In a beautifully shot campaign featuring South Sudanese model Ajak Deng, the rare culture and pastoral society of South Sudan is portrayed through a sophisticated clothing collection by Obakki; a not-for-profit humanitarian organisation headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Drilling water wells in South Sudan provided the inspiration for Obakki’s Fall/Winter 2012 collection, which uses colour, pattern, and texture in the clothes and fabrics as a timeline to telling the country’s dramatic journey to independence. The story begins with the tension and unrest, seen in flashes of bold crimson and dark shadows, running through clashing, fractured patterns; then moving on to the possibility and hope of a new nation, the uncertainty experienced is depicted in a softer muted palette and blurred lines that are starkly contrasted with bolder black and white hues; and finally, as a new nation emerges, joy and harmony are experienced as a hopeful people return to their homes, and so the collection is once again transformed, taking on brighter jewel-toned, celebratory colours.
There is a sense of vulnerability and delicateness about the collection, which echoes the fragility of independence and the start of something new. The design immediately below is inspired by the Dinka Corset, an intricately beaded symbolic garment created by the Dinka tribe and traditionally worn by unmarried men and women. For further information about the Dinka Corset, I covered it in more detail in a previous feature, which can be read here.
[Image credits: Fall/Winter 2012 – Obakki]
Using fashion as a fundraising vehicle, Obakki looks to inspire and engage the modern consumer in addressing the pressing issues that affect the world, and by shopping Obakki’s collections, customers are supporting the company’s water and humanitarian efforts in South Sudan and beyond. Obakki gives 100% of its net profits and all public donations to projects the company operates in areas of greatest need around the world. To ensure the money goes to where it is needed Obakki has total control of their projects from planning, fundraising, execution, and management in the field. Focusing on the provision of basic needs, water food, education Obakki is committed to sustainability that helps communities grow, was founded in 2005 by self-taught fashion designer and philanthropist Treana Peake, who later set-up the Obakki foundation in 2009. Since then the Obakki Foundation has worked to build fifteen schools in Cameroon, provides ongoing support to three orphanages, and built over 300 wells in South Sudan. Partnering with local communities the Obakki Foundation has a dedicated team of four on the ground carrying out the development work, and Treana visits the various projects around five times a year.
…designed for change
Additional information sourced from:
For further information about Obakki and to purchase the current season collection visit: http://obakki.com/