Friday 3rd July

| BY Paul Toner

Ib Kamara Curates The Final Edition of Browns Fashion’s ‘A Family Affair’

Whilst the world has been in lockdown, it’s highly likely that you’ve been separated from friends, family and loved ones for weeks on end. During such uncertain times, Browns Fashion has been opening the virtual doors to its own extended families with the A Family Affair initiative. Celebrating “the bonds that matter,” the bi-weekly series has seen the retailer invite a series of guest editors to curate content alongside their friends, family and long-time collaborators. From poet and activist Kai-Isaiah Jamal and designer Charles Jeffrey, to sibling publications Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman, each curation has been uniquely engaging.

Stepping up to the playing field for the initiative’s final iteration is a true creative visionary, Ib Kamara. The Sierra Leone-born, London-based stylist is renowned for his sexually empowered oeuvre that both explores and subverts notions of masculinity, sexuality and blackness – creating transcendent fashion imagery that will outlast the test of time. Kamara is one of the most in-demand names in the business and has worked with Solange, Madonna and Beyoncé on her latest visual project, Black is King, due to arrive July 31 on Disney+.

For A Family Affair, Kamara aimed to “explore notions of future and community,” calling upon the help of his creative cohort from the worlds of fashion, beauty, music, film and art. “[Picking the line-up] was very difficult, but I chose people that I felt would be able to say something with the brief,” explains Kamara. “I respect each and everyone’s work and it’s been a humbling experience to collaborate with them all and see the work they have created come to life. I wanted to work with artists that tell stories and push ideas for me. It’s exciting but also with a sense of community.”

Kicking things off is a series of portraits shot and styled by Kamara, which feature his friends and collaborators shot in a series of looks stocked at Browns. Lockdown restrictions have meant the creation of the shoot could only entail Kamara, his camera and his subject – resulting in a rather intimate outcome. To accompany the editorial, Mischa Notcutt has created a stellar playlist that celebrates PDA, the London club-night she co-founded, as well as the musicians that continually inspire her. Regular Kamara collaborator Rafael Pavarotti joins the stylist for a highly insightful discussion of their work over the years, whereas Gareth Wrighton, another close-knit creative in Kamara’s universe, has created a series of retro-looking digital animations featuring shoppable clothes from the likes of Craig Green and Ashley Williams.

Over the upcoming week, more content will be debuting on Browns’ Instagram, including acclaimed film-maker Stephen Isaac Wilson, who is set to show a series of films that have inspired him whilst creating, and 10 contributor Daniel Sällström, who will be giving a make-up master class to remember.

Kamara’s curation, as always, is a champion of black voices. As the world finally wakes up to the racial injustices black people endure every day, this guest-edit is a true celebration of both black artistry and excellence. “Even though black people have proven time and time again the colour of our skin is not determined by our brilliance, it is good to just keep showing what black talents can do when given equal opportunities and equal playing fields,” says Kamara. “I feel it’s important we are empowering communities that have contributed so much to culture and the world in general, but benefit very little from the beauty we put in the world. Because of representation, everyone can feel they can be whoever they want to be.

Photographs shot and styled by IB Kamara. Explore ‘A Family Affair: Guest Edited By Ib Kamara’ here.