The Amalgamation of ABAGA VELLI
Sprezza, Street elegance and Diaspora are just a few words that can be used to describe cult label ABAGA VELLI.
In about three years, the London-based brand has cultivated a following but, more importantly, a community that understands the specific culture around the brand. In June, ABAGA VELLI made their London Fashion Week debut with their first collection: COUP 001 – All Road Lead To The Horn (ARLTTH). As with all of the label’s endeavours, its inaugural presentation was unconventional; there was no show. Instead, the clothes were presented in a showroom in Brick Lane, amongst a decaying flower arrangement and furniture and shoes designed by the brand’s Creative Director Adémidé Udoma.
ABAGA VELLI’s power lies in its emotive communication, which is distilled into various expressions. Right now, the most prominent element of the brand is the clothing which is depicted meticulously in photo editorials and fashion films. The brand first came onto the scene in 2019, very much working towards progress in the public eye, refining its visual codes and tightening its storytelling until it was ready to launch officially on its own terms this year.
Their patience in launching the brand could be seen as an act of rebellion against the established fashion system, which widely still demands speed and working on quick timelines to produce transient designs. All of which are in opposition with the brand’s values, beautifully illustrated in the brand’s logo, which utilises blood orange to signify resistance against a nautical blue that provides a calm contrast.
The designs produced by co-founders Diallo Nehimiah Hasmat-Ali and Adémidé Udoma continue the tenet that things become better with time. In an interview with Native Mag, Udoma mentions that a marker of success for ABAGA VELLI would be if someone who buys their clothes can pass them on to their children and their children’s children, so they eventually become a family heirloom that holds history. This idea is also explored in the materials used in the COUP 001 collection, such as cotton denim, wax cotton and seersucker fabric which are robust and also patina over time. This sentimental motivation is actually forward-thinking, a way to tie the past to the future simply through clothing which can become a form of documentation that timelines what people wore today, in particular, the Diaspora in the UK, who are often under-documented.
The level of critical thought that goes into ABAGA VELLI is evident even in the name as ABAGA stands for Art Brings Access, Grants Ascendance, and the meaning of VELLI is rooted in family and brotherhood.
With these core values, the world is ABAGA VELLI’s for the taking.
COUP 001 (ARLTTH) is projected to be available in stores by early 2023. View the full collection below:
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