Labrum are pleased to share a limited edition capsule designed exclusively for Selfridges.
Integral to every collection designed by Labrum is the sharing of untold stories from West Africa. For Selfridges, Labrum Founder, Foday Dumbuya, wanted to explore how West Africans have been enriching the UK for centuries, something that we rarely hear or learn about. It was important that this first collection shone a light on two people with Sierra Leonean origins who lived, worked and flourished in the UK.
The line is an extension of the Labrum stamp series, featuring illustrations from long-time collaborator Kazvare who created motifs of John Henry Smythe and Evelyn Dove. These designs appear across t-shirts and sweatshirts, complimented by a ‘mailman’ inspired cargo jacket and trouser look.
John Henry Smythe (OBE) was a decorated war veteran who served as an officer in WWII. Born in Sierra Leone in 1915, he joined the Sierra Leone Defence Corp, part of the British Colonial Army, and eventually took up a position in the RAF. He carried out 27 missions over Europe and survived as a prisoner of war. In 1945, he returned to London and trained as a Barrister. He worked on the Queen’s Counsel, his dedication and hard work earnt him an OBE in 1978. He was a remarkable man who made great efforts for Sierra Leone and the UK alike.
The second person highlighted within this collection is the inimitable Evelyn Dove. Born in London in 1902, her father was a successful Sierra Leonean lawyer. Evelyn studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music and after a great career singing in Europe went on to become the first black woman to perform on BBC radio. Evelyn worked with the BBC for over 10 years and appeared on many radio and television shows. She was a pioneer who was not afraid to share her talents and her resilience paved the way for others to follow.
The collection is made of organic cotton and deadstock fabric from Labrum’s London studio is used for the jacket and trousers, these are finished with enamelled coconut buttons on the pockets and cuffs. As such, Labrum joins Selfridges as a brand in keeping with their Project Earth initiative. All items will be available for purchase from www.selfridges.com