After seeing the SS18 Boyhood collection I just had to ask the designer, photographer and models a few things about fashion and youth culture in their community. Find out what kids call cool nowadays in Senegal.
Ashley Munns: As the Creative Director of the label, what do you see as the most stand out part of the SS18 collection?
Benjamin Brouillet: This collection was inspired by high school cross country races. Each piece stands out its own way. For instance, I used my hometown department number 049 as a race bib for the back of a shirt. The tracksuit and shorts have side zippers for airing out when it gets too hot and another shirt has a cool down function with mesh vents on the back as well. I think all these details make the collection stand out. Having Mia shoot this collection on teenagers, in Dakar, mixing up the pieces with their own clothes was the perfect match. I actually went to Dakar when I was 18, it was my birthday present so this project means a lot to me.
Ashley Munns: What would you like to communicate to your target audience? Who is your target audience?
Benjamin Brouillet: Boyhood combats the notion that at some point all boys must grow up. I draw direct influences from my own youth. I want to keep fashion as real as possible and not make it seem like a parallel dreamy world as many people think it might be. This is why the imagery is very important to me. It allows me to make a statement. My target audience is mainly young 18-24 but not only. Everyone should be able to relate to the brand.
Ashley Munns: Please describe the Boyhood aesthetic and also the lifestyle:
Benjamin Brouillet: Boyhood captures the effortless spirit of youth in the most authentic way. The clothing brand combines outdoor elements with sport details, all punctuated with a dose of a pop color. It is a nostalgic reminder for us to never forget where we came from, and to always look to a bright future ahead.
Ashley Munns: What is your background personally? Did you always want to do this?
Benjamin Brouillet: I studied international business and languages before going to FIT in NYC where I took a semester and start doing styling. I have been working as a freelance stylist for about 7 years now for fashion magazines (Vman, Paper, i-D,..), brands (Kenzo, Gypsy Sport,…) and also I have been styling many music videos. I’ve always wanted to have my own line. I had to go through this whole process to learn how the industry works to finally launch Boyhood last year.
Ashley Munns: What was it about this Boyhood collection that made you want to shoot it?
Mia Dabrowski: I often go to Senegal and the youth over here is so inspiring…most of them take big care of their apearence and style, and love photography. I had a chance to see the latest Boyhood collection in Paris before I left and thought it would be a perfect match with the clothes worn by the Senegalese youth.
Ashley Munns: Where did you shoot the collection and can you tell us a bit about that day or days?
Mia Dabrowski: We shot in Mbour, a town not far from Dakar, Senegal. The shoot was really fun! We took a car and went for a baby football game, the crowd was so nice there and many boys were keen on being photographed. We played a few games, took polaroids and the shoot was done! They are very inspiring and I think everybody enjoyed it.
Ashley Munns: What words do you use to describe "cool" clothes?
Fallou: It needs to have the right shape, not too big, not too small
Ashley Munns: What do you usually wear to school or when you go out with your friends?
Fallou: To go to work I wear old clothes. I work in the metallics and they get dirty very fast. When i go out with my friends I like to wear slim jeans, a nice t shirt or a football shirt with my cap.
Ashley Munns: Is there something that is considered really dorky to wear?
Fallou: Not really! Here we like to mix traditional and modern clothes and to be original.
Ashley Munns: How old are you?
Djiby: I’m 13 years old.
Ashley Munns: Did you enjoy modeling the Boyhood clothing for Mia and Benjamin?
Djiby: Yes, I did, although I was a bit shy at the beginning but I quickly forgot about it. It was fun to be with my friend Pape.
Ashley Munns: Where do you see yourself in ten years and what do you think you will be wearing?
Djiby: In 10 years, I’ll be the same, but I will wear more shirts, I want to be a professional basket player.
Ashley Munns: What brands are cool where you live?
Pape: I think the cool brands here are mostly sport brands like Nike, Adidas or Lacoste.
Ashley Munns: What do you think about fashion - is it a part of your life?
Pape: I really like to wear traditional clothes. On special events like a wedding or baptism, everybody wears « boubou », it makes you feel proud and classy. It’s very important to me and I like to wear mine at least once a week, on Fridays.
Ashley Munns: Is it easy for one to be a creative person in your community?
Pape: It’s very very easy…if you have money!
interview ASHLEY MUNNS
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