Local slow fashion brand OliveAnkara makes a green leap forward with AJO AYE ‘21, their first sustainable, Afro-Asian fusion collection for women. Launching on 9 October 2021 at the OliveAnkara showroom in Tiong Bahru and on their web-store oliveankara.com, the Yorùbá phrase translates to ‘Colourful Journey’.
A celebration of founder and designer Ify Ubby’s three cultures and loves – her West African heritage, Italian upbringing, and Asian journey thus far – the 22-piece collection debuts OliveAnkara Original prints on TENCEL™ Lyocell eco-fabrics in ensembles featuring the brand’s iconic silhouettes.
Embark on a colourful journey with OliveAnkara original prints
In continuation of presenting bold styles for the culturally curious, OliveAnkara transcends the boundaries of geographic separation, and embodies the beginning of a brighter dawn and new age with AJO AYE 21. Ideating fusion between vivid styles and colours of Ankara (African wax print fabrics) and elegant Japanese motifs, the collection sees two OliveAnkara Original prints created by Ubby in collaboration with textile designers Hyun-Jin Yoo and Patrizia Bosisio.
A symbol of beauty, the peacock inspires Ewa Naibu (Ewa: beauty in Yorùbá, Naibu: inside in Japanese) with its aura of grace, freedom, love, dignity, and courage. The peacock in West Africa serves as a reminder that nothing should be taken too seriously, to be present and stay centred on what “is”. Underlining the print’s concept of inner beauty, Ewa Naibu draws on seigaiha, a Japanese motif used to illustrate water bodies, signifying the incarnation of the purity and simplicity of life.
Spurred by OliveAnkara’s belief in enjoying beautiful moments of the present, Asa Hana (Asa: cultural in Yorùbá, Hana: blossom in Japanese) is a tale of two flowers, the hibiscus and the ginkgo. The two blooms symbolise the joy of happiness in a marriage, and are associated with fame, glory and wealth. The short-lived hibiscus flower is a metaphor for youth, fame, and beauty, and a nudge to enjoy life in all its aspects despite its ephemerality.
Women blazing their own trails
Marrying modern fashion design with an Italian taste, courtesy of her upbringing in Venice, Ubby deftly combines outdoor sensibilities and indoor glamour. AJO AYE 21 presents 22 pieces tailored to impeccable silhouettes, exuding comfort, freedom and energy. Each piece shines light on feminine icons in history and mythology of Yorùbá and Japan.
Highlights: Beauty, grace and strength is embodied in Moremi Ajsaro, a flowy number in Ewa Naibu named after the legendary Yorùbá queen who is fabled to have liberated the Yoruba kingdom of Ifẹ̀ in the 12th century. The Sakuya-Hime one-shoulder mini dress connects AJO AYE 21 with a goddess of Shinto. Crafted with the Asa Hana print, the sleek, asymmetrical construction comes with tie up strings on the side.
Sustainability and transparency
Last but not least, OliveAnkara expands their commitment to slow fashion with the use of TENCEL™, a colour-rich, durable, and biodegradable fabric made from cellulose in AJO AYE 21. Created with natural wood from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)-certified forests, the Lyocell eco-fabric comes with an internationally recognized EU Ecolabel, which is awarded to products with significantly lower environmental impact throughout its lifecycle.
Digitally printed to minimise water usage, AJO AYE designs are also certified OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 (free from harmful chemicals). Recycled polyester labels, FSC-certified paper for hang tags, reusable boxes and the upcycling leftover fabric are just some of the many steps the label has taken to minimise waste and chemicals.
OliveAnkara is also a member of Nu Cycle, a solutions based waste offset service for neutralising waste impact. At each stage, the waste footprint is assessed, offset and transformed to develop and invest into circle strategies for sustainable resources.