Following up on the recent GORE-TEX Converse collaboration, Carhartt WIP delivers more seasonal essentials with a capsule collection inspired by legendary African musician Fela Kuti. Colors, patterns and details are all sourced from Kuti’s legacy, with Carhartt WIP cementing his influence with a limited-edition vinyl reissue of the out-of-print Live In Detroit 1986.
Over the course of his brief 58 years, Kuti developed the afrobeat genre, blending touchstones of music from West Africa with tenets of American funk and jazz to create an elaborate high-energy fusion. Beloved in his native Nigeria, Kuti was an unrelenting champion of human rights, delivering politically-charged vocals enmeshed with his band’s intricate grooves.
Carhartt WIP’s collaborative capsule is the brand’s largest musical collaboration to date, with a full range of shirts and accessories directly inspired by Kuti’s music and the vibrant culture of his native Nigeria. For instance, an all-over print hat, shirt and shorts all boast stylized “FELA” graphics across a green base, with bright yellow colors that match button-up shirts and co-branded Carhartt WIP tags seen elsewhere in the range.
Elsewhere, a comparatively muted long-sleeved white shirt is emblazoned with “DRUGS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE SHRINE,” a phrase inscribed at the entrance of the New Afrika Shrine, a venue and showcase of Kuti’s history erected by Kuti’s son Femi after his father’s original Afrika Shrine burned down in 1977. More playful verbiage is emblazoned on the rear of a black shirt: “PUFF PUFF PASS,” a line sourced from the lyrics of Kuti’s classic “Expensive Sh*t” off the album of the same name.
The Fela Kuti collection will launch April 4 via Carhartt WIP’s website, physical stores and select stockists.
For more African-indebted looks, check out the latest from Daily Paper.