There's an intangible thing inside all of us. A part greater than the whole. It cannot be quantified; it is unique to whomever it belongs. It is the lens through which we see the world, that we might show others. Our past and our future. Some call it roots. Some heritage. Whatever we call it, it fills us with pride and passion and a desire that others might see its beauty the way we do. For me, that thing is Gabon.
Teddy Ondo Ella Artistic Director & Founder
You’ve heard of Made in France, China or Italy. But what about Made in Gabon?Entrepreneur Teddy Ondo Ella, who grew up between France and Gabon, a country located on the equator in western Africa, is out to set things straight. The self-taught designer a few months ago launched his urban streetwear line, Only Made in Gabon, which is based on Gabonese codes but produced in Portugal. The upcoming edition of New York Fashion Week: Men’s in July,
“It was created by Africans in the Seventies as a [symbol] of anticolonialism. They took all the specifications of a regular suit, but did it their way, with a high collar and short sleeves. It’s supereasy,” said Ondo Ella, adding: “My father’s generation still wears it, but I want to bring it back and put a younger spin on it.”
Whereas the traditional Abacos is cut super loose, Ondo Ella said his take is more fitted, using top-of-the-line cloths such as weighty cottons by Cerruti. The suits will be available in a choice of basic colors and supercharged colorful prints. These range from patterns that have “no obvious African connotations” such as Gabonese flowers and rattan motifs lifted from local furniture to twists on Gabonese symbols like N’gil masks and the country’s striped green, blue and yellow flag, which comes hand-stitched in the collars of garments in the brand’s sportswear line. The suits will be priced at around $2,000 to $3,000 and demi-mesure suits from $5,000 to $6,000.
Ondo Ella said his goal is introduce a modern, authentic representation of African culture and style devoid of stereotype and cliché.
“My biggest challenge was to make a Gabonese, African brand, but to find the right balance, not to go too African or European. My aim is to have people wear the clothes not because they’re African, but because they’re cool, classy and really chic,” he said.
“For me, when you talk about clothing, first of all it’s about creating a feeling, [where the wearer] feels special and different, I want to bring that feeling with my vision of fashion, my style.”
Ondo Ella, who was born in Brazzaville, the capital of the Congo Republic, said he developed a taste for fashion as a kid. He first got his kicks from the business side helping out in his mother’s fashion store, “Teddy Boutique,” in Gabon’s capital, Libreville. As he got older, he started experimenting with designer fashion but “got a bit bored with what was on offer.”
In his summer edition the magazine L'essential Homme has devoted a six-page focus on Teddy Ondo Ella, the opportunity for him to give his vision of fashion, his inspirations, love of his country and his future projects .
The magazine is already available in newsstands and online, you can get it now!
As part of the promotion of ONLY MADE IN GABON and its future eponymous brand, TEDDY ONDO ELLA, which will be presented this summer in New York.
Press meetings were held between Teddy Ondo Ella and different media,
including GQ france and L’Officiel hommes on their forthcoming collaborations,
organized by the public relations agency Les Parisiennes, which takes care of the media campaign
Of TEDDY ONDO ELLA and ONLY MADE IN GABON for France.
Teddy Ondo Ella was in London to attend the private opening of Bradley Theodore at his invitation at the Maddox gallery.
The two artists were able to exchange and see how a future collaboration could be made very soon.
The opportunity was also given to Teddy Ondo Ella to be present for the opening of the new concept store
of Dr. Martens in Camden (London), With a high-level live performance by the English musician Artist Kojey Radical.
At the same time, a meeting took place with the English artist Robi Walters,
as well as the very famous English designer, Ozwald Boateng. In closing of his stay Teddy Ondo Ella
gave an interview to the English magazine « Journal » (SOHO edition), article to be published very soon.
England is an important destination in the development of the brand, other events are to be expected
in the near future, stay connected!
ONLY MADE IN GABON is above all a way of life.
The Gabonese culture being the main source of inspiration of Teddy Ondo Ella,
what better than to discover Libreville, as well as the national parks of Pongara and Wonga Wongue
to our hosts to be imbued with the spirit of the brand through the wealth of Gabon
As part of a press trip organized by ONLY MADE IN GABON, we had the great honor to receive in Libreville, GQ STYLE represented by its Fashion Director Mobolaji Dawodu, Esquire Magazine represented by Mikelle DeAundre Street, V magazine represented by Ashley Simpson, as well as Mustafa Kacar famous blogger and influencer.
The objective of this trip was to enable Teddy Ondo Ella (ONLY MADE IN GABON Founder & Creative Director) to explain his vision and goals.
PHOTOGRAPHER : DENIS ROUVRE
- ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHER : VALENTIN FOUGERAY
- ART DIRECTION : TEDDY ONDO ELLA
- MODEL : SHAUN BALKUM
- STYLIST : KELVIN MOODY
- MAKE-UP & HAIR : NADINE MATEKY
- GABON TEAM SUPPORT : NSWAMI NGAKA, JAMAL GUIANDOUNGOU
- LOCATION : PONGARA - LA BAIE DES TORTUES LUTH (LIBREVILLE-GABON)
Video - Behind the scene
Entitled, 'What are you made out of?' Only Made In Gabon’s latest advertising campaign
takes the viewer on a sensory dive inside the rainforests, and Gabonese culture,
through the traditional dance of Gabon, Bwiti.
Directed by David Mboussou, the video brings to life the universe and spirit of Only Made In Gabon.
Behind the scene