Isaac Kemdi is an up and coming streetwear brand founded by designers Tubo Adeaga and Okemdi Chukwu. The brand features clothes that incorporate minimalist designs, a carefully curated selection of colour palettes ranging from "baby pink" through to "olive signature", and an authentic and iconic feeling logo. We caught up with designer Tubo Adeaga ahead of the launch of their debut collection, “Sessions”, to uncover the full story behind the brand.
The brand traces its roots back to September 2015 under the umbrella of one of the designer’s sisters’ clothing lines. When we sat down with Tubo, we wanted to know how that process unfolded. He said: “[creating a line] was something we had wanted to do for a while. The way we got started was through family. Kemdi’s sister had a clothing line for women and initially we had wanted to build something under the umbrella of her brand - but to cater to men. We thought we could offer a unique angle by incorporating some feminine elements into male clothing, and I guess it all kicked off from there.”
The working relationship between the duo and Kemdi’s sister eventually led to a natural split, and soon the designers split and Tubo and Kemdi started working independently under the name “Isaac Kemdi” (Tubo's middle name and Okemdi's shortened name). Explaining the decision, Tubo said: “We figured that we wanted to create a unisex brand. We also wanted to find the middle road between streetwear and luxury clothing line, and being independent gave us creative control on our own. Currently we’re focusing on streetwear, and down the line we’ll look to move into luxury”.
That focus on streetwear has led to the release of the duo’s debut collection, called “Sessions”. Speaking about the concept behind the name, Tubo revealed “it was pretty organic. We have a friend who's a photographer, and he was doing a shoot with us and just called it ‘Sessions’. We thought that the name captured what we were doing, and just rolled with it.”
“Sessions is our debut collection. The campaign will be released in bits. Every couple of weeks we’ll drop new pieces. It’s a unique way of doing things because most brands just release all of their clothes for a season at once. We haven’t chosen to go down that route, hopefully it will keep people on their toes in anticipation of when we release each piece”.
It’s a small but determined team at the moment. The brand consists of Tubo, Kemdi and a collection of friends who help verify design ideas, do promotional pushes and design visual campaigns. “The plan is that we’re going to invade your social media", says Tubo.
As for the creative process behind the duo’s designs, Tubo says it’s very instinctual. “Kemdi and I are very random when designing. There are times when I’ll make a design at 1am and I’ll send it to Kemdi and he’ll be like ‘it’s dope’ and we’ll just log it. Some other sessions are planned. We made the hoodies and the T-shirts because we wanted trademark pieces and we worked on them for quite a while. But some of our other pieces such as the tote bags that we just released were very spur of the moment. We had the idea and were just like 'let’s do this'. So it’s very unpredictable. Sometimes it can be as simple as looking at something, liking it and deciding to create our own version of it.”
The duo are following in a lineage of successful brands. Tubo is excited about the level of style in streetwear at the moment. “I’m seeing Adidas gear everywhere. There’s nowhere you don’t see Adidas. People are doing Adidas socks and tracksuit bottoms - and they look great. Another brand that I’m really into right now is Filling Pieces. They came out with some new boots recently, and to be honest I’m loving everything that they do.”
It's a promising start for the brand, and you can cop Isaac Kemdi’s signature pieces here
Credits: Eloka Agu
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