This collection of beautiful Kimonos is just one element of the work by artist Serge Mouangue. Wafrica is the name of his creative project which explores the fusion and juxtaposition of Japanese and West African aesthetics. The original collection was in collaboration with Kururi, a Tokyo-based kimono- maker and was made from 18 African prints sourced in West African markets.
Serge Mouangue was born in Yaounde, Cameroon and grew up in Paris. A designer and innovator, he studied industrial design before designing automobiles for some major manufacturers. He lived and worked in Japan for a number of years and this is when and where the Wafrica concept was born.
Though visually beautiful, the project explores a lot more than just aesthetics and is not meant to be about fashion or clothing. It explores many different ideas about contrast, traditions, globalisation, collaboration, identity and much more. If you would like to know a little bit more about it there are two great sources for information. Serge is interviewed in this OkayAfrica post and there is also a feature in this Japanese Times article.
Also if you speak french, check out the TED talk below!