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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs