(Photo: JoyceNG/The Native)
Mowalola Is The Radical And Daring Brand Nigerian Menswear Needs
Given all that she has achieved since, it is difficult to believe that Mowalola Ogunlesi debuted her graduate collection from the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design just last year.
In the year and a half since, Mowalola, her eponymous brand, has been styled on Solange for Dazed Magazine; in Skepta's hazy "Pure Water" video; and in Nike's Naija Collective Nigerian kit launch. Mowalola herself was called upon to style the kit launch, a campaign that took the world by storm.
Mowalola is an unapologetically sexy offering to the menswear world, originally inspired by the little-explored Nigerian rock scene of the '70s and '80s. According to the brand's website, Mowalola's "pan-African approach to design is all about the celebration of the black African male."
Speaking with Vogue, she describes her brand's culture, saying:
"My aesthetic is violent, provocative, and fluid"
The title of her graduate collection, Psychedelic, acts as an apt description for the brand, which draws on materials from petrol-heads of old, using leather and brightly contrasting prints to bring the psychotropic visions of this creative genius to life.
Mowalola's most recent accolade comes as a gift to all fashion enthusiasts; she has been selected as one of the three menswear designers to showcase at the prestigious non-profit initiative, Fashion East's catwalk during London Fashion Week's Autumn Winter '19 season.
Previous designers who have been awarded this opportunity include, Simone Rocha, JW Anderson and Kim Jones, who is now Artistic Director at Dior Homme. With these reputable forces, we are confident that Fashion East will elevate Mowalola beyond the heights the brand has already achieved.
As Mowalola graces the world with her avant-garde realisation of a psychedelic period in Nigerian history, we are eager to see men back home experiment and explore this audaciously sexy menswear brand.
By Adewojumi Aderemi, published on 14/11/2018