Reviews of the Irun Didi Collections by Kai Collective

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Review: Irun Didi Collection by Kai Collective

 

Born in England and raised in Nigeria, Fisayo Longe, has founded one of the most successful online womenswear brands under her belt. If you haven’t heard of the Kai Collective name being praised on Beyoncé’s Black Parade: Black Brands to support in 2020 you’ve definitely seen it being worn on the likes of Nigerian RnB singers Tiwa Savage, Tems and American rapper Saweetie.

Birthed from a love of collecting fabrics and designing her own pieces, Fisayo the influencer turned creative director weaved elegance and most importantly, originality into her brand name Kai Collective which cheap online vendors, fast fashion companies and established luxury house brands alike have still tried and failed to imitate. The infamous Gaia print being the biggest victim to this. 

Nonetheless the brand style stays iconic with the dedication to well sourced material and fresh designs, the Kai effect continues to breathe confidence into whoever wears it. 

 

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Worn by the likes of Freddie Harrel and recognised as a prospering black owned brand by Beyoncé, The Kai Collective describes themselves with, “a deep passion for women and equality, seeking to create clothing for multi-dimensional women who embrace femininity in all its various forms.” The name Kai reflects this with its various translations including  Navajo; Willow Tree, and in Persian; Universe.

However, out of the many listed translations on the Kai website, the all time favourite for me and I’m sure any Nigerian aunty will agree, is the translation “KAI! A Nigerian form of expression and excitement meaning; Wow”. Which is exactly how I felt about Kai’s latest Irun Didi drop.

“When it comes to elevating the brand I think this does exactly that,” Fisayo declares on the Kai Collective Instagram story on the eve of the release and I couldn’t agree more! The full length dresses silhouetted with thick plaits introduce a new take to the tired cut out clothing fashion trend of 2021 or what some have coined as “BBL fashion” which seems to have taken over our explore pages.

 

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Regardless, Kai Collective elevate themselves above regular Instagram clothing boutiques with their depth of dedication to style, quality and culture. The exploration of the Yoruba word “Irun Didi”  meaning “braided hair” in this collection is so well thought out it literally manifests itself into each piece of clothing, the exaggerated braid depicts the emphasis black women place on their hair, highly politicised yet adorned and accessorised.

I think Kai Collective have nailed it on the head with the creative direction for this collection, the message is so clear and corresponding yet still digestible to those who truly understand. “Braiding style and heritage” into our wardrobes and certainly into our pockets!

Maybe not my student pockets but we can always hope sha. (Hey Auntie Fisayo I wear a size medium xxx). For me it’s the way Nigerian culture is so effortlessly blended into the brand’s house style, truly representing a part of African culture in its most futuristic and stylish form, as a young Nigerian myself it’s very inspiring to see I don’t have to leave part of my culture at the door when trying to get my foot through.

 

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The Imade dress reigns supreme in this collection with her vibrant run of colour from the plaited neck to seamless maxi hem, bound to flatter any and every body type with the fitted knit material, Fisayo says if you’re not a cut out person this is definitely for you and I felt that to a T.

The colours in this collection take on a more autumnal colour palette with richer greens and knitted material, appropriate for a winter drop yet still incorporate the best of the previous and most successful summer collections with a fluid like pattern.

 

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Another successful point continues from previous drop are Co-Ords, the Adanna top and skirt incorporate the best of the plaited cut outs alongside a crop top and lengthy skirt, which is definitely giving elegant dinner vibes. 

The Kai Collective brand name has always been about more than dresses, it’s about the alluring confidence radiated by whoever wears it. Before I knew I was covering this collection I was already mesmerised by the Irun Didi campaign video on Twitter.

The confidence and luxury oozing from the models in their Irun Didi ponytails sitting beautifully on their crowns is exactly what I want black women to continue emulating in their lifestyles. Kai Collective have outdone themselves and their imitators with this drop.

About Post Author

Gloriana

English undergrad, Creative Writer and Poet. I’m about Fashion, Beauty always for the Culture and the occasional think pieces for them 🙂
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