While you might not instantly recognize the name, Mowalola Ogunlesi, it’s definitely one worth knowing and celebrating. The pioneering non-profit initiative cultivating London-based Nigerian talent is not only redefining and dressing UK’s cultural revolution but she’s also an advocate of pan-Africanism.
According to her website bio, Mowalola is mainly inspired by Nigerian psychedelic rock which is evident in her approach to design that is all about spotlighting the culture, sexuality, and desires of the black African male.
Her designs confess the pure sex of thong straps and pelvic bones—of a curve, a nipple, a zipper, the dipped low-rise of leather pants, skin tight teeny leather skirts and cutout tops, cropped jackets, tall boots and many more. Each piece appearing slick, suggestive, like some sort of fun leather hallucination.
Mowalola revealed to SSENSE that Heritage is an integral part of her work because she grew up in Lagos where there is a strong sense of community. Beyond Nigerians, the music scene is also a huge contributing source of inspiration.
Mowalola’s creations have payed homage to the wild transportation of Okadas (bikers) and Danfos (buses) in Lagos to show how dedicated she is to her craft and principles. So much that it got her a great nod from Solange, after the singer-songwriter appeared in her design for Dazed Magazine.
See more looks from Mowalola below.
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