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Queerness Isn’t a Western Concept’: Adeju Thompson is Bringing Genderless Nigerian Fashion to the World

Adeju Thompson is a 30 year old Nigerian fashion designer, who is proud to be non-binary and to design clothing for the gender fluid. While some assert that this sort of gender bending is non-African, Thompson begs to differ, citing numerous examples in early African history. Whatever the case, their clothing line, Lagos Space Programme is a brand on the rise, capturing attention across the globe.  The result is luxurious indigo-dyed organic fabrics and elegant knitwear, offset by striking sculptural handcrafted brass accessories that flirt with queer iconography. Many of Thompson’s designs use adire, an indigo resist-dyed textile — a key component of traditional clothing worn by West African Yoruba people. The heritage textile is reimagined by Thompson, in a modern context, by applying the dye technique to knitwear. Thompson calls this reinvention “post adire.”   The collection, called “Aso Lànkí, Kí Ató Ki Ènìyàn,” takes its name from a Yoruba saying which translates as: “We greet attire before we greet its wearer.”