Labrum, the London-based British African heritage fashion brand telling “the untold story of West Africa to help bridge the gap between western and West African cultures” has collaborated with the National Sports Authority Sierra Leone (NSASL), to design the official 2021 Olympics kit.
The collection has launched with a campaign shot by Rafael Pavarotti and styled by Ib Kamara, with an accompanying short film created by Harry Deadman which also features stills by Ash Narod. Together, these components hone in on the power of sport as well as paying tribute to Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital and the birthplace of Labrum’s founder Foday Dumbuya. Further celebrating the country and its talent, all of the models and actors were scouted from St Edward’s and St Joseph’s Secondary Schools.
The kits, which will also be worn by several national sports teams, are inspired by the Sierra Leonean flag and feature a “vivid colour palette of green and blue.” This palette is then utilised in two leading designs; the first featuring an interlocking L (for Labrum) with an S (for Sierra Leone), the second paying homage to the heterogeneous ethnic groups of Sierra Leone through 16 zigzags, one for each tribe. The designs were created by Dumbuya alongside London-based agency Rosie Lee Creative.
Dumbuya says of the project: “The concept behind the print was born from a desire to depict the power that sport has in uniting people together. Hence it was imperative for me to ensure the kit represents all 16 tribes of Sierra Leone. I believe tribes build a nation and a nation builds its people.”
This kind of celebration and empowerment of culture through sport is part of Labrum’s heritage as a brand, with Dumbuya establishing the Freetown charity King Naimbana II Foundation. Initiated in 2016, the charity funds education for underprivileged kids and provides children with running shoes, apparel and a training coach to help them realise their dreams of becoming athletes.
The entire project has been supported by Converse, who funded Dumbuya’s trips back to his hometown for the campaign which is where local tribes inspired the kit’s design, alongside co-creative director and poet Julianknxx.
The collection launches on 25 June and will be available via Labrum’s website.
GalleryLabrum x NSASL. Shot by Rafael Pavarotti and styled by Ib Kamara
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