In 2016, Chekwas Okafor launched a brilliant online retail store, which aims to position African luxury fashion at the forefront.
Nearly two years later, ONCHEK has seen massive growth, and has now brought us a capsule collection, UNITY — in collaboration with homegrown brands such as Orange Culture and Shem Paronelli.
Standing on the principles of coalition, pride, and integrity, the UNITY collection pays homage to the Nigerian Super Eagles, as excitement builds up for the 2018 World. With this capsule collection, ONCHEK presents an exclusive patriotic assembly of select designs.
The country is in desperate need of a mood-lifter, given the current economic, political and even literal climate over here. Besides the dope jerseys and shoes, ONCHEK, Orange Culture and Shem Paronelli have presented us with another means to celebrate national pride.
In that breath, we at Konbini had a chat with Chekwas about how this collaboration came about, what it means and what to expect from him next.
Konbini: Why did you choose UNITY as the name of this collaboration?
Chekwas: Nigeria is a very diverse country – from cultures to languages – and I understand that one thing that always brings us together is our love for the country.
Super Eagles is another facet of that love that all Nigerians share, and we collectively support them and unite irrespective of our backgrounds.
This was why we named the collection UNITY – since the collaboration is in tribute to the Nigerian Super Eagles, we referenced that UNITY the team gives us.
What do you think is the cultural significance of football jerseys in Nigeria, especially in light of the upcoming world cup?
We Nigerians absolutely love football, and it's almost a ritual to support a football team. With a jersey, we can speak to a lot of Nigerians through the one thing we most people love – football.
Also since we are paying tribute to the Nigerian Super Eagles, we believe that our collaboration will transcend the people's individual styles, as most people can rock a football jersey.
We hope the UNITY in front of the jersey can start a conversation that helps us learn more about ourselves.
How do you want this collaboration to make Nigerians feel?
I would like Nigerians to, for one, see the impact of collaborations. The importance of sharing talent in the creative space. Our collaboration with Orange Culture and Shem Paronelli, both amazing brands in their spaces, shows how far we can go when come together to build up the creative space.
In regards to our campaign message, we will like Nigerians to celebrate what makes us diverse, and celebrate what makes us one. It is in our differences that we emerge a great nation.
In what other ways do you think fashion and sports culture can intersect?
For one, we can include our designers and manufacturers in the making of sports kits – that would be nice. From Olympics to World Cups to Campaigns. This will spice up the sports culture, while creating a great synergy. Above all, it is absolutely patriotic.
Should we expect more of these kinds of collaborations from ONCHEK?
Oh absolutely! We had a lot of fun doing this. Working with two great designers even made it more fun. So yes, just wait for it!
Check out some more photos of this capsule collection right here: