Stephen Tayo captures intimate portraits that reveal the sartorial flair and quiet dignity of his sitters. Focusing on their clothing and accessories, his work explores the multi-layered symbolism of fashion: what clothing says about identity and relations with family and community. Adopting formal poses that were popular in the studio photography of West Africa in the 1950s and 1960s, his work is influenced by the portraits of Seydou Keita, Malick Sidibe and Samuel Fosso.
Stephen Tayo studied philosophy at the University of Lagos. His work has been featured in Vogue, the New York Times, Indie Magazine, Dazed, Okay Africa, OkayAfrica, Interview Magazine amongst many others. In 2018, he was commissioned by Dutch streetwear brand Patta and Nike on the occasion of their collaboration, to shoot a campaign for their launch which was exhibited in London. In the same year, he co-photographed the increasingly ascendant culture of boundary-breaking fashion in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, for the New York Times.
Stephen Tayo is taking over @paperjournalmag from today until the 17 February. You can follow him @stephen.tayo.