FELA KUTI x CARHARTT WIP
For Spring/Summer 2019 Carhartt Work In Progress pays homage to the iconic Nigerian musician
To say that Fela Kuti was a musical pioneer would be an understatement, because he was and is so much more for Africa and beyond. While his influence resonates through Africa and the diaspora as one of the continent’s most important musical voices, in Nigeria Kuti is also a cultural and political figurehead who is celebrated to this day. In fact, today the legend and impact of Fela Kuti is more relevant than ever, he is the beating heart of a global resurgence of Afro-beats and -culture. Now Carhartt Work In Progress pays homage to the iconic Nigerian musician with an exclusive Fela Kuti x Carhartt WIP capsule.
In the cultural spirit of today, with the global phenomenon of Afrobeats, one cannot understate how indebted we are to the genius of Fela Kuti. Carhartt WIP’s collection is more than just a tribute, with vividly funky and groovy design, it’s a conscious revival of Kuti’s afro-fusion, an introduction for the music- and fashion-lovers who didn’t know yet: this is the godfather of afropop. Giving credit where it’s due, this is the brand’s largest musical collaboration to date.
“NO DRUGS ALLOWED IN THE SHRINE”
Fela Kuti x Carhartt WIP celebrates the cult figure’s life and music with a full range of tees, shorts and accessories. Energetic and colourful, just like Kuti’s sound, some pieces feature a graphic “FELA” print. Elsewhere, are quotes and references taken from his work. A black long sleeve playfully references Kuti’s song “Expensive Shit” with “PUFF PUFF PASS” emblazoned across the back. While a white tee reads “NO DRUGS ALLOWED IN THE SHRINE”, an iconic phrase inscribed on the entrance of Kuti’s New Afrika Shrine in Nigeria. To accompany the collection the “Live In Detroit 1986” album will also be re-released on vinyl, with a limited 500 copies.
This collaboration strikingly evokes the charisma and magnitude of Fela Kuti, the man who sacrificed everything for his art. It reminds us that his star impacted more than just music, but culture and fashion as well. His memory lives on.
The Fela Kuti collection will be available from April 4th via Carhartt WIP’s website, stores and select retailers.
Words SARAH OSEI