Nigeria’s Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough, the designers behind Abasi Rosborough, have gained a following for updating tailored pieces; and at this year’s fall 2018 shows in New York, Abasi Rosborough’s collection has been defined as one of the more focused and innovative of the bunch. While the five-year-old label has a few seasons under its belt, this was the first occasion where the design duo had the opportunity to express themselves through a fashion show. Abasi, a true clothing enthusiast with an appreciation for Martin Margiela, learned the ropes at influential menswear label Engineered Garments, while Rosborough honed his craft through stints at RLX, Ralph Lauren’s performance-oriented label, British designer Simon Spurr, and New York menswear brand Bespoken.
Their Men’s Fall 2018 collection debut, titled ‘Utopia/Dystopia,’ combines the brand’s signatures in tailoring inspired by sport and military with an overarching conversational theme: technology and its advances, from social media and cryptocurrency to the iPhone X’s facial recognition system and autonomous cars. “All of these things that can help society can ultimately destroy society,” says designer Abdul Abasi.
“It’s about the duality and the dichotomy of things,” says Abasi. “The images that we used for this season show the progress of humanity, but at the end of it, we don’t know if it’s going to be a utopia or dystopia.” “Are we leading ourselves into a utopian society or a dystopian society?” asks his partner, Greg Rosborough. “It’s a double-edged sword and that’s the tip of the iceberg with technology. Where is this taking mankind?”
Singer and songwriter (and Calvin Klein model) Kelela performed on the runway, alongside Abasi’s brother and famous guitarist Tosin, as a diverse group of models showcased tailored looks with an Eastern influence in neutral colors, like navy and blacks — zen, peaceful, utopic — that progressed into a more deconstructed and disrupted wardrobe with bright primary colors and bold prints, or the aforementioned dystopia in clothing form.
Founded in 2013, the namesake brand’s designer duo met while studying design at FIT. Together, they combined their fashion knowledge and past experiences — Abasi served in the military for eight years while Rosborough played basketball in college — to create a line of progressive tailoring for the 21st century. (Knit underarm panels for flexibility, extra pockets and reversibility, for example.) “I’m thinking of functionality and movement, and Abdul is thinking of utility and protection,” explains Rosborough of their creative process. “We’re not hiding what we’ve done before design school and this is what it is, and I think the story has become more interesting because of that.”
See Abasi Rosborough’s Fall 2018 collection from New York Fashion Week: Men’s in the gallery below.