22 Aug Ib Kamara

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From Sierra Leone to London, stylist and visionary Ibrahim Kamara is riding a wave of his own making all the way to the top of the fashion industry

 

Words: Tshiamo Seape

 

 

 

Some people seem destined to make an impact on the world. So distinct is their work, and so filled with quality and passion that the only option is success. One such person is Sierra Leone-born, London based stylist and art director Ibrahim Kamara. In recent years his name has come up more and more in conversations concerning the future of talent coming from Africa and its diaspora. While having spent most of his life in the UK his ties to Africa are still very strong (He was born in Sierra Leone and raised in Gambia until age eleven).

 

His career ascension began with his enrollment at London’s prestigious art school Central Saint Martins – the UK’s foremost breeding ground for avant garde creative talent. A casual investigation into the list of former students reads like the invite list for a fashion week party you could only dream of attending – Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Phoebe Philo have all called CSM’s home. But, parties and prestige aside, Ib is a towering talent in his own right. At its core, his work deals with the subversion of stereotypes and the redefinition of masculinity in the modern era. In his final year project at CSM, the self-dubbed “Sensitive Thug”  created 2026: an exploration of black masculinity 10 years in the future.

 

 

 

For the project, Ib enlisted the help of frequent collaborator and photographer, Kristin Lee-Moolman. During his month-long residency in South Africa, Ibrahim went dumpster diving and thrift shopping to get the right collection of vintage and discarded clothes to deconstruct and remake in an image fitting his unique vision. The result is a collection of images that completely disregard the traditional tropes of men’s fashion – straight lines and geometric silhouettes are replaced by decoration and flair – “Africa has progressed so much sartorially, and what continues to be spread in the media isn’t an accurate reflection of what is going on presently. There is so much more”, he told thefader.com

 

While 2026 was well-received (even being selected as part of a group exhibition Utopian Voices Here and Now at London’s Somerset House) it was just the beginning of several career milestones that are set to push Ib even further into the spotlight.  He recently worked as costume stylist for Sampha’s Process short film. Even more recently Ib returned to South Africa to direct Little Dragon’s video for Strobe Light. 

 

 

With this latest project, Ib Kamara has made a seamless transition to film without sacrificing any of what made his early work so special. The presence of his work continues to provoke conversations about masculinity and identity that are bound to push the arts and society in a more progressive and inclusive direction, and we are happy to be witness to the journey.

 

Follow Ibrahim on Instagram

 

 


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