kevin iniongo-eloko

A Creative Odyssey from Côte d'Ivoire to London's Artistic Heart

Kevin Iniongo-Eloko, a visionary artist with roots tracing back to Côte d'Ivoire and Zaire, currently calls London home. Born and raised in France in the 91080 department, his artistic journey is a vibrant tapestry woven with diverse influences.

From an early age, Kevin found inspiration in the magnetic charisma of Michael Jackson, the rich tapestry of Japanese culture encompassing anime and manga, and the authentic beats of hip hop and streetwear. His creative spark ignited at 16 when he embarked on crafting T-shirts and hoodies in his small French town, giving birth to his brand, BAREK NEVERLANDESS.

This initial foray laid the foundation for Kevin's unique style, marked by distinctive logos that resonated with his audience. Through small side jobs, he financed his marketing endeavors, eventually garnering attention from clients and prompting him to showcase his creations in London. In 2016, he made the leap to the UK to explore its vibrant market.

Kevin's professional journey began at McDonald's at the age of 17-18, a testament to his work ethic and resilience. Despite holding various jobs, he remained driven by a passion for creativity.

An autodidact, Kevin possesses no formal degrees but holds a diploma in drawing. His diverse experiences include working as an electrician, attending a gastronomic cooking school, and studying at the first Japanese manga drawing school in France, located in Paris.

Critical milestones in Kevin's career include collaborations with a French reality TV personality and creating products for notable French rap artists, such as "PNL." His participation in fashion shows during London Fashion Week, organized by Neverfade, opened doors in the English fashion scene.

Kevin's unique approach to work stems from a duty to share his ideas with the world. He takes pride in inspiring those around him and indirectly influencing major brands, receiving compliments and encouragement that serve as his greatest motivation.

Among his proudest achievements are his unconventional customized jackets, blending fantasy and reality. These pieces, with their imaginative flair, render those who wear them special and unique.

Sharing a mutual passion for fashion, Kevin and his wife work collaboratively, aligned in their goals and witnessing the evolution of their joint project.

Having made strides in France and London, Kevin now aspires to set foot in the United States, driven by the encouragement of New Yorkers and Angelenos. His dreams extend to Japan, a land that symbolizes his greatest aspiration. Currently crafting numerous creations for distribution across Europe's diverse streetwear stores, Kevin aims to be recognized as a great artist, an inspiration, a creator, and an entertainer.


1. Can you delve deeper into how the magnetic charisma of Michael Jackson and the rich tapestry of Japanese culture, including anime and manga, have continued to shape your artistic journey?

The magnetism of MJ and his perspective on things greatly intrigued me in my youth; his cunning and approach to his craft always fascinated me. Manga represents a philosophical and artistic side for me. I find this art form to be very thoughtful and complex, which aligns with my preferences.

2. Starting at the age of 16, you began crafting T-shirts and hoodies, eventually founding BAREK NEVERLANDESS. What specific experiences during this initial phase laid the foundation for your unique artistic style?

Starting with simple logo T-shirts, then evolving to jackets with patches, the journey progressed with toy-like elements such as Lego on jackets, and lately, it has evolved further with painting.

3. Financing marketing endeavors through side jobs is a unique approach. How did these experiences contribute to your entrepreneurial mindset, and how did they impact the development of your brand?

I've never been afraid of hard work. What I'm building is a laborious effort, and I learn more quickly in the field. It serves me well in the development of my brand, where I observe and study the mechanisms of entrepreneurs to apply them practically.

Photographer: Massimiliano Emme - @_massi_photo
Model: Angelica Mane - Díaz @enplanafro
Designer: Kevin Iniongo
Customized jacket by Barek Neverlandess Brand.
Location: LONDON

4. The transition to London in 2016 marked a significant chapter. Could you share more about what aspects of the city's market appealed to you and how it influenced your artistic evolution?

The English market?! It's something else, lol. For me, it's the imaginary land of FASHION. Arriving there exposed me to a completely different universe. The English market is very different from the French market. It's more open-minded and accessible, and things seemed to move much faster there than in France. However, France will always remain France, retaining its charm and elegance. France is like a beautiful woman, lol.

5. Working at McDonald's at 17-18 is an interesting part of your journey. How did this early employment experience shape your work ethic and contribute to your resilience, especially considering your diverse career path?

McDonald's allowed me to confront life and the working world face-to-face. It was tough but interesting. I learned a lot about the working world, about being paid, and having a payslip, etc. It was an enriching experience that I held for two years. I wanted to go through that to learn, try out various professions, and be confident in my choices.

6. As an autodidact, could you discuss how your varied experiences, from being an electrician to studying manga drawing, have influenced the evolution of your artistic style?

