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 Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora