OF A DREAM
The “Story of a dream” is the story of this brand.
It is the dream I have been pursuing for years. This campaign is an invitation to an epic journey on the footsteps and the traits of the legendary Queen Yeba. A great adventure that led me to grow, change and reveal myself stronger than ever, as a person and a designer too. I hope it will inspire you to pursue your dreams too.
In the light of the epic journey , this campaign is a tribute to Fashion, to what makes it extraordinary, fascinating and beautiful: its ability to inspire us to express ourselves in our uniqueness.
With this collection, I wish to open your heart to my culture, my African heritage and share the values of the brand YEBA.
Oshu is the diminutive for "Osukpa", which means "the Moon" in Yoruba. Emblematic of "The Story of a Dream" collection, the Oshu bag is our new modern classic with sharp architectural lines. This precious and mysterious moon shaped bag symbolizes all the dreams that live in us. It is the perfect companion to remind you to believe in yourself, in your dreams and in this Destiny that awaits you
A RETURN TO THE HOMELAND
For this campaign, I travelled back to Benin. I returned to the land of my ancestors to tell the story of my name, of Queen Yeba and the spirit she embodies. To bring this story to life, I surrounded myself with incredible talents from the country.
Together, we have traced the course of the sun, from dawn to sunset. Symbolically starting our journey from Ouidah beach, not far from the “Gate of no return”, a place steeped in history where slaves leaving for the United States knew that from there they would never come back.
We drove across the country to reach Savè, the village of the hills, the land that witnessed the birth of my father and, long before him, of her. In the pursuit of the treasure Queen Yeba left behind, her a unique legacy: the conviction that we accomplish anything we put our mind and spirit to. Call it "the Spirit of Yeba".
Once arrived, we climbed the hill to capture the golden rays of a setting sun on the horizon. Yet, it wasn't until the last rays of the sun gave way to a rushed night, that the real magic unfolded in front of our eyes. It is in the depths of darkness, when everything sometimes seems over, that the unbelievable happens - that true magic emerges ... reinforcing the belief that one should never give up.
A TRIBUTE TO FASHION, MADE IN AFRICA
In search of the perfect balance between tradition and modernity, I have imagined and created each outfit for this campaign in collaboration with the talented stylist Linda Garcia, silhouettes mixing noble West African fabrics to exceptional Italian leather. Our choices fell on locally produced fabrics and materials. A good eye will recognise indigo fabric for the sublime strapless cut and pencil skirt, Lacee - the typical west African embroidered cotton fabric for the cape dress, woven loincloth to create the iconic blazer with wild fringes and, also raffia incorporated into a thin band corset. Because details add to authenticity, we included cowrie adornments such as custom necklaces & buckles, Fulani jewellery pieces in gold, part of our royal African heritage. Even the gladiator sandals in buffalo leather were made for us by a local shoemaker a few hours before the shoot—a step forward for the brand.
ART Direction : Yeba Olayé
Photography : ORONCE HOUNKPONOU
Styling : LINDA ADJAGODO
Make-Up: GLORIA KEDOTE ( Csk)
Hair stylist : VICTOIRE ADJOVI
Photo assistant: CYNTHIA AVOGBANANON