Over three decades ago, TED began as a technology, entertainment and design conference. Today, the program provides support to an international community of visionaries who collaborate to create positive change around the world.
Every year, the TED Fellows program invites innovators from around the world to apply for the fellowship. Fellows are then selected based on their accomplishments to attend each TED Conference – and this year, one Nigerian made the coveted list: the versatile Wale Oyejide.
Wale was born and raised in Ibadan before moving to the US as a teenager. A modern day renaissance man, he describes himself as an afrobeat musician, an attorney and a menswear designer.
He first worked as a musician, and then as an attorney, before turning to fashion design. Speaking with Daily Trust about making the transition into worlds that are so far apart, Wale said:
"The switch has always been organic, and in some cases, one of necessity. Most of us are talented in different ways.
For me, a lack of inspiration is usually a good indicator that I should move on to something new."
While Wale doesn't have a formal fashion education, being named one of the best dressed men in America by Esquire in 2010, was all the motivation he needed to try his hand at fashion designing – and the fashion world is all the better for it.
Teaming up with bespoke tailor and musician Sam Hubler, Wale founded his fashion line Ikiré Jones – a beautiful marriage between Neapolitan tailoring and African aesthetics.
From their art-inspired jackets to their bold sportcoats, Ikiré Jones has an inimitable style that – like that of its founder – is hard to miss and even harder to hate.
Speaking with Okay Africa about why he creates, Wale said:
"For me, it was a natural evolution. The same way I began my music career several years ago by diving-in, I began my career in the menswear industry.
Creative people have a difficult time sitting on the side-lines. When we find something we are passionate about, we end up trying our hand at it, for better or worse."