All these experiences serve me today. I feel like I can do anything—video editing, sewing, website design—I love learning. "Try to do what you love when you're young, so you're ready to give everything when you're ready to do what you really want to do." With all this knowledge, I mix what matches, like a cocktail, and I create things.

7. Collaborating with a French reality TV personality and creating products for French rap artists, such as "PNL," are notable milestones. How have these collaborations impacted your career trajectory?

They gave me a lot of visibility and notoriety. They introduced me to the "imaginary" world of the show business industry.


8. Your participation in London Fashion Week shows organized by Neverfade opened doors in the English fashion scene. Could you elaborate on how this exposure influenced your standing in the industry?

With my unique style, Neverfade was a well-known place in London, where most influential fashion figures like Shafiq Nsubuga @projectshaf, Jadeane Francis (@daddywarbuckkss), Maria Wasag (@marry_glamour), Angelica Man Diaz (@enplanafro), @msmows, Samira Choudhury (@smizerc),, Frédéric (@domikriss), Emily Varr (@emily.varr), the charming and elegant artist, model, and singer Charli Fletcher (@charliiamlegend) with her latest music 'Everything NICE,' which you can find on YouTube.

With my collaboration, not forgetting @sushinlondon, Esther Phillips (@jungel_queen), with whom I collaborated. Good photographers I worked with for events like Aris (@aris_akritidis); Massimiliano Emme, and finally Ramon Gazhang (@RGZG), who, for me, are pillars of photography in London. All these names have been my best models and photographers in this country, and I'm very serious about that. They brought a real visual. They are very serious about their work. I invite you to check out their Instagram.

We often gathered to work together or organize events when Neverfade was still open, a very popular place in Soho, which is unfortunately now permanently closed. You could run into public figures in the store, designers, photographers, everything, really. It was really impressive and familial, lol. Afterward, the manager of the place, 'Terence ÉBÈNE' alias 'T,' whom I warmly salute, proposed to me to sell my products at Oxford Circus because I brought people with other designers like Bosko Krivocuca (@Bosko), a great designer and visionary whose brand is clean and reflects his beautiful personality.

We had Marc Hassan (@Marchassan) with his very old-school brand, whom I also salute. They are very good; I would advise you to check out their clothing brands on Instagram too. Terence ÉBÈNE alias 'T' was the manager of Neverfade; he was a bit like the father of the group. He was the first to put me in the spotlight in London; I will never thank him enough. A wise, simple, and very kind man.

If you want to know what he looks like and what he's doing now, check out his website: Through him, I repeat, I met the best models and photographers in London for me. If I am very satisfied with the marketing visual of my brand, I think it's because I chose the best to work with.

Finally, after my sales at Neverfade in Soho and Oxford Circus, I went to sell my products in a store called RxTRO in Shoreditch, another great city, with my brothers Franklin Boateng and Anthony Odogwu as store managers, a store with a very American and old-school style. They were really serious about business and allowed me to be seen on the Shoreditch market.

All these collaborations lifted me up. I love them all from the bottom of my heart from afar. I am shy when I am in public, so I take the opportunity here to say it, lol. They will remain engraved. They are trustworthy and professional people of the heart. I never forget the people I had the pleasure of working with; they are my best memories in London.

9. You mentioned indirectly influencing major brands. Can you provide specific instances where your work has inspired or impacted well-known names in the industry?

I cannot disclose all the names for professional reasons, but I can confirm that we attracted attention from high-level executives at Louis Vuitton at one point. We were spotted for a collaboration. That's all I can say about it. I wanted to be a fashion designer to have fun and illuminate people, not to compete with other brands.

10. Venturing towards the United States and Japan, what specific goals and aspirations do you have for furthering your influence and recognition as an artist and creator?

My goal is to reach celebrities! Celebrities and just celebrities, lol! I won't rest until a popular personality or someone from Japan tests my original style. After that, I'll level up, and there's no rest until then.

I would like to express my gratitude to Eclair Magazine for this first interview.

Collaboration with Charli Fletcher.

Photographer: Massimiliano Emme - @_massi_photo )
Designer: Kevin Iniongo
Jumpsuit by Barek Neverlandess Brand.
Models: Jadeane Francis - @daddywarbuckkss
Shafiq Nsubuga - @projectshaf

Photographer: Kevin Iniongo
Designer: Kevin Iniongo
Customized jacket by
Barek Neverlandess Brand.
Model: Backari coli - @chuck_bacs
Location: FRANCE ( Paris )

Model: Jeremaya
Photographer: Jennifer SASSO
Customized jacket by
Barek Neverlandess Brand.
Location: Neverfade LONDON

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