Ajai Kasim HE JUST.. "is"

Video: If this were written about the plight of the black boy…there is a chance the story would lack surprise, wrap death in luster, and feature a sequenced demise. 
Image: Using fashion and Afro Surrealism as the catalyst and the black mans physical vessel as a subject, this collection, From Spirit to Man explores the critical phases of his life over time. Throughout the course of his life we see him begin to discern what to hold onto and what to discard. From Spirit to Man reveals what lessons were learned, and what might his frame of thinking lead to? Depicting these pivotal moments, and the possible paths introduced to him by the other black men he’s come into contact with. 


Image: This series of collages sparked the entire collection! After a few weeks of draping during our first semester my professors suggested I find a way to further push the shapes we came up with. I decided to compile the images of those drapes along with a few other references, vintage garments I had come across around the time, and turn them all into these characters. Each of these scale about 24x24 and working bigger provided room for a lot of story to come through.

The sports all depict as a pivtol stage in the subjects life. Each sport serves as a right of passage.
Image: This set incorporates the actual fabrication used in each of the final looks. These collages serve as a true first glance at the collection to come.


The name Ajai means “of god” 

That is the name and the role I've been granted and now I must live up to it. I reflect on the work my elders did for me to be in this position. This idea communicates the importance of my decision making, and the work I put in. The ancestors, my mother(s) put their lives on the line so I could live my life to the fullest extent. So I could live a life in which I could be everything I ever wanted to be while not losing myself, or forgetting the sacrifices they made in the process. 

Remembering and carrying thoughts like these keep me afloat and aware of myself. In terms of the artist I am, I always try to reflect the world as I see it while shedding light on the black experience. 

As time goes on I learn more about how I want to impact the world. The legacy I want to leave and the contribution I want to make as a creator. Music and fashion have become nothing less than spiritual practice for me. On my journey to self discovery I find it helps decode a lot of who I am, who I was, and who I will be. The practice for me has become a direct line to what the universe and god have established themselves to be at this point in my life. I think In those moments I become a vessel for the creator's vision to pass through me. My spirit and artistry kicks in when it's time to choose how that vision will exist within this realm. Be it through fashion design, rap, songwriting, or poetry, my mission is to inspire others to take that divine dive within themselves. A dream being forged into reality, to initiate a collective oneness with the gifts that have been relayed to us.