Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Sagaboi Debuts First Menswear Collection "Ramajay" For A/W23

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Magda Jakubik/BFA.com

Creative director Geoff K. Cooper debuts with Sagaboi and his very first menswear collection for Autumn/Winter 23.

Sagaboi and Geoff K. Cooper brought all the colours and the fizzy vitality of the Caribbean on the catwalk with the debut of "Ramajay".

From Sagaboi founder, Geoff K. Cooper, comes his first clothing collection, entitled “Ramajay”, an eclectic fusion of Cooper’s diverse Trinidadian heritage and broader West Indian culture and history.

About Geoff K. Cooper & Sagaboi

Geoff K. Cooper (@geoffkcooper), the founder and creative director of men’s fashion brand Sagaboi and media platform Sagaman, is a fashion editor, creative consultant, stylist, producer and writer. Regularly featured in the world’s top fashion publications for his spirited style – from GQ, Elle and Esquire to High Snobiety and Vogue – Geoff, before his media career, worked at the United Nations, Goldman Sachs, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Here, for his charitable work with young people, he was a recipient of the PwC’s highest honour, The Chairman’s Award.

Founded in 2015 as a magazine, Sagaboi turned into a fashion label in late 2022. Linked to the Caribbean subculture “saga boy” – a West Indian word meaning “a playboy” or someone who dresses in an extremely fashionable and stylish manner – which surfaced in the 1930s as a form of masculine rebellion through fashion, the brand is inspired by the island region’s culture, diaspora, history, lifestyle, people and practices, as well as drawing energy from its interconnectedness with global happenings and pop-culture both present and past.

Ramajay A/W23 Men Collection: The Concept

Influenced by the iconic outfits of Caribbean calypsonians such as ​​Mighty Sparrow, actors Geoffrey Holder and Harry Belafonte, and men’s style of the Windrush generation, the Geoff K. Coopers' debut collection riffs on the military silhouettes and flamboyant tailoring they wore, seamlessly integrated with streetwear silhouettes, and knitwear inspired by materials found in local fishing villages.

The title of the collection, "ramajay", loosely refers to letting go and breaking away, often in the sense of musical improvisation with the steel pan. At the core of this collection is that same free-spirited exploration of the personality seen through a multicultural lens, and played out at the intersection of streetwear, leisurewear, and expressive tailoring. It dances to a steel pan beat, elevated by a distinctive Caribbean colour palette that references the flora and fauna of Cooper’s native Trinidad, as well as the varied Hindu and African ceremonies the designer attended as a child growing up on the island.

The collection is also a love letter to the style of the Windrush generation, which Cooper researched deeply, and was inspired by how the men who suddenly found themselves in a new and colder environment, evolved their looks with elements of the 50s and 60s London fashion.

Ramajay: Sartorial Details

From the knitwear – all handmade by female crocheters and knitters in the Caribbean – to the classic tailored shapes on suits, to jazzed-up denim twinsets, the collection has a playful carnival energy throughout.

In the outerwear, “rough around the edges” was the intention. Bomber jackets featured Sagaboi’s signature distressed steel pan quilting and coats had beautifully unfinished edges. Kilts were offered in cerulean blue leather and deeply textured black wools. Slogan tees beamed with West Indian colloquial terms and vernacular (e.g. “Big Big Tings”). As for the colours of the collection, it was a sweet dance between idyllic reds, blues, oranges and mint – all grounded by black, brown and white.

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Photo credits Magda Jakubik/BFA.com