Teddy Ondo Ella wanted to bring a piece of Gabon, his home country in Central Africa, to New York.
“New York is more open to newcomers,” said Ella, an entrepreneur who treats his eponymous line as a passion project. “I was inspired by the energy of the city and how cosmopolitan it is.”
Ella merged the energy of New York with the customs of Gabon. He opened the show with traditional Gabonese dancers, complete with heart-stopping acrobatics and birdlike calls. The spectacle was followed by a vibrant, print-heavy collection.
Ella said he wanted to use prints that connected to his country but weren’t too referential. Silk shirts, denim jackets, tailored pants, shirts and sarongs came covered with motifs ranging from a Gabonese beer label and lemons to cars and village huts.
For his fashion week debut, Ella proved he’s adept with prints and color and diffusing his culture for a global market.
See More From the Men’s 2018 Collections:
Head of State Men’s Spring 2018: Taofeek Abijako, who just turned 19, looked to West African artists for his collection.
Krammer & Stoudt Men’s Spring 2018: The collection had a casual Baja feel but also included a tuxedo for the first time.
Bristol Los Angeles Men’s Spring 2018: The collection offered a unique take on streetwear from the Aughts.
Wood House Men’s Spring 2018: Julian Woodhouse presented a playful collection to escape from the taxing political climate.
David Hart Men’s Spring 2018: The designer referenced Cuba for his retro-themed, colorful collection.