A Global Tapestry

In preparation for his talk – A Global Tapestry, gallery volunteer Richard visited designer Samson Soboye in his shop SOBOYE in London. For Richard, Soboye’s three-piece suit is one of the standout pieces of contemporary men’s tailoring in Dandy Style.

“My recent visit to Samson’s shop in the busy City of London district of Shoreditch revealed a wealth of design influences using fabrics and techniques from countries across the African continent. Many of his pieces, including a range of clothing and interior designs, feature a fabric known as Dutch Wax. The colours and design motifs take their inspiration from the traditional Indonesian technique of batik where liquid wax is applied to a fabric which acts as a resist when dye is applied.

Following the colonisation of Indonesia by the British and Dutch the effect was machine printed with vivid colours and a wide variety of designs. Since the late 19th century these fabrics, known as Ankara, have been manufactured in Britain and the Netherlands and exported to West African countries. The Manchester textile firm, Brown Fleming became highly influential in establishing and meeting the demand for this highly popular fabric.

Talking with Samson it is evident that his design influences embrace many aspects of traditional designs and techniques from across the African continent. His shop is bursting with his personally designed jewellery, soft furnishings and accessories. His ideas and inspirations are a fusion of a contemporary lifestyle and cultural traditions from his Nigerian ancestry.”