A brief item in the 'Sunday Styles' section of the NY Times (print version, not online) piqued my interest about Nigeria-born fashion designer Duro Olowu. Believe it or not, he trained as a lawyer before launching his brand and boutique in London in 2004.
Olowu's unique approach to fabric, his hallmark, reflects his love and wealth of knowledge of European and African prints. He designs most of his fabrics and prints himself, but he also uses vintage textiles.
Just look at the way he combines these prints that at first blush look like they don't belong together.
Silk Kimono Dress
In an interview in Italian Vogue, Olowu said that he sometimes uses vintage original fabrics, but he cautioned: "It's not recycling. It's reclaiming and sustaining what already exists...."When I started, people were always like, 'Oh my goodness, why would you mix this print with that print?' and I said: 'It's instinctive.''
A dress from Olowu's Spring 2012 Collection from Elle.com
Merino Jacket made of merino wool and cashmere
Olowu is curating a show at Salon 94's Freeman Gallery in the Lower East Side of Manhattan from February 9 - March 4. The show will include pieces from his 2012 spring collection as well as a selection of vintage and contemporary photography, textiles, contemporary art, furniture, music, books and objets trouvés. Wish I could be there to catch it!
Print Swing Dress, 100% silk with stud-fastened cuffs
Michelle Obama, a fashion statement in her own right, has been photographed wearing Olowu's creations many times. Here's one for you from the Fancy Hub.
Olowu has a great story not only because he's creating fashion inspired by his growing up in Nigeria but also because he was able to break free from the expectations of becoming a lawyer. How lucky for him and the rest of us that he decided to pursue his passion for fashion.