By Lolade Odeyemi |
Duro Olowu is a Nigerian/British designer extraordinaire. Born to a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother, he was raised in Nigeria and England, and was a practicing lawyer in England, just like his father, before he discovered his knack for fashion. Olowu has made his name as one of the very vibrant and brilliant Nigerian designers who has, through his distinctly pieced apparels, placed African couture on the world’s fashion map.
His journey into the fashion terrain was inspired by enthralling female apparels that creatively but playfully combine a splash of bright colors and rich texture of fabrics. In October 2004, his flair for fashion paved the way for his first women’s wear label, inspired by a theme of ‘love and joy’. Shortly after his official launch, fashion pundits threw their spotlight on his ingenuity that set him apart as a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry globally.
Olowu’s craft fetched him the award of the New Designer of the Year during the 2005 British Fashion Week in London, just a year after his debut. His works have also attracted high-flying clientele like Michele Obama, who has become a staunch fan of his designs as she has been spotted in many of his pieces on many occasions at public events. Other prominent clients of his include Linda Evangelista and Uma Thurman.
The designer is illustrious for the way he creatively blends bold African prints and patterns in a modern way to resonate with the global fashion audience, without being too traditional or too contemporary. His label strives to create a balance for fashion lovers who are looking to explore daring but tasteful fashion trends. His well-defined cuts and apt mixture of colors and of prints has earned him a high level of deference and the status of a fashion-forward designer in the industry both home and abroad.