style

Nigeria’s Yoruba women announce their arrival in style

Three models pose in A Ti De
Three models pose in A Ti De

Nigerian photographer Oye Diran reimagines the fashion of the Yoruba people in a stunning series of images.

Short presentational grey line
Short presentational grey line

When an aunt sent Oye Diran an old family photo, he was mesmerised by the high sense of fashion and style exhibited by the Yoruba women of West Africa in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The photo was of his mother and her sister adorned in iro and buba, the colourful two-piece outfit of wrapped skirt and top popular with Yoruba women in Nigeria.

Diran, a Yoruba himself and Nigerian photographer based in New York, noticed how the style of the iro and buba had evolved over time, but that the outfit still maintained its elegance.

Inspired, he ploughed through the internet looking for more vintage images of the outfit but was disappointed with what he saw.

“What I found were updated

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I created Mae Jones, a magazine like Vogue, to represent Black style and glamour

A photo from Mae Jones Magazine, which debuted digitally earlier this year. Mae Jones was named in honor of founder and creative director Kristen Turner's two grandmothers. <span class="copyright">(Jessica Castro / Mae Jones Magazine)</span>
A photo from Mae Jones Magazine, which debuted digitally earlier this year. Mae Jones was named in honor of founder and creative director Kristen Turner’s two grandmothers. (Jessica Castro / Mae Jones Magazine)

The second I graduated from college, I packed up my Jetta and made the drive West from Texas to California. I wanted to work in fashion but not in the classic sophistication of the New York scene. I wanted the celebrity-driven, red-carpet glitz and glam Hollywood had to offer. Upon my arrival in Los Angeles, I started an assistant job at a well-known fashion PR agency. There I began what has been a 15-year career in the fashion industry.

I had worked in a PR office for a few years before realizing I was better suited for the excitement of “set life.” I soon became an assistant to celebrity wardrobe stylists. I was usually the only Black

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