Today marks the launch of a bold new entry into the world of mens' fashion: Ikire Jones. Ikirie Jones is the creation of Philadelphia-based Wale Oyejide. Oyejide, named one of America's Best Dressed Real Men, is a polymath if one ever existed; a musician-turned-lawyer-turned fashion impresario, and Ikire Jones is a representation of the multi-faceted mind of it's creator.
The line, which for right now consists of sport coats and pocket squares, is an amalgam of several sartorial traditions. The jackets with their softly-padded, roped shoulders are firmly rooted in The Neapolitan tailoring tradition. The bold print fabrics and high button stance pay tribute to the English tailoring style made famous on London's Savile Row. As an homage to their creator's Nigerian heritage, Ikire Jones' lapels are backed with West African wax cloth, a killer detail that can be flaunted should the wearer be in a rakish mood, but entirely invisible when the lapels lie flat. The names of jackets; Dumile, Trotter, Yancey, and Black Dante, named after MF Doom, Black Thought, Jay Dilla, and Mos Def are a sly nod to the hip-hop artists who inspired the line's creator. The result is a product that is uniquely American and refreshingly original.
All Ikire Jones jackets are manufactured in the United States and feature full canvas construction; that is to say that the inner ant outer layers of fabric are held together by being sewn to a a horse-hair canvas. This provides the shape of the chest and roll of the lapel. It's a feature most often found in custom and high-end ready-to-wear garments, and generally good indicator of quality, and is extremely uncommon on jackets start at $690 like Ikire Jones.
Ikire Jones jackets are not for everyone, which is to say, they're not boring. Each item in the collection is a statement piece. Beefy peak lapels and single-button jackets are a far cry from the conservative blue blazer, but they may be just what men's style need right now. There will never be a shortage of places to buy conservative suits and sport coats, but splashes of life in the a sea of mundane garb are few and far between. Ikire Jones is a welcome addition to Pennsylvania and the menswear landscape as a whole.