Androgyny in Nigeria's Fashion Industry?

FASHION BRANDS THAT HAVE PUSHED SOCIETAL STEREOTYPE ASIDE TO BECOME ANDROGYNOUS.

In line with androgynous fashion, the first set of names that come to mind are David Bowie, Michael Jackson, and Prince. The hypocritical nature of Nigeria is such that it welcomes Foreign western ideologies and then filters it, churches frown upon trousers but would adopt white man's method of conducting a wedding ceremony. Nevertheless going by our prediction and upcoming behavioural exhibitions of citizens, androgynous style is resting its heavy arms on the fashion industry.

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Taking the highlight of this review, is "Nigerian gone international" fashion brand "Orange Culture". They only just showcased their AW17 collection at the ongoing London Fashion Week, making them the first Nigerian brand at London Fashion Scout.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR. 

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Adebayo Oke-Lawal has been designing since the age of 10, and since officially entering the fashion industry, he’s dabbled in writing and styling, working with African designers, actors, pop stars and even magazines like Rita Dominic, Tiwa Savage ,Mocheddah, Wow magazine and Élan But design is his greatest passion, and since starting the label in 2011, he’s been hard at work trying to bring Orange Culture to the world. It’s hard to believe, with all he’s accomplished, that he hasn’t even lived a quarter century. 

Adebayo Oke-Lawal describes Orange Culture as a “movement” more than a clothing line, for a creative class of men who he describes as “self aware , expressive, explorative, art-loving nomad[s].” The label previously produced womens wear options, but Oke-Lawal says he’s since decided to focus on the fellas. Combining classic and contemporary western silhouettes (like collared button-ups and lapel-less blazers) with African sensibilities,  Oke-Lawal creates offerings for modern men who like a little flair, and of course: colour. Orange Culture is a heady mixture of Nigerian inspired silhouettes, print fabrics and contemporary urban street wear.

Since it's inception the brand and it's creative director have been featured in Vogue , Elle, Marie Claire, Voice of America, Financial Times, Wings, and the list goes on and on. the brand has been  a finalist for huge design platforms like the LVMH (Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennesey ) prize - where he was picked alongside 29 of the hugest emerging designers from all over the world out of 1221 , MTN Lagos fashion and design week and Mode men awards, picked by Vogue and GQ Italia to present a collection at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy.

CONTACT

info@orangecultureng.com

Instagram : @orangecultureng

WHY WE LOVE THE LABEL?

If you are one that likes to let your outfit do all the talking, then this brand is for you! It is a mix of African, retro, modern, style and a splurge of aesthetic.; perfect fusion between African culture and modern day attires. While the branded started out as both offering menswear and womenswear clothing, Bayo (the creative director), decided to focus on menswear as he spotted a much needed gap to be filled. Being primarily inspired by Nigeria, he says.

My collections are very introspective and I am Nigerian, therefore, everything I draw out of me is inspired by the country. Shapes and prints are all inspired by emotions and conversations I’ve experienced growing up here.

With a vision to take Orange Culture everywhere but also limited by funds as it is self-funded, Bayo on launching an international label 

It’s been a challenge. Getting a global customer to buy into the idea of a locally produced menswear brand has been both a blessing and a curse. It’s tough but I’ve had great support from platforms like Lagos fashion and design week, NEPC, and our amazing European PR, May concepts – and consultant Arieta Mujay, family and great friends. This has helped keep me stay sane in the hardest of periods. I am telling our story with quality and introducing people to my beautiful culture.
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Against all odds, and a country mainly not in support of androgyny nonetheless permeating its borders, the brand has stood and spread its wings far and is not letting it down anytime soon; will it be around for a long time, we can bet it would!