Ibrahim Kamara Debut’s Off-White In Outerspace
Ibrahim Kamara debuted his entirely directed show at Off-White last Thursday in Paris, titled “Lunar Delivery,” I’m still processing the impact this show had on me and this Autumn/Winter 23 season. After being named Creative Director of Off-White in April last year, the world has anticipated his vision for the brand.
Ever since his exhibition in London titled “2026,” in 2017, with photographer Kristin-Lee Moolmans on their interpretation of escapism for Black African masculinity, Ib Kamara’s career has taken the industry on an emotional journey through his genderless styling and poetic way of referencing his culture and experience of growing up in Sierra Leone and London.
From a Central Saint Martins fashion communications graduate to quickly styling editorials and campaigns for brands such as Dior, Stella McCartney, and Burberry, Kamara’s unique perspective eventually led him to his appointment as Editor-in-chief at Dazed magazine.
After working with the late Virgirl Abloh, as a stylist for Off-White for many seasons, it only made sense that Ib Kamara would take the helm as director after Virgil’s passing. This Fall 2023 collection was a powerful display for Off-White that transported its audience to a rocky landscape to the moon.
As models walked around a large mirrored sphere representing the moon, the audience absorbed the golden terrain as models propelled through sand, wearing alien-like looks tailored with refined cuts and highlighted ornateness. The collection included womenswear and menswear that had a sophisticated take on what some may say elevated punk.
Models also wore looks that included leather harnesses and metal-punched holes that repeated from the top of one model’s entire head, emphasizing the female form on another and ending at one more model’s hem that Kamara paired with martian-esque eyewear.
Knitwear was shown in distressed ombré looks, appearing torn in earth-tone colors like yellow, green, orange, and brown, embedded with strings of pearls strategically sewn in place, adding a sense of luxury to even a distressed and ripped garment.
Streetwear was also evident in this collection, as streetwear is a founding pillar of the existence of Off-White, thanks to the great Abloh. Kamara offered varsity jackets with leather trims and metal holes and tailored jackets with harnesses and sneakers. Kamara presented large red cargo pants with extensive pockets, double zippers, and belts with metal clamps.
Regarding the galactic beauty that presented itself, we can credit Isamaya Ffrench, who, for her debut as the brand’s new beauty curator, constructed makeup looks that Ffrench embellished with actual metal pieces and finished with frosty silver hues. Hairstylist, Jawara- who this season has styled for brands such as GCDS, Altuzarra, Heron Preston, and more- created sleeked-back looks comprising braids and other pulled-back styles, in which he incorporated metal pieces styled in a variety of patterns.
The casting was on another planet as well. Models included the great Naomi Campbell and Precious Lee, who wore a silver and black lined turtleneck dress with sewn pockets at the waist and black harness straps going across the chest.
There is so much to take away from this intergalactic collection. From the accessories, immaculate embellishment, and sense of storytelling, Ib Kamara has debuted a collection that not only honors the legacy of Virgil Abloh but marks a new beginning for the brand. He proves streetwear can be dreamy and distant while still opulent, powerful, and wearable.
Look below for the full collection.