The NKOYO collection, inspired by the creative director’s mother, is a recollection of priceless moments of Ituen’s journey as a ‘creator of garments’. The recall dates back to her earliest attempts at creating fashion pieces. At the tender age of 8, Ituen passion to create or recreate as the case in question was, led her to completely take apart her school uniform and recostruct it into what she considered the most amazing party dress. Ituen glowed with pride but Mrs Bassey did not share her youngest daughter’s enthusiasm.


In retelling this old story of her entry into the magical world of fashion creation, Ituen Bassey deliberately retells the story omitting most of the unpleasant bits in the bid to focus on the thread that links her mothers fashion story to hers. So the story thus continues that Mrs Bassey after whooping her daughter, bought her a 36 bundle of one foot by eight inches exquisite fabric swatches. Ituen remembers using every last bit of fabric to make ‘something’ because her mother reminded her that it was wasteful to throw pieces away. To this day and with every collection from the Ituen Basi studio fabrics are utilized innovatively. We are conditioned to seek beauty, possibilities and ‘life’ even when it seems done.


The NKOYO collection is anchored by 2 of Mrs Bassey’s favourite Ankara prints. The collection also infuses her exquisite yet relaxed silhouettes and her love for alternative garment closures (she never used zips on the clothes she made for her children as she did not like the cold metal or abrasive teeth against their skin). She sought easy fun ways to secure their garment closures. Bows, ties, fasteners and buttons were always preferred. Clean silhouettes with interesting/surprising elements would be introduced to make them not just like but enjoy all the clothes she made them.


It is in this vein that the NKOYO collection sought to make each piece ‘enjoyable’.