BALOJI DROPS A VIDEO FOR ‘CAPTURE’ AND CURATES A SUNGLASSES COLLECTION FOR KOMONO (LOOKBOOK)


Posted on September 5th, by Dominique in magazine, music, style, video. No Comments

Baloji - The Mujinga & The Kitoko on Motorbike

I think it was in a 2007 issue of the local edition of ELLE in which I got a 4 page interview with Baloji published, that the last lines of my feature read : “There is no happy ending to this story, since there is no ending in sight. Baloji is just getting started. What we have for now is a music mogul in the making, a multi-faceted artist who will one day publish great books with the same ease as he is making amazing music.”

I wrote that following a paragraph of Baloji recounting the heartbreaking moments during which he first sat down with his mother again in Congo after being separated from her for more than two decades. He proudly gave her the first copy of “Hotel Impala”, the album he wrote for her. She disapproved, as she was expecting a more “substantial” gift from her long lost son. Baloji added : “Later on she thought her reaction was a bit funny and she was ecstatic about our reunion, but in that first moment, I felt really small.”

Looking back, this was a time when it could be forgiven (or not) to think that “becoming a mogul” should be a priority. For me it felt just extremely important to state my unwavering trust in my friend to both himself and the world at the same time.

Eight years later, Baloji’s bio that accompanies the release of the range of sunglasses he curated for Belgium-founded brand Komono, reads that he is a poet, composer, writer, beat maker, an actor, performer, stylist and video artist. Colour me proud, but also extremely unsurprised.

Baloji -Komono1

First things first though, it’s 2015 and after the aforementioned solo-masterpiece “Hotel Impala” and the critically acclaimed Congolese re-interpretation “Kinshasa Succursale” and more than 200 live shows (watched and loved by Bono, Damon Albarn and Miuccia Prada to name but a few), Baloji just dropped the first song and self-directed video from his upcoming EP “64 Bits and Malachite”, called “Capture” ft. Petite Noir & Muanga, which he wrote with Metronomy’s OLU and is produced by Thomas Azier.


In the wake of his videorelease, Baloji just announced the drop of a “Komono curated by Baloji” -collection, which features 4 types of sunglasses all with a special meaning.

Baloji - The Mujinga on Ornella

Remember how I talked about Baloji’s mother at the beginning of this post. I wonder how she reacted when he told her the news of this beautiful tribute.

Baloji on the “Mujinga”-model:  “It was thanks to my mother’s big, almond-shaped eyes that I recognized her amidst the crowds in Lubumbashimarket when we met for the first time after 25 years, a reunion that inspired this “Cat’s Eye” shape. Big eyes attract attention and betray your thoughts: glasses can act as protection and disguise. Gold emphasizes the eyebrows, creating a distraction and the gold teardrops are like a permanent reminder of the melancholy that inhabits these women.”

Baloji - The Dizzy on Dizzy

Pierre Mandjeku “Dizzy” first and foremost is EVERYTHING.

He is  a legendary Congolese guitarist and has been a member of Baloji’s band for some years now. Baloji created the “Dizzy” frames with him in mind.

Baloji : “Dizzy is more than a band member; he is a role model, a surrogate father, and undeniably the most elegant musician ever. The Dizzy frame is a true artist’s style to be worn on stage, yet the small details make these sunglasses classy and elegant.”

Baloji - The Tshala on dancer

(Please note how this dancer wearing the “Tshala” is also casually dressed in a full Simone Rocha Archive look, nbd.)

Baloji : “Tshala Muana AKA the Congolese Donna Summer, a living legend. With hypnotic trance rhythms, her music finds its natural extension in a secular dance: the Mutuashi. Tshala was a pioneer in an era where most women in music were little more than arm candy or dancers. Her apparently frivolous music and provocative choreography tackles big questions: the role of women and their right to pleasure in African society. She inspired me to develop this libertine style with feminine gold rims: more than sunglasses; they are a statement.”Baloji_Komono_3

(Above image : Baloji dressed in a Café Costume suit styled by Sam Lambert from Art Comes First)

Baloji on the “Kitoko”-model : “The over-sized Kitoko frame is inspired by 80s hip-hop styling and above all, by the glasses worn by Baudouin I, the Belgian king, nicknamed “Mwana Kitoko”, meaning ‘beautiful white man’, or ‘handsome young man’ in Lingala. Baudoin influenced the European inspired, middle class stylistic movements of the 1960s, which helped shape the tradition of Congolese elegance. Smart urban wear and an eye for detail, used to personalise an outfit, not provoke a reaction.”

