“I want to make products that people like because they like the way it looks. Then once they pick it up, they can start learning about the story.”
Niyi Okuboyejo is the latest Nigerian fashion designer pushing the design frontiers forward with an African twist. Featured in GQ.com, Niyi Okuboyejo created his brand – Post-Imperial to give people an insight into the ancient art of Adire. He is not only using it as a way for people to admire the African pieces he creates but also for them to buy and wear them.
Niyi talks to the men-focused magazine on how he left Nigeria when he was 14 and started a new life in the United States. As he left, his mother told him how accepting and nice it was in the States, however, the teenager met another reality Schooling in Houston, Texas “I learned very fast that being African was not cool.“
He continued, “I ended up wearing a lot of masks, pretending to be someone I’m not, and becoming friends with some very not-reputable people.” “But I would lie to my friends and say that I was cutting class to smoke and sell drugs, but I was really going to honors classes.“
After pursing other passions, he went back to fashion to create a fashion brand that heralds his Nigerian roots which has certainly made him popular today. Speaking to GQ about his brand and how he came about the brand name, he tells GQ writer, Jason Woolf – “It’s called Post-Imperial because it’s about the time after old regimes, and creating for today“. “It’s cool to look at old photos and fantasize, but we should be creating our own images. Twenty years from now, people should look at our time and fantasize about it.“
He uses the Adire dying technique to achieve the unique designs and reached out to “Adire masters” to help achieve his vision. But, “Each time I’m with them, the process takes about three hours, and most of that is spent convincing them that my ideas work. These guys have been doing this for years, so I have to convince them to try it.“
“Anyone can make something avant-garde, and people will look at it and think, ‘Oh that’s interesting,’ but they won’t wear it. I want to make products that people like because they like the way it looks. Once they pick it up, they can start learning about the story.“
His collection of accessories include a vast array of ties, scarves, pocket squares, and more men’s fashionable items. All African-inspired. We can’t wait to see more from Niyi Okuboyejo’s Post-Imperial in the future.