PARIS — You’ve heard of Made in France, China or Italy. But what about Made in Gabon?
Entrepreneur Teddy Ondo Ella, who grew up between France and Gabon, a country located on the equator in western Africa, is out to set things straight. The self-taught designer a few months ago launched his urban streetwear line, Only Made in Gabon, which is based on Gabonese codes but produced in Portugal. The upcoming edition of New York Fashion Week: Men’s in July, meanwhile, will see the launch of an eponymous tailoring line hooked on an update of the traditional short-sleeved Gabonese suit dubbed the Abacos, short for “à bas le costume,” which in English translates to “down with the suit.”
“It was created by Africans in the Seventies as a [symbol] of anticolonialism. They took all the specifications of a regular suit, but did it their way, with a high collar and short sleeves. It’s supereasy,” said Ondo Ella, adding: “My father’s generation still wears it, but I want to bring it back and put a younger spin on it.”
Whereas the traditional Abacos is cut super loose, Ondo Ella said his take is more fitted, using top-of-the-line cloths such as weighty cottons by Cerruti.
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