In January 2019, Ogunlesi made her London Fashion Week debut via Fashion East, a nonprofit organization founded by Old Truman Brewery and Lulu Kennedy in 2000 that supports young designers and gives them a platform to show at London Fashion Week. This is where she showed her innovative take on womenswear for the first time. The theme was exposure, whether that’s emotional or physical, and models wore sculpted leather jackets with cut-outs, coated leather jackets, and skinny leather pants, and ultra-mini miniskirts. By this time celebrities including Solange and Skepta, who sat front row at this show, had worn her pieces, which she describes as unisex and influenced by her country.

“I’m Nigerian, so whatever I create is automatically going to be Nigerian work. I don’t feel like I have to brand myself as ‘the African designer,’” she told Vogue UK. “The conversations that I want people to be having in Nigeria are the same conversations that people are having here in London. At the end of the day, I’m just a designer making shit that I want to make.”

She went on to show at London’s Fashion East show again in June 2019, expanding on her aesthetic and presenting glossy leather jackets treated with custom spray-painted art, leather suits, halter dresses, along with moto jackets and pieces made from a neon green and brown cowhide. Ogunlesi added a bloody gunshot wound to a few of the pieces. The detail was meant to symbolize the dangerous side of falling in love. Following this show, Drake wore a custom leather jacket by Ogunlesi that was spray-painted with an illustration of Halle Berry as her character Jinx from the 2002 James Bond movie Die Another Day

Naomi Campbell wore one of Ogunlesi’s halterneck dresses with a crimson gunshot wound to the Fashion for Relief show in London in September 2019. To clear up its interpretation, Ogunlesi posted its meaning on Instagram shortly after Campbell wore it, stating: “I make clothes to challenge people’s minds. This gown is from my collection ‘Coming For Blood’—a delving into the horrific feeling of falling in love. This dress is extremely emotional to me—it screams my lived experience as a black person.” She continued: “It shows no matter how well dressed you are or well behaved, we are time after time, seen as a walking target. I’m in a privileged position to be able to speak on issues that others would be silenced on. Inequality is still rife and newspapers clawing at my work is testament to that.”

Read the full article here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *