Nigerian-born, London-based designer, Duro Olowu, known for his draped dresses and powerful prints with an African accent is our Man Crush this Monday.
Like his father, he enjoyed a respite as a lawyer in Nigeria, but in the late 1990s he gave up the corporate world and opened a shop on London’s Portobello Road to sell his designs and soon after, in 2004, launched his eponymous brand.
Since arriving on the London fashion scene in 2004, Olowu has impressed the right people with his vibrant mix of African prints, seventies tailoring, and unlikely color combos.
In 2005, Duro’s high-waisted patchwork boho dress, named “Duro” put his brand on the fashion map after been voted “Dress of the Year” by both British and American Vogue.
Duro bagged the British Fashion Awards’ New Designer of the Year accolade that same year.
His work expresses a firm belief in the mix of the beauty that comes from fusing influences far and wide.
With women like former U.S. First Lady, Michelle Obama, eBay Style Director Constance White, Fashion PR maven Bonnie Morrison, Supermodel Iman and Chief Curator and Director of the Studio Museum in Harlem Thelma Gooden; now his wife sporting his design in more than one occasion, Duro Olowu creations have become the global luxury-shopping destination for women.
“Fabric is the most important thing. I design my own textiles, which are all made in England or Italy, and then I add in a rare vintage fabric into the design. I like very contemporary things, but I also appreciate things that were made in a certain period that haven’t dated, because that’s really hard to do,” he said.
In 2010, he was named “Best International Designer” at the African Fashion Awards in South Africa.“I like clothes to reflect whom the person is, so no mutton dressed as lamb, no trying too hard,” he said.
That’s the direction he predicts society is moving in: “It’s how people used to think about fashion and music, and that’s what people are going back to. Not just following the same crowd.” he added.
The U.S. former first lady, Michelle Obama enlisted the multi-talented fashion designer and other creative masterminds to decorate the White House for the holidays in 2011.
Recently, Duro released stunning photos of his Autumn/Winter 2017 collection and true to form, the collection had a lot of colour and prints, in both structured and floaty fabrics.
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