Stranger Lagos

Pocket squares by Post Imperial
There's this store in Lagos that's more than a store. They sell clothes but the clothes they sell are more than clothes. They brew tea and coffee but at the same time they don't, not really. You pay for these things, these services that they offer, but at the same time you don't, not really. It's an experience, not because of the clothes that they sell, or the tea that they brew, or the magenta light that filters in through a sliding door. It's an experience because the moment you step through the metal door that could really be the door to your friends apartment you're transported to some great other. You can't put your finger on it. Chances are that it's like nowhere you've been before. It isn't vintage, but it smells like it, and it isn't like any store you'll find in London or New York or Tokyo, but it somehow captures the spirit of the three. It's the East Village, meets Camden, meets an apathetic Otaku who's got money and at the same time it is none. It's effort that isn't necessarily effort. It's the anonymous homeless man that isn't actually homeless. It is all these paradoxes and more.

That's my silhouette. Stranger makes for great pictures. 

In stranger, you are lost, and then you are found. It exists in complete isolation from the rest of Lagos. It is decidedly anti-fashion. It stocks clothes that are anti-fashion but they must not be mistaken more being unfashionable. They are subtle and timeless, which is a stark juxtaposition from Lagos fashion. The other day, I was at a premier for a tv show and I noted that seven out of ten shoes worn by men were bedazzled, bespiked, bejewelled or beglittered. What many fail to realise is that in a room where all the birds try to outshine, out colour and out glam each other, it is the dullest darkest one that steals the show. This is what most of the clothes that the stranger sells will do. You won't be the brightest, but that doesn't mean that you won't be the most memorable.

They stock Yohji Yamamoto, Orange Culture, Post Imperial and a few other brands who all fit into the Stranger spirit. It's got more menswear than womenswear but menswear and womenswear are words that hold no sway there. Several of the pieces sold feature a sizeless aesthetic that is distinctly sexless.

The second half of the store is a magenta tinged coffee house and tearoom that I have come to love. I do not use love lightly. You must understand that it opened in August this year, and I only made my way there in December, but there no longer exists a future for me where there isn't Stranger. I'll be there on today for a five minute conversation with Yegwa and Bibi, the proprietors. We'll talk about Shingeki no Kyojin and One Piece, and they'll tell me about Yohji Yamamoto and everything he's accomplished. They say that they need the space, and I understand their need profoundly. I need the space. Anyone with even a smattering of creativity needs the space. It's everything, it's nothing, it's strange. There aren't enough words, but at the same time these are too many words. It's the space between the line. It's the current that moves the words that drop from our lips. It's a place of refuge for everyone that's been searching for that thing. There's something about the space that communes with your spirit and calls you. Once you have been called, you'll find yourself going back.

Yegwa in the magenta tea room. I like how noisy this image is. 

These are far too many words for a store but then again it's more than a store.

Here we've got Mai Atafo, the iconic designer and Mode´ of the Studio of Mode´, both shot in Stranger.
Happy Days,

ps. Stranger's on nuMber 3 Hakeem Dickson street, Lekki phase 1. Their number's 0802 761 4903


Toyin Jolapamo said...

Love your new header bro & what you're doing with the blog! Hugs Hugs Hugs & Kisses

Richard Tanksley said...

Stranger now accepts SimplePay. Open your account at Woop! Woop!

About Us