as a collective – Bearded Genius has definitely carved a niche for this with their 'Aso Oke Traxx'.
Founder, TK said to Konbini:
"Streetwear is a massive part of fashion these days, and we wanted to make something comfortable for the everyday Nigerian, but still influenced by our culture.
The idea behind Aso Oke Traxx is to balance our rich and vibrant culture with western culture whilst still being originally Nigerian, made in Nigeria."
Safe to say it won't be much longer until we won't need to buy clothes from abroad anymore, as long as more brands hone in on this kind of foresight.
We're excited for the release of these new collections, and until then you can shop pieces from their previous collections here. They are currently holding a Movember sale with 25% off their latest collection! Don't say we never did anything nice for you guys!
By Damilola Animashaun, published on 14/11/2017