Fashion in Africa is proving to be a movement that is definitely one to watch. Lagos, Nigeria is currently the hot bed of the African fashion industry and that doesn’t surprise me much. Nigerians love to dress up and stand out. It only makes sense that they would give their fashion community a fighting chance.
28-year-old Adebayo Oke-Lawal is the creative genius behind Orange Culture.
This is a Nigerian menswear brand that is known for pushing the boundaries and blurring the lines of gender with his designs. He founded the brand in 2011 and has since been challenging minds through his expressive collections that reflect his own version of masculinity.
Though his line and brand is set apart from the gender norms in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, his work delivers.
Adebayo mastered the power of fashion at a very young age. According to him, you have to let your clothes speak for you before you open your mouth. 2018 is a year of self-expression for fashion, so trust that this particular designer is worth the investment.
He has never conformed to the ideals of hyper masculinity and disagrees with the notion that men should never cry. For Adebayo, there isn’t only one type of man or woman who is beautiful. Beauty is about diversity and appreciating true beauty will come to the beholder who allows him/herself to embody diversity.
The brand has seen some amount of success over the years.
Orange culture became the first Nigerian brand to show at London Fashion Week Men’s. As a designer and creative, he seeks inspiration from his hometown. He channels the reinvention of traditional structures and tailors them to fit the modern world. His agbadas are not basic. They are made from classic African flair with a healthy dose of color mixed with Western silhouettes and prints birthed from problems we face in today’s society.
His A/W17 collection named “pretty” was brought to life when he had a talk with young boys who had been abused in school and were told they were not pretty by their abusers. Male children get abused, they deal with depression and nobody talks about it. He chose his collection to be his way of starting the conversation and bringing awareness to this matter.
Adebayo’s designs are not for everybody and certainly not for the hyper masculine man.
However these pieces would be better suited in the closet of a man not afraid to be in touch with his feminine side of fashion every now and then. A man with a statement yet risqué style palette.
Orange culture is refreshing in a way that we are not used to in African fashion.
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Our SS18 Green Denim Pants,AW17 Jumpsuit, Puffer and Knit as seen on the men featured in – "Okada Love pt. 1" A fashion piece shot and styled by @willyverse for @nataalmedia It highlights the untold story of the intimacy that exists between Okada driver and passenger. makeup – @mikes_makeovers Models (L-R tagged) – Nelson, Arafat, Daniel
Season after season Adebayo tells his audience a new story that gives deeper meaning to some of the issues yet to be discussed at the table of society. I love it and I can’t wait to see what this fashion genius comes up with next.
Media courtesy of Orange Culture Nigeria Instagram