A Cultural And Political Echo – Adesuwa Paves The Way For Emerging Artists in Africa Through “Legacy World”
Interview: Ceren Taşpınar
Driven by her determination to make a difference by launching “Legacy World”, model-activist Adesuwa Aighewi paves the way for African craftsmanship to break new ground across the globe. The multidisciplinary brand serves as a vehicle to offer young creators the opportunity to exhibit their work to a global audience. At its core, it’s a creative platform to showcase and highlight African art while restoring pride in local craftsmanship.
Legacy World is based around expanding the perception of Africa’s art scene and providing exposure to emerging artists. How were you first introduced to the Pan-African art scene?
Adesuwa Aighewi: I moved to Nigeria when I was 3 years old to Benin City, my father’s home town which is part of the Benin kingdom, Edo Empire.
How did your background shape your creative vision?
Adesuwa Aighewi: I see all sides like Chanel.
Your products vary from ornate jewelry pieces that employ images and motifs associated with ancestral existence such as the “Legacy Necklace” to “Ivie Hoodie”, a cultural staple of the Nigerian Royalty. How did you come up with the concept of mixing traditional African style with contemporary fashion garments such as a hoodie?
Adesuwa Aighewi: I like juxtapositions like myself. Opposites but one. I wanted to show it visually: royalty but also the common man. Traditional & Modern. Yin & Yang.
The first collection embraces Africa’s cultural wealth and shares stories from the national past with a spiritualistic approach. What else inspired you during the creative process of your first collection?
Adesuwa Aighewi: My mother. She’s a Horticulturist and Buddhist.
What would you say the fundamentals were in building the brand and the collective?
Adesuwa Aighewi: Unity. Female empowerment and Beauty.
Over the past five years, you have collaborated with local artisans from Nigeria to Asia and were able to witness their opportunities and challenges first-hand. Where do you think their biggest challenges originated from?
Adesuwa Aighewi: Education and play. Without both of those things as humans it’s kind of an unfair game in this life.
Where does your appetite for collaboration and creation come from?
Adesuwa Aighewi: I want peace. I know unity takes us there. It’s no secret but each has to try.
As someone who’s well known for their successful modeling career, being featured on the covers of magazines to walking numerous fashion shows, how doe it feel to work on the design side of things?
Adesuwa Aighewi: Like a human.
Legacy advocates for sustainability by encouraging customers to hold onto their jewelry. What does pursuing sustainability in fashion mean for you?
Adesuwa Aighewi: Finding existence from life in art.
How would you like to see legacy grow?
Adesuwa Aighewi: Beyond me.