Post-Imperial: Heritage Nigerian Textiles for the Modern Man
Post-Imperial is one of the brands responsible for cultivating a contemporary aesthetic for the African diaspora within menswear. Founded by Niyi Okuboyejo, a Nigerian/American designer based in Harlem, New York. Born in Lagos and raised in Texas, Niyi studied Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design. Before establishing Post-Imperial in 2012, Niyi worked in both menswear and womenswear for Oscar de la Renta, Patrik Ervell and Yigal Azrouël.
Post-Imperial is a menswear brand with a strong sense of optimism for the future and a focus on color, pattern and process. All Post-Imperial products are treated in Nigeria, focusing on heritage textile techniques using a Yoruban technique called Adire dyeing. According to a GQ feature on Post-Imperial,
It’s a process so old that there are only a few “master dyers” left in all of Nigeria. Much like old Japanese fabric dyeing techniques, Adire leans heavily on the use of indigo, but generally uses a wider variety of pattern and color. Its cultural roots come from traditional Nigerian ceremonies, where cloths are exchanged at weddings, each with a motif that has specific reference and meaning.
The brand, which is constructed the United States, offers a modern interpretation; in addition to the striking colors, Post-Imperial pieces are always recognizable by their frayed edges. In the same GQ article, Niyi reflects on the brand name and meaning,
It’s called Post-Imperial because it’s about the time after old regimes, and creating for today. It’s cool to look at old photos and fantasize, but we should be creating our own images. Twenty years from now, people should look at our time and fantasize about it.
Post-Imperial presents its semi-annual collections in both Paris and New York and is stocked in several stores worldwide. In addition to the apparel, the brand has teamed up with Larose Paris for a collaborative capsule of hats and caps that use Post-Imperial’s textiles for SS16. The brand has been featured in publications such as GQ, Hypebeast, High Snobriety, Complex and OkayAfrica.
Want to learn more? Niyi Okuboyejo will be joining an evening of conversation on sustainability with seven other esteemed fashion brands at the EcoSessions: Fashion x Africa mini-conference on May 2 from 7-10 pm at FIT’s Katie Murphy Amphitheatre. Admission is free and open to all, register here. #fashionxAfrica