For its Fall/Winter 2024 collection, Sagaboi takes a departure from showcasing in London to debut in the vibrant atmosphere of Milan.

For his latest proffer, Geoff K. Cooper, the brand’s Creative Director, draws inspiration from the infectious energy and rich cultural heritage of Calypso music and its legendary performers, known as Calypsonians. Calypso is a Caribbean musical style which stems from the West African Kaiso and Canboulay music sung by African slaves working on plantations in the 17th Century. Calypso is celebrated for its carefree melodies and often profound social and political commentary, making it a symbol of resistance and cultural pride in the West Indies for the past century.

Cooper’s childhood fascination with the flamboyant attire of Calypsonians and Calypso album covers from the last century serves as the driving force behind the collection’s aesthetic. Drawing upon iconic album covers from the 40s through the 90s, and stage performances of Calypso legends like the Mighty Sparrow, Harry Belafonte, and Calypso Rose, he channels the creativity, confidence, and regality of these cultural torchbearers into Sagaboi’s latest offering. “I’ve always been fascinated by the outfits Calypsonians wore since I was a child. The elaborate nature of the womenswear and the sartorial whimsicality of the menswear always stayed with me.” said Cooper.

Fall Winter sees the unveiling of Sagaboi’s womenswear offering, which boasts silhouettes infused with sensual allure and opulent hues. Vibrant shades of mango yellow, hibiscus red, and verdant green are showcased in sequins, lush silks, and reggae fur, evoking a kaleidoscope of textures and colors reminiscent of Calypso’s heyday in the 1940s and 50s. Sway skirts, armless blouses, fringe, and frills pay homage to the era’s fashion culture resurgence.

Sagaboi’s deep connection to the steel pan and steel pan culture is showcased through modern design iterations that pay homage to this iconic Caribbean musical instrument. Continuing his exploration of the steel pan as modern design posit and fashion code of Sagaboi, Cooper upped the ante and sent iterations of steel pan infused fashion down the runway. From sequined steel pan vests to quilted bomber jackets (nodding to streetwear), Cooper elevates steel pan-inspired fashion with a contemporary edge. The highlights though sit squarely in womenswear: standout pieces include steel pan dresses, skirts, and bras that captivate with their innovative designs and cultural significance.

In the collaboration arena, Sagaboi continued its partnership with Ukrainian accessories brand ÈTAPE, this time for a round bag inspired by the steel pan, and fashioned in red, white, lilac and blue. “The steel pan is the only musical instrument to have been designed in the Caribbean (specifically in Trinidad and Tobago); ingenuity that came out of struggle and was a staple accompaniment with Calypso music.” said Cooper. The men’s footwear featured on our runway were curated in partnership with Haus by Everton, a footwear brand co-founded by Everton McDougall (Jamaican-Canadian) and Ian Lee (Trinidadian-Canadian) that specializes in unique and bold mule slippers, with a focus on quality, craftsmanship and sustainability. As for the women’s Spanish footwear brand UNISA footed the women’s in custom pieces with boots and pumps covered in sequin used in the collection. For accessories this season Cooper enlisted celebrated artist and costume designer Melissa Simon-Hartman on steel pan breastplates.

Continuing from last season’s play on words, Cooper introduces well-known West Indian colloquial terms and vernacular on slogan teas and re-issued its Big Big Tings tee in hues of plum and lilac. In the knitwear arena crochet pieces – all handmade by female artisans in the Caribbean – came inspired by materials found in local fishing villages. The color palette is decidedly tropical, with vibrant blues, reds, and yellows juxtaposed with pastel tones of ecru, lilac, and peach mint. These hues evoke the vibrant spirit of the Caribbean, offering wardrobe staples and statement pieces that celebrate the region’s rich cultural heritage.

In the print category, Sagaboi debuted its Village print motif for AW24 in pastel hues. Sagaboi’s Village graphic is an artistic masterpiece that beautifully captures the essence of the Caribbean. Designed to evoke the true spirit of the islands, the print showcases a delightful fusion of tropical references and iconic West Indian architecture and flora. It is a captivating blend of high-definition colours, layered island architectural motifs, lush Caribbean flora, rustic light poles, and the intricate charm of West Indian brickwork –– all woven together in an enchanting pattern. Visages of Caribbean board houses, bars, and churches playfully dance alongside swaying coconut and banana trees, manifesting a unique design that transports one to the heart of the Caribbean’s vibrant and rich culture.

Sagaboi’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection is a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation, cultural authenticity, and artistic expression, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of Calypso-inspired fashion.

Credits: Vitalij Sidorovic //