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Pan African Fashion: BIIO is ready to thrive in the new era of fashion

We were all excited about warmer weather at the beginning of the year. We were looking forward to wearing our favorite looks while we went out sipping mimosas at Sunday brunch or having coffee with friends until we were all hit with this global pandemic. Fashion designers going to their studio & working were once the norm, but now design teams are adapting to a new, remote reality.

Before Covid-19 sent the world into lockdown, this emerging designer Biio from Ghana, put together his campaign containing the most important citation material for his debut collection — color charts, fabric & detailed printouts — to ensure that we're still home having that zoom call, or playing games with our love ones. His Fall/Winter 20-21 collection for the next season explores the two-tone aesthetic of Ghanaian school uniforms coupled with embroidered art that features the iconic ‘graduate portrait’ that is found on exercise books used in primary school. At the tail end of the programming story, there still remains a common goal for the mind of a new generation: to unlearn, break from the programming and love who we are. Which has and will always be the core ethos of the brand. The collection titled ‘’ THE PROGRAMMING: A MANIFESTO’

He mentioned “Growing up, every time he tried to question why he had to act and think in a very programmed manner, the answer was ‘It’s always been that way’. An answer I’ve never given in to because I believe every programmed action or thought process must have a source. His debut collection ‘The Programming’ takes a look at one of those sources, School. With a modern spin on School uniforms, the collection explores the concept of freedom in the tools that were used to stifle our individuality during our forming stages. Including having our intelligence weighed on a scale of 1 to who could regurgitate word for word, ‘What is Photosynthesis.

In 2012, with a thread, needle, and some scrap print from my mother’s fabric collection, the first BIIO garment was assembled in our living room that I’d turn into a workshop. A few amateur running stitches, a Facebook post, and 2 likes later, the concept of BIIO was born. As an introverted 17-year-old with speech issues, expressing myself had always been a struggle. But on that day I made my first garment, I found the voice I needed to question the status quo I grew up on. 9 years down the line and a brand launch later, the vision has stayed the same. To share stories that constantly challenge our programming and cause our audience to unlearn and reprogram their minds.

The BIIO aesthetic stems from a love of sportswear and elements of couture (echoing a sense of juxtaposition) married with the art of deconstruction to create pieces that empower the wearer to always be disruptive in the most positive way. Every BIIO piece is crafted in a way that gives the woman room to reinvent the garment through mechanisms embedded in them, reminding her to constantly evolve and disrupt with every wear.

WATCH: The BIIO Fall/Winter 2020 Campaign here.

Words by Ekow Barnes

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