Adebayo Oke-Lawal is one of Nigeria’s favourite sons, and rightly so. Orange Culture – the fashion label he founded in 2011 – is a not only producing beautifully made, and internationally recognised garments, but it is also at the forefront of creating a more progressive environment in the world of men’s fashion. Both a writer and stylist in addition to his design work, this eclectic talent is a glittering jewel in the crown of Africa’s burgeoning fashion mecca.#CSARADAR profiles one of Africa’s hottest designers.

Words: Tshiamo Seape

Oke-Lawal started his journey at a very early age. Designing clothes by the age of 11, it was clear for all to see that he was destined for greatness. However, the evolution from a talented amateur to a master at the peak of his talents didn’t come without growing pains. Adebayo was uncomfortable with the rigid state of men’s fashion: Three piece suits, distressed denim, and the rest of the traditionally masculine fare only served to stifle the imagination. There was a void in the fashion world and Oke-Lawal was eager to fill it.

Focusing strictly on menswear, he has gone on to create clothes that are a glorious mix of bold patterns and textures combined with streetwear sensibilities. Ever a personal and impactful designer, his clothes never stray too far from the Nigerian silhouettes of his homeland. His collections feature pieces that would be at home on any street style blog or the real life streets of 22nd century Lagos.

Clothes that flare, drape, and reveal do not usually form part of the vocabulary of men’s fashion, but Adebayo’s Orange Culture speaks to a redefined image of masculine beauty -“People that buy and wear Orange Culture are looking for more than just clothes. They want to feel something, they want to feel emotionally invested in what it is they’re buying,” says the designer. We don’t know what we want before we see it, but through his unique vision, Adebayo Oke-Lawal is giving us a glimpse of the future.

Adebayo has an impressive following online to go along with his enviable list of accolades. With features in Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire and a selection as a semi-finalist for the Global Young Fashion Designer Prize by LVMH (the luxury goods conglomerate comprising Louis Vuitton and more), it’s clear that we at #CSARADAR aren’t the only ones with an eye on him.

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