Yo Yo Y’OH – Menswear Designer PROFILE

Posted on August 29, 2011


Kara Messina of Y’OH – Image copyright – Y’OH streetwear 2011

We realise we don’t feature enough menswear brands who are repping Africa – so encourage you all to send in your press releases if you specifically focus on this area of design.

When we came across Y’OH we just had to feature them. A brand which is fed up with the way things are and wishes to breathe a new life into the way things are through streetwear. The fresh new collection is called ‘Head’s Ain’t Ready’ and uses African wax print fabric as their alternative to the checked shirt.

Based in good ol’ London town and started by Kara Messina who has a strong background in pattern cutting. She wanted to present a t-shirt but in a non-stretch fabric as an alternative to a shirt. The Y-SHIRT aka non-stretch long sleeve t-shirt is a cross between a t-shirt & a shirt and is all about not wanting to dress up or down. The long shirts aims to fill the gab between smart and casual for the grown up streetwear dresser as she recognises that streetwear has changed.

Image copyright – Y’OH streetwear 2011
Image copyright – Y’OH streetwear 2011
Image copyright – Y’OH streetwear 2011
Image copyright – Y’OH streetwear 2011
Image copyright – Y’OH streetwear 2011
Image copyright – Y’OH streetwear 2011

Kara manufactures in Bow, East London where she also produces some awesome outerwear pieces using Scottish wax cotton, military twill lining and even fusing these mixing it with African print fabric too, and ended up with essential pieces for the wardrobe reengineered in a modern fresh outlay.

Her African influence is interesting as it’s not directly linked to Africa but mainly though subculture one could say.

SKETCH-BOOK- Image copyright – Y’OH streetwear 2011

Kara explains:

“I initially began by looking at traditional dress. The research then developed into looking at AFROCENTRIC look which became prominent in the 80s. It reflected raps renewed determination to assert black cultural identity and roots. Effectively blending sportswear with traditional African fabrics such as BATIK and loose comfortable styles. ….Although I see room for development in the prints (as outlined in the reference on the right) I feel that the African fabric in it’s original form can also be equally innovative. The product need not change it’s our way of perceiving it. Essentially forgetting prejudice and looking at it a fresh in it’s original state.”

This is all about her way of interpretation. How Kara interprets and how the wearer interprets life music fashion through the way they dress. Y’OH simply offers another way of doing it. We personally love the outerwear pieces with the African print with a nod to brands such as Northface it is a definite contender; and the woven tees in African print fabric. Fresh!

We will be watching this space for further collections and collaborations that they do.

Image copyright – Y’OH streetwear 2011

Check out their E-STORE launching THIS month to grab the pieces you like.


Posted in: Fashion