Jad Fardon’s latest Awale collection is an idyllic narration of the designer’s childhood summers in Abidjan. The collection, dubbed ETE89 (which means Summer89 in French), is facile in appearance but heavy in interpretation. To the rest of the world, the collection maybe just an impressive variety of season essentials elevated in their impeccable tailoring and rich fabrication, but for Jad, it is a trip back to Abidjan, the city of his birth.
He says of his inspiration: “I went back to Abidjan where summer lasts all year. Where I was born and raised, living in Plateau (the Central District). It was swarming with people 24/7 and this is what I wanted to represent. The idea of always rushing from a point to another; stoping at some street corner to get refreshments; or hearing the last piece of news on the waiter’s radio, all the while wearing comfortable clothing with a chic twist.”
The nearly genderless collection is made up of brightly-coloured and airy shirts, shorts, cigarette pants, sportswear and logo tees that could be worn anywhere in the world. Most pertinent to the collection is the feeling that the designer wants to convey as he says: “I want people wearing ETE89 to feel like they are on La Corniche in Dakar, Raouche in Beirut, or La Croisette in Cannes; wherever they feel like summer is refreshing.”