Omar Afridi: Unveiling the Inspiration Behind the Spring/Summer 2024 Collection
Omar Afridi, the emerging fashion brand making waves in recent years, has captured the attention of readers and style enthusiasts alike. Helmed by designer Hayate Ichimori and creative director Jun Kikuta, the brand has been hailed for its unique aesthetic and innovative designs. In an exclusive interview with Hypebeast back in April, the duo discussed their creative process and vision for the future. Now, six months later, they are back with their highly anticipated Spring/Summer 2024 collection.
For this collection, Ichimori and Kikuta reveal that the theme is “Ambient Scale,” which builds upon the direction set in their previous Autumn/Winter 2023 series. Drawing inspiration from grayscale photography, the designers explore the tones and textures of gray, incorporating the brand’s signature color, brown, as well. They aim to challenge the traditional approach to color by experimenting with different shades of gray and mixing it with brown to create a unique visual styling.
Among the key designs showcased in the collection are the Blazer, Shirt, Mesh Cargo Pants, and Skirt. The Blazer features an inverted triangle arrangement of metal buttons, showcasing the brand’s commitment to using hardware as a form of visual expression. The Shirt, on the other hand, boasts subtle variations in silhouette, fabric arrangement, and details such as snap buttons, zippers, and pocket configurations. By incorporating sportswear fabrics, the designers aim to convey a more relaxed and casual style.
The Mesh Cargo Pants, a standout piece in the collection, showcases the brand’s experimentation with materials. While rarely used in men’s clothing, the stiff fabric of these pants offers a three-dimensional quality that is both interesting and versatile. Finally, the Skirt highlights the brand’s departure from traditional designs, featuring rounded outlines and a unique silhouette. The designers believe that men’s skirts have the potential to be a major trend, introducing new styles and variations to the market.
Despite being headquartered in the UK, Omar Afridi has a deep appreciation for Japanese fabrics and production. With each visit to Japan, the team makes it a point to explore local fabric dealers and production factories. The quality and craftsmanship of Japanese clothing production are highly regarded by the brand. Additionally, the designers take inspiration from the abundance of vintage shops and boutiques in Japan, incorporating elements of Japanese culture into their designs.
When asked about their favorite Japanese stores and attractions, Ichimori recommends Kyoto for its rich history and food culture. While Tokyo may be more intriguing in terms of fashion, Kyoto offers a unique blend of taste and artistic background. Ichimori highlights Kazu, a hidden gem of a bar in Kyoto, known for its candlelit ambiance and sense of community among its diverse clientele.
The multicultural background of the brand, with a Japanese design team, an Arab boss, and a diverse group of sewing staff from Bangladesh and the Netherlands, is a testament to their commitment to creating a community culture. Collaboration with friends and artists from around the world further reinforces their belief in the power of cultural exchange and integration.
As Omar Afridi continues to gain recognition in the fashion industry, their Spring/Summer 2024 collection showcases their commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries. With their unique blend of colors, textures, and silhouettes, the brand is poised to leave a lasting impression on the fashion world.