Style
Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

Style Dimension: Ifeanyi Nwune Is the Designer Becoming the Face of Lagos' New Wave Fashion Scene

The mind behind I.N Official touches on drawing inspiration from traditional culture, experimenting with fashion and more.

Style Dimension is OkayAfrica's seven-part series highlighting emerging designers from Africa and its diaspora. Along with giving you a glimpse of each designer's stunning work, this series is an introduction into their creative realm. In the sixth edition of the series, meet Nigerian designer and manager, Ifeanyi Nwune.

The music and fashion worlds have been connecting more than ever before. While artists in Nigeria are beginning to be increasingly conscious of this, there are people behind the scenes who are leading the charge.

As a fashion designer and music manager for afrobeats star Runtown, Ifeanyi Nwune believes there is huge value in being multifaceted and conscious of the global culture. Currently based in Lagos, his label I.N Official is inspired by his personal realizations that the coolest clothes he saw were either too expensive or nowhere to be found in Nigeria. "I knew that wasn't going to change anytime soon, so I thought to create my own comfort zone; moments when I can feel fresh in clothes that can't be seen anywhere but on me," he says. "As time went on, I decided to produce for the public."

Since the release of his brand, his label has been featured on platforms like Hypebeast and Highsnobiety while becoming one of the faces of the new wave fashion scene in Lagos. He has held fashion presentations in Nigeria as well as produced editorials in places like Los Angeles in which his pieces can be seen on top celebrity stylists like Ugo Mozie and icons like Maxwell. By producing his pieces domestically and working with local tailors, Ifeanyi is able to have more control over the process and aims to deliver the highest quality between streetwear and classic menswear staples.

I spoke with Ifeanyi Nwune about his inspirations and how his Nigerian heritage has been an influence on his approach to design.


From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

Amarachi Nwosu for OkayAfrica: How does your African heritage shape your approach to design?

Ifeanyi Nwune: I always like to draw inspiration from my traditional culture as I feel that's the purest connection to my roots. Coupling my heritage, struggle, experiences and traveling always creates the most interesting ideas for me as a designer.

What are your thoughts on the current landscape of the fashion industry in Africa? Do you think the industry is evolving quick enough to support creatives who want to build global brands?

The pieces were initially scattered like a puzzle, but the impact of fashion is slowly being recognized now and the small industry is trying to put the pieces together. With the help of social media and the energy of this new generation, building a global brand wouldn't be far fetched. And that's the vision at I.N Official.

From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

How are you actively trying to change norms or evolve the industry and African narrative through your brand?

By showing up, constantly creating and applying new approaches to fashion with respect to lifestyle and philanthropy. As much as we are about style, we focus on giving back to the community as well.

What advice would you give to other young designers?

Start. Nothing is impossible.

Keep up with I.N Official on Instagram, and take a look at more looks from the brand's Romans 12 collection below.

From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

From I.N Official's Romans 12 collection. Photo courtesy of Ifeanyi Nwune.

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(Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

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