Black designers create a stir at Men’s Fashion Week

Renee Minus White | 7/26/2018, 2:11 p.m.
At age 19, Taofeek Abijako, designer of Head of State+, was the youngest designer to hit New York’s recent men’s ...
Spring/summer designs by Romeo Hunte Contributed

At age 19, Taofeek Abijako, designer of Head of State+, was the youngest designer to hit New York’s recent men’s shows. His line created a fashion furor. For spring/summer ’19, his New York-based Head of State+ design company focuses on art, fashion, furniture and product designs. Abijako believes in furthering a philosophy of thoughtful, inconspicuous and honest designs. His work combines a minimalist streetwear approach with social and political commentary.

Although only two years old, the brand has already been featured in top press outlets and sold in some of the world’s most prestigious boutiques, including American Rag Cie, Assembly and United Arrows Japan. During an after-show press interview, Abijako said, “Head of State+ is less of a brand and more of a case study. It’s me digging into my cultural upbringing while trying to have a firm grasp and understanding.” For Men’s Fashion Week, he was the talk of the town.

Romeo Hunte is a contemporary brand that focuses on powerful outerwear. African-American designer Hunte’s vision is to create modern, classic apparel that is luxurious, practical and transitional. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Hunte developed a keen eye for fashion at an early age. His background in personal shopping and editorial styling equipped him with key fundamental design skills, and allowed him to launch and continue the artistic development of his brand, founded in 2012.

His womenswear collections also include unisex pieces. It’s become highly regarded for its balance of femininity and masculinity. Officially, his decision to expand and design a separate menswear line came with tremendous thought. From the looks of this season’s men’s collection, Hunte is right on point. His looks were rugged, rich-looking yet functional. Details were important, including placement of pockets. Jackets looked warm and comfortable with enough puff for street-style statements.

Hunte’s brand strikes a balance between creativity and practicality. He has built a strong celebrity fan base, including stars such as Beyoncé, Zendaya, Victor Cruz, Evan Turner, Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade.