The New Haervest Pop-up this weekend is one of few events this tightly packed holiday calendar that we’re really excited for. It’s unique mix of vintage clothing carefully curated clothing and great experimental music, all in an inclusive space. What’s not to love.
We tracked down Natalie Adeola Akingbaje, created the New Haervest idea and has carefully curated the offerings for this weekend’s shopping experience to pick her brain and find out everything we could about the pop-up, why she’s doing it and what we can expect this weekend.
It was amazing.
You could have chosen any name for your pop-up; how did you decide on New Haervest?
Well, we wanted the name to mean something, we wanted it to be powerful. So we waited for God to give us a name. For you to collect a harvest, you have to sow something, you have to work hard and invest to reap benefits. We want the people who are coming to the pop-up to feel like they’re coming to get something that has been invested in, and carefully worked on just for them. We wanted a timeless name that would transcend trends and fads and the kitschy influences of our time.
How do you think New Haervest intersects with the new ecosystem of fashion and music in Nigeria?
We as a team really feel like there is a new, up and coming generation of musicians, designers and audiences that need to be tapped into. You have youths listening to Afro-Swing from the UK, artists like JHus, Abra Kadabra, Burna Boy and Wizkid, all exploring new and different sounds. The success of these artists suggests that young people want to get into that new sound that takes inspiration from vintage music and aesthetics but puts its own spin on it. This is where New Haervest comes in; we want to create a scene where these artists to intersect with these audiences.
When I came to Nigeria in the summer, my nightlife seemed to compromise of the same kind of people, pushing the same kind of sound and aesthetic as the mainstream. People were getting denied entry to events for not looking a certain way and that didn’t sit well with me. So I decided to create a more inclusive space that encourages young people who want to experiment with fashion and music to do so. Anyone who follows fashion and music knows that musicians have to indulge in fashion as part of their brand aesthetic and many go on to become fashion icons. So it makes sense for us selling vintage pieces and engaging underground artists to play up both sides.
New Haervest is ultimately a safe space, for up and coming musicians, for outcasts, for the adventurous in fashion, music and life. We do not turn anyone away, provided what their personal choices do not harm anyone else.
You have a number of Nigerian artists performing at New Haervest. Why did you choose this specific crowd?
We chose some artists, but also some of the artists performing this year at New Haervest actually reached out to us, and chose us. When we were singling out our setlist, we listened to their music and tried as much as possible to choose artists who were experimenting with a fresh sound and a new aesthetic.
We have focused this much on diversity in sound and fashion choices because we want our crowd of Nigerians to adopt us as their safe space as the event and the team that understands them and provides the kind of entertainment that they want at this point in their lives and the merchandise to boot.
Who is New Haervest trying to reach with this pop-up?
We are trying to reach everyone. We know this sounds ambitious, but yeah, this is how big we think New Haervest can become. We want to reach all kinds of young people; the mainstream, the fringe guy/girl, the rebel. We are kind of done with scenes trying to reach a particular ‘somebody’.
We are here to get everyone into New Haervest.
We know there’s the Pop-Up and the performances, what else can we get excited for on the 16th?
It is very important to us to create a vibe, as a person who understand the true power of the right ambience and the right environment, I am excited for the opportunity to create one of my own. So more than anything else for us we want people to feel so comfortable around the crowd at New Haervest, that they are their true selves. So we are very excited for the networking opportunities and the new connections that everyone will make. We want people to leave the New Haervest pop-up with their phones full and hopeful for all the new possibilities that the connections they made will bring.
But of course, we’ll also have other activities, like a polaroid photo booth and a Henna stand, just little ways to have fun while you shop and jive to the music. We even have a live DJ, who we found ourselves on a night out in town. So its going to be really dope.
So why vintage? Everyone has a personal journey into fashion, what is yours?
I went to university in the UK in the city of Kent, and when I moved to London after I graduated, I was introduced to a lot of scenes, many of which expressed themselves through their dress. I enjoyed thrifting, because it was a cost effective way to find my own place as I explored myself through fashion. I am Nigerian, so much of you childhood and adolescence was very restricted, my parents had a very limiting point of view on how I should live my life and growing up and gaining some independence from them really allowed me come into this.
I got so into fashion that I began to study it, interning at Rocket Vintage.
Will we see more of New Haervest in 2018
Definitely. We really want to make New Haervest a movement. There are definitely going to be a lot more pop-ups in 2018 and we certainly want to take the New Haervest idea around Africa in 2018. We also want to invest in social good by crowdsourcing funding and creating spaces where young people can get involved in philanthropy.
If not anything else, next year will certainly be interesting for us.