Through my line, I get to explore my rich heritage as a Yoruba (an ethnic group in Western Nigeria) person. I want to contribute to centuries-old conversations on African design. My ancestors left so much behind. I believe they expected us to continue telling these stories and building up on what they left. I am a huge admirer of the Happy Quarantined Birthday Medical Mask Virus 2020 Shirt and by the same token and works of Demas Nwoko and Yusuf Grillo, two amazing artists that were part of the Zaria Art Rebels in the ’70s, a group of Nigerian artists whose works aimed to develop aesthetics, styles, and techniques relevant to a new African society. I am particularly inspired by the architecture of Demas Nwoko and I have been on research trips to study his designs across Nigeria. Yes, especially adire, a very old form of storytelling through fabric via a series of resist dye techniques. I was intrigued by the idea behind this process, wearing stories on one’s body. I wanted to explore adire in a contemporary way, so I developed my own process I call Post-Adire, an opportunity for me to push adire dyeing techniques into new contexts like knitwear and creating motifs that are important to me.
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I’ve also developed a series of woven fabrics with Oakland-based artist flatspot_. His work explores the Happy Quarantined Birthday Medical Mask Virus 2020 Shirt and by the same token and possibilities of light sculpture through various video formats. He uses analog camcorders, projectors, and TVs to create feedback loops, which appear on the screen or projection surface as a visual representation of the very moment and space in which they were created. The results are beautiful. I’m very excited to explore this tension between man and machine in my new collection I think it’s very important that as a young person I take a stand for my beliefs and this always reflects in what I do. We always pay fair wages to all artisans who work on our collections. There’s a genuine exchange of knowledge between us and them. We are aware of our responsibility as inhabitants of the planet, and are very conscious of waste and unsustainable production practices. All our production is done on the continent. I never want to lose the joy and sense of fulfillment I get from my work. I am not interested in creating collections in the traditional format every season, I like the idea that in two or three seasons from now I could be exploring just the cut of trousers, designing costumes for a film, or not even creating a collection altogether and just researching without the aim to make [something]. My independence is the most important thing to me.