Cla.Book event 22.02.2022
Tuesday. Two’s Day. Two thousand twenty-two. On February 22 2022, the whole world it seemed like took a moment out of their day to celebrate Palindrome day. This day last appeared about 1011 years ago on January 11, 1011 (11011011) and won't happen again in our lifetimes. How cool!
This day also brought together the event hosted by CLA.Book with expositions, a fashion show, performances, and local shops featuring some of the drippiest and most artistic people coming out of Mada. CLA.Book is the brainchild of Jo Aina, a Malagasy artist dipping his toes in the up and coming Antananarivo fashion scene. Together with other major hype players and brands such as Rabe&Squad, Ester.414, music provided by Hype Mada playlist and DJ Lowki and more, the night’s mission of “Drip it for yourself, for your soul, for Mada” definitely came into fruition.
The set list for the night was a performance by Crows Fam and Myriam Omar Awadi, then fashion shows by brands Rabe&Squad and CLA.Book, followed by a speech by Jo Aina with acknowledgements, and ended with showcasing local shops such as Ester.414, D_Ton_A, Fuck Society, Voninkazo.mgg, and CLA.
The night started off with an amazing performance by the dance crew Crows Gang (@crows.fam). Headed by Tobi Rak, the performance began as a theater piece paired with a moving song that perfectly captured the mood and choreography of the crew. The pure raw talent by the dancers helped to kick off the event that would come to be memorable.
In an interview with Tobi Rak after the performance, he recounted how he began street dancing literally on the streets of Antananarivo in 2013. I first encountered Tobi while on the Vangu4rd dance crew based in Paris, France amongst a talented crew of Gasy dancers. He is also on the @fcdkrump team and more recently since being back in Mada on the Crows fam. Some of Tobi’s accolades as a dancer are winning Vice World Champ 18 Junior EBS and France Revelation of the Year in 2018! As Tobi began dancing and experimenting with different styles, along with other like minded dancers they began hosting sessions, shows, and freestyle battles in Ampefiloha and Mahamasina at the Park Bona.
In conversation about the evolution of street dancing in Mada, Tobi speaks to how the sport and dance style has evolved step by step in part by the close relationship between their dancers based in France and Mada. The pandemic didn’t seem to phase these dancers and artists as it helped to form We Do Art Here, an artistic platform established in May 2021 by Tobi and his team for young creators who have something to tell and for showcasing the culture. Seeing the community this dance crew and others are creating to sustain street dance and Malagasy culture is really inspiring and can see the formation for future ambitions to grow the community through other platforms and channels such as TV and video.
Rabe&Squad, a drippy Tamatave-Tana based fashion brand is making waves with their Lambaoany turned street style clothes. As a very Gen-Z forward fashion brand, Rabe&Squad is turning culturally Malagasy everyday items into more portable and cool styles.
In talks with Jordan Rabe, founder and designer at the fashion house, his mood and aesthetic is much more influenced by the US and London style but also creating something that is distinctly for the Gasy youth, worn for those on the street from Tana to Tamatave. You can shop these looks on Rabe&Squad on Instagram and directly DM the styles you would like to order. All styles are made to order upon receiving your measurements!
Next came CLA.Book with artist Jo Aina's premiere collection. Raised in Mada with a background in art studies from La Réunion, Jo Aina managed to turn up-cycled and much loved pieces into new. fresh lives. Jo Aina is influenced not by the fashion world but takes a "no style" approach. He is much more influenced by the aura and moods of his friends and inspiring images he is surrounded by in his everyday life. He is thankful to have started this fun venture with his friends and is grateful to his god-father, Lionel, for supporting him in his art studies in La Reunion.
We look forward to the next big names in fashion coming out of Madagascar! Big ups to everyone who organized the event! Job well done!