All sunglasses are made with malachite acetate exclusively developed by Komono.

The “Komono curated by Baloji” capsule collection is now available here and will be released in selected stores later.

All images by Kristin Lee Moolman

More Baloji HERE

Stay tuned for the drop of “64 bits & Malachite”.

Related Posts with Thumbnails



Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook



A CUT ABOVE SMALL “APOCALYPSE” DROP

Originally dropped in 2013, Antwerp founded brand A Cut Above just announced a small re-release of their “APOCALYPSE” collection.

The logo was reworked using the ‘Apocalypse Now’...

KNOTORYUS CATCHES UP WITH POLITICAL STREETWEAR BRAND HYPEPEACE TO DISCUSS THE NEW DESIGNS, PROTESTS & ANONYMITY  

On the dawn of the launch of their second release, this time in support of people affected by the Syrian crisis, we talk to...

FUTURA SET TO RELEASE WORLDWIDE UNIQLO COLLABORATION (FIRST PREVIEW)

It’s been announced that artist icon and KNOTORYUS all-time favourite FUTURA AKA Leonard ‘Lenny’ McGurr will be releasing a collection for global retailer Uniqlo‘s UT line in March and...

PALACE DROPS FULL SS17 LOOKBOOK 

After a proper tease, PALACE have kindly given us their complete lookbook (or as Lev likes to call it: DAS LOOKY BOOKY) for SS17. The...

KNOTORYUS BEST OF NEW YORK FASHION WEEK WOMENSWEAR (AW17)

It should come to few people’s surprise that New York Fashion Week was outspokenly political for AW17. Designers with all kinds of diverse backgrounds...

MY PERSONAL SUPREME SS2017 TEN PRODUCT SELECTION

When I saw the new Supreme SS17 collection-reveal yesterday, I of course knew immediately that you’ll definitely catch me outside in head-to-toe all-over-Obama-on-wax-print, but...

LET’S TALK ABOUT WOLFGANG TILLMANS AHEAD OF HIS EXPO AT TATE MODERN

German-born artist and photographer Wolfgang Tillmans creates images that are instantly arresting in their intimacy. Moments congealed in time, that you feel priviliged to...

RAF SIMONS DEBUTS FIRST COLLECTION FOR CALVIN KLEIN (ALL THE LOOKS + REVIEW & SOUNDTRACK)

Today at 10 AM local time, Raf Simons and Creative Director Pieter Mulier introduced us to the new Calvin Klein Collection at New York...

BROMANCE RECORDS ANNOUNCES END WITH SPECIAL MIX

Well this sucks.

Here’s the official statement released on the Bromance Facebook page 5 minutes ago:

“We’ve been here together for five years, delivered about fifty...

KNOTORYUS CHECKS IN WITH DESIGNERS MARIE-SOPHIE BEINKE, EMMANUEL A. RYNGAERT & SCHUELLER DE WAAL AHEAD OF THE ACT! CUT! PLAY! FASHION FILM SCREENING

When I was 15, I saw my first fashion film. It was a Prada feature named ‘Thunder Perfect Mind’, directed by Ridley & Jordan...

YOUR FEBRUARY WOMEN’S AW17 SHOWS CHECKLIST

Simone Rocha SS17 Are your eyelashes fastened? Did you manage to sneak in a gulp of air in between shows? Because there’s no getting off...

RAF SIMONS SUBTLE #RESIST AND HIS CALVIN KLEIN SS17 AMERICAN CLASSICS CAMPAIGN

I’ve pondered this a couple of times: how does signing a longterm contract and moving to a new country feel if you made this decision during a legendary time when the first black president...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY J DILLA (NEW TRIBUTE MIX)
R.I.P. Jay Dee. Donuts forever.
CHANCE THE RAPPER DROPS “SAME DRUGS” VIDEO (WATCH)

Off the perpetually excellent (and Grammy-nominated) mixtape ‘Coloring Book’, Chance The Rapper surprise-dropped an ace video for “Same Drugs”, directed by Jake Schreier.

Joined by the ‘Magnificent...

STRANGER TUNES
Three recent releases and three ways to deal with reality at its most jagged.