An expert in mustering different ethnic folklores, Junko Shimada gives us an African version of winter. As an ambassador for the Maasaï and Ndebele tribes, she avoids clichés – the khaki safari or shimmering boubous – to promote an African continent, champion of upcycling and queen of repurposing. Junko embraces values and a philosophy of life that resonate both in African culture and in her mind: Humor, Creativity, Freedom, Insubordination and Disruption…
Each silhouette is a jubilant ode to a fashion attitude. She creates a team of cricket players both zany and elegant who dare to wear a soccer sock with fluorescent sandals, mixing vivid tartans with multicolored flower stitches. She presents a gang of sapologists, with their nonchalant chic, layering a smooth velvet hoodie with a colonial jacquard frock coat over lamé pants embroidered with 18th century animal scenes.
Wrapped in a tartan or spotted fur blanket, crowned with a bubble gum colored leather hat with a leopard-pattered lining, they have no fear of the icy cold in the highlands nor of the windy gusts of the suburbs of peoria. A style that defies classification, mixing classic jackets in chestnut or pumpkin leather, basic soft wool coats and warm velvet sportswear under torrents of necklaces and crisp bead embroideries.
Photos by Jesse Greene.
Write up courtesy of Junko Shimada.