Wazal Couture, founded in 2005 by French-Cameroonian designer Joseph Ayissi, launched the 2016/2017 collection, ‘Ova Tété’, in Paris recently. Ayissi’s pieces comprise modern and innovative silhouettes and high quality Senegalese and Malian wax prints.
The 2016 BEFFTA Award nominee’s range also demonstrate innovative capabilities and ability to mix various colours, prints and materials such as pure cotton, denim and leather.
This collection is inspired by the Cameroonian slang word, ‘Ova,’ used to refer to an important or noble person and Tété, which refers to chic and bourgeois. Ayissi said that he prefers being ahead of his time because “the fashion world is in constant evolution.”
The name Wazal is a blend of “WAZA”, the name of a natural park in north Cameroon, and “L” for Lion, the Cameroonian symbol. The natural park symbolises respect while the lion symbolizes power.
In creating his own brand, Ayissi, also known as JJ Du Style, is following in the footsteps of his father, a tailor. Pioneer Cameroonian fashion designers Imane Ayissi and Martial Topolo also inspire him.
Ayissi studied his craft at the Vanessa Ruiz Fashion School in Paris and he later on specialised in creating tuxedo jackets, which he started selling in 2013 under the label “Fly Tété.”
Celebrities such as Romaric Koffi and musicians Singuila, Wayne Beckford, Lalcko, Al Peco, have worn Wazal Couture clothes.
Ayissi also has a socially conscious outlook and has worked with the Ambassador of Cameroon to Paris in 2013 for the exhibition of the Cameroonian youth and the Fashion Night Lounge at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
At the event, Ayissi presented his three fashion lines: WazalRock, Fly Tété and Africafutur. These concepts are based on what has symbolised his career right from the beginning, including: Daring, Respect and Creation.
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