News / Africa

Young Nigerian Designer Turns Men's Fashion Orange

The fourth in a series on Africa's Rising Stars

Abebayo Oke-Lawal has attracted the fashion world with designs like this green fur-collared coat he wore recently. Adebayo Oke-Lawal directs Orange Culture from his Lagos studio. (Photo Courtesy Orange Culture)
Abebayo Oke-Lawal has attracted the fashion world with designs like this green fur-collared coat he wore recently. Adebayo Oke-Lawal directs Orange Culture from his Lagos studio. (Photo Courtesy Orange Culture)
Kwame Ofori
  • “Orange culture is a men’s wear label,” says designer Oke-Lawal. “… and it’s the quirkiest men’s label you can think of in Africa.” (Courtesy Orange Culture)
  • Oke-Lawal wants a brand that “speaks volumes in that … you know that it’s Orange Culture.” (Photo Courtesy Orange Culture)
  • Abebayo Oke-Lawal’s goal is to create a niche in men’s fashion “all over the world and representing my countrymen to the fullest.” (Photo Courtesy Orange Culture)
  • “Orange represents the sort of a person who has different interests or interests that don’t particularly pertain to the norm,” Oke-Lawal says. (Photo Courtesy Orange Culture)
  • “We definitely produce clothes for a man who is adventurous, colorful, and loves to express himself,” says Ake-Lawal. (Photo Courtesy Orange Culture)
  • “An Orange Culture boy or girl is someone … who takes a risk with his life or her life,” says designer Oke-Lawal. (Photo Courtesy Orange Culture)
Fashion is the basic fabric of society. It becomes creative when thought and art are put behind the very scissors that create eye-catching street-wear.
 
As the young director behind Orange Culture, Adebayo Oke-Lawal is fast becoming an expert on the process and he and his Lagos fashion house are taking Africa by storm.
 
His company has been featured in major fashion magazines like Elle and Complex in the United States. Orange Culture has been touted by many local and international fashion writers as one of Africa’s up-and-coming clothing brands.
 
Mixing both western and African styles with a tinge of art, Adebayo tells us what Orange Culture means to him.
 
Listen to the interview with Adebayo Oke-Lawal
Listen to the interview with Adebayo Oke-Lawali
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Adebayor cuts the quirkiest label in Africa

“Orange culture is a men’s wear label. Its on-going and I started it two years ago and it’s the quirkiest men’s label you can think of in Africa,” says Adebayo. “We produce clothes that tell interesting stories.

“We definitely produce clothes for a man who is adventurous, colorful, and loves to express himself. So, it’s a strong men’s wear label with a point of view.

Fashion designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal runs his popular line of clothing from Lagos. (Courtesy Orange Culture)Fashion designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal runs his popular line of clothing from Lagos. (Courtesy Orange Culture)
x
Fashion designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal runs his popular line of clothing from Lagos. (Courtesy Orange Culture)
Fashion designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal runs his popular line of clothing from Lagos. (Courtesy Orange Culture)
“For me, Orange represents the sort of person who has different interests or interests that don’t particularly pertain to the norm - interests or career paths that are interesting and unique."
 
Adebayo’s designs transcend his own culture where “a lot of people weren’t so interested in fashion and felt like it was an unserious career path. An Orange Culture person or orange boy or girl - for me, then - is someone who is an individual, fun and who takes a risk with his life or her life.”
 
‘Represent my countrymen to the fullest’
 
His greatest achievement is surviving two years in a very competitive industry and achieving major industry recognition. He wants to create a niche for Orange Culture where his outfits are recognized everywhere in the world.
 
Part of his secret is confidence and ambition. “I intend to achieve a lot,” the designer says. “Creating a brand that speaks volumes in that no matter where you see something from Orange Culture - you know that it’s Orange Culture.
 
His goal is not modest. “To create a niche that is definitely known all over the world and representing my countrymen to the fullest.” Thoughtfully, he adds, “Yet still maintain a brand that is internationally recognizable as African and be able to make a difference.”
 
Advice for those who follow
 
At recent Lagos fashion shows, Adebayo impressed an international audience, cementing his brand as a leading power house on the Nigerian scene and in Africa. Nollywood actors like Uti Nwachukwu favor his designs.

For young people ready to take on the fashion industry, he has this to say.
 
“They should just make sure that they are passionate about it. There is so much more to fashion like the drama. People enter fashion for the wrong reasons.
 
“I just feel like it should be something that they are passionate about and something that they have love for.
 
“Don’t just jump because everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Make sure you do it in your own way. Don’t try to be like anybody else. Just make sure you do it in a way that works best for you.
 
Adebayo continues to expand his brand and attract an even wider audience not just in Africa but also in the United States and in Europe.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More