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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Profile Interview: Orange Culture by Adebayo Oke-Lawal aka @TheOrangeNerd

Summers Quirk is the 2011 menswear debut collection from Nigerian fashion brand, Orange Culture. Cultivated by the creative young gun, Adebayo Oke-Lawal, the collections presents itself as something of a renaissance man with a sense of colour sophistication. The collection is wearable, firstly, uses very adaptable fabrics which breath and retain shape, secondly, and most importantly, it combines prints with solid colours.

One might think or consider the collection to be for a more ‘brave’ gent, however, looking at the pieces in the collection independently, even the most conservative of dapper guys could sport elements of this collection without feeling like they’ve just lunged themselves into a whole new scenario they are not prepared for.

Personally, I would just rock the garments as is. I’m that type of crazy. The colours are vibrant and they induce all notions of life and living within me.I’m especially a huge fan of the red jacket with the fur shoulder detail and matching pants; the orange feather print pants and finally, the blue cloud print pair of pants, which look like an Ankara print cloth, but I could be wrong. My education in that aspect of African fabrics is still very much in its beginning stages.

Orange Culture should be sported by the young professional guy who is necessarily in a rush to be CEO, but does have the ambitions within him. He’s the kind of guy who enjoys fun times and works hard to enjoy his weekends. The kind of guy with no hang-ups about other people’s opinion and is secure in his understanding of his own personal style. Also, he should probably have an athletic build, the clothes are quite form-fitting, which means if his body shape is something oblique, it could make him look rather awkward than dapper.

We managed to get some time in with the designer, Adebayo Oke-Lawal, we threw some questions at him and this is what he had to say...

Renaissance Men: Adebayo, thank you for launching the Summers Quirk Collection 2011. Talk us through the development of that collection, your inspiration, and the kind of man you were designing for when you created it.
Orange Culture: Thank you for thanking me (lol). I designed the collection for a fun loving guy, a guy filled with life, certainly a guy with a colorful disposition that enjoys rocking pieces suited to different fashionable summer experiences.

RM: Orange Culture is quite a quirky name for a brand, especially one in fashion. How did you come about the name and what work has gone into building the brand, ‘Orange Culture’?
OC: The brand name was inspired by an article I wrote a couple of years ago. It was called the orange boy, focused on unique men who have been sort of victimized by others cause of their seemingly unique interests and that’s where orange culture came along, a label representing unique men with unique interests, men who should be allowed to be free to live their colourful lives despite what anyone may think. A lot of work has gone into building this brand, it would take forever to describe but I’d just like to thank God, my family and my business partner Dapo Ajayi cause without them this business would be nowhere.

RM: What kind of reception has the collection, Summers Quirk, received from consumers locally and internationally?
OC: It’s been really good so far, I’m so thankful, I’ve gotten emails from varying continents with positive responses and interest in the collection.

RM: At quick glance, the Summers Quirk collection is 50/50 print/solid colours. Talk us through your colour choices, and also touch on why you chose the specific prints that you used in the collection.
OC: The colours and prints represent everything the collection was about. The greens, oranges , blues et al represent the fun loving, quirky guy and the prints were fun loving summery prints. The leafy prints represented the healthy summer trees, the blue clouds represent rainy summer days, but in all everything from the print to colours speak of the summer adventure every orange culture man should have.

RM: What can we expect next from Orange Culture for men?
OC: ALOT. Lol. Just keep expecting the most and hopefully we’d be able to keep feeding your expectations :)

RM: On a more personal project perspective, what can we expect from you, Adebayo Oke-Lawal, as an independent creative person?
OC: For me right now it’s really all about pushing Orange culture, so right now Adebayo oke-lawal and orange culture are one and the same. :)

RM: Your best fashion advice for guys in Africa?

RM: Your personal pick of African menswear designers? Who are you keeping your eyes on?
OC:  Ozwald Boateng, Grey – (their menswear is loads of fun, love it) , J reason, Okunoren twins and Mai Atafo of course for his impressive suits .

RM: Lastly, what kind of developments would you like to see happening with regards to menswear in Africa?
OC: We need more interesting menswear designers, not suit makers, actual designers, so I’m hoping we have more creative menswear designers.

I’m a fan of the brand and I love the collection. It might be last season’s collection, however, it has been crafted to endure a timeless presence in one’s wardrobe. Quite frankly, I’d like to get my hands on some of these pieces. Gents, as soon as I know how we can get these babies in South Africa, I’ll let you know.

Please note: All images courtesy of Orange Culture website. Animated Lookbook created by Renaissance Men using images provided for by @TheOrangeNerd.

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