Monday, May 03, 2010

Uncultured Persons

As much as i like getting dolled up, i really do like throwing in a comfy t shirt every now and then. I am always looking for t shirts that are unique and interesting and can serve as conversation starters. So it definitely was a delight to come across uniquely designed shirts at while leisurely surfing the net.
The brain child of Aminchi Asake, Uncultured Persons goal is to "TO GRAPHICALLY AND CONCEPTUALLY EMBODY TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY IMAGES INSPIRED BY THE WORLDS MOST FORGOTTEN CONTINENT...AFRICA". From the t shirt with the image of a woman pounding yam to the African print tote bag, it is apparent that Uncultured Persons tightly embraces its goal and is committed to promoting the African culture through fashion.

Aminchi Asake of Uncultured Persons was kind enough to grant me an e- inteview. Here is what he had to say about his brain child.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Nigerian-American who likes to think of himself as a renaissance man. I am interested in and enjoy so many things from photography and fashion, to art, design, music, sports and academia. I hate to pigeon hold myself, and like any good Nigerian, I have a degree (two to be exact) but my passion is for Africa as a whole.
How did you get into this business?
I try to go back to Nigeria every year and being a lover of art I am always buying stuff under the bridge in Lagos or at the Art Markets in Kaduna, Abuja and Jos. I know a lot of people do the same but you only get to view these images when you are invited in their homes. I always thought it would be cool if someone could capture and find a balance of these eye-catching images and modern African culture on t-shirts. A light went off and I started designing a couple of tees in my spare time for friends and family back in ’05 but I didn’t get serious with my designs and selling to the public until ’09.
Why the name "uncultured persons" ?
On one of my trips back to Nigeria, I got caught in traffic on third mainland bridge. Now any Lagosian will tell you that this is probably the worst thing that you could do. So after about two hours crawling along, I had to use the restroom. I thought I could hold it until I got home but once we got on Ikorodu road, I could hold it no longer and told the driver to pull over. I ran out of the car and went straight to a wall and relieved myself. I happened to look up and on the wall was graffiti that read, “to all uncultured persons do not urinate here.” Laughing at this image, I ran back to the car got my camera and took a picture of the wall. I guess when nature called I became uncultured. As Africans we have so much culture but yet in the west we are considered uncultured. So in ’09 when I decided to sell my shirts publically, I could not get that phrase out of my head, and I think it encompasses what I want to say with my designs. You may think I am uncultured, but see a snippet of my culture.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
We Nigerians sometimes think we are the only Africans and there are so many t-shirt companies that have the “I rep Niaja” thing going on. I wanted to be different. As you can see from my designs, Africa and African culture is my inspiration because there is just so much to glean from, like the Masai in the east, the Tuaregs in the north, or the Zulu in the south just to name a few.
Do you only sell African inspired pieces?
There was a time when I sold (tried to anyway) all kinds of my designs, but I stopped when I realized my passion for Africa affected my drawing. When I am designing an African inspired piece that passion comes out and it seems to be more unique, (or at least I hope it does)
What is your favorite Uncultured Person piece and why?
My newest design is always my favorite. So right now the Face of Africa is my favorite. It’s funny because I have about five of these Faces of Africa with different tribal markings. I made one into a chenille patch for my hoody, and I might release the others in the near future, but I think the colors of this particular design just came out awesome.
Yay!!thats it for the first interview on Chic Therapy!!!Thanks Uncultured Persons!
Uncultured Persons Items can be purchased here

Photo Credit:Uncultured Persons


finz said...

I love it! I'm not a t-shirt person, but I think I might just get one for myself. Great job, Aminchi!

Ms zee said...

fantastic Uncultured now can I get the tee with the woman and baby pounding yam - I presume cos pounded yam is my fav food in the whole world. Thank you chic T :)

PearlsandPeepToes said...

hilarious but so cool! I'll check out the site - I hope they carry v-neck tees!

Chic Therapy said...

@ Ms Zee, you can purchase the tshirts on the website!

Yankeenaijababe said...

love this girl, will check the site out.

Toyin said...

LOVE IT...I NEED the pounding yam t-shirt in my life...great job with the interview!

Anonymous said...

i like the white shirt the guy is wearing.Does it come with the wearer...*wink*

Kemmy said...


ciaa said...


Chic Therapy said...

go ahead Ciaa