'For Senegalese women, if given the choice of fashion or food, many would starve.'


The Republic of Senegal, where fashion reigns supreme. People buy their favourite textile at the fabric market and bring it to a tailor. These craftsmen of the cloth make garments based on the verbal requests that customers explain on the spot. Their dressmaking techniques have been passed down from father to son.


In the early 1980's, two young Japanese fashion designers, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, presented their collections in Paris. It was the encounter that interlaced the Western and Japanese fashion worlds. Images of those two collections are still circulating on the internet, constantly duplicated and consequently continually degrading, a testament to the almost mythical reputation of this event in fashion history.


Fujita Keisuke first collected images of their debut and recent collections from the internet, choosing five outfits, then asked five Senegalese tailors to make it. Each outcome created from a single reference image contains their interpretations and techniques interwoven with their history and culture.


Within the cultural gap, our sameness is revealed. Looking through the lens of fashion we catch a glimpse of the thread of history, and a microcosm of globalization where Senegalese and western values merge and diverge.