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.

Image courtesy of Daily Paper.

Daily Paper Enlists Ghanaian Artist David Alabo For New Tarot Card Capsule Collection

The streetwear brand's new line of t-shirts feature striking, Afro-Surrealist designs by Ghanaian artist David Alabo.

Amsterdam-based, African-owned streetwear brand, Daily Paper has released a new limited edition capsule collection in collaboration with Ghanaian visual artist David Alabo.

The Tarot Card collection of high end t-shirts is part of the brand's Spring/Summer 2020 collection. Each t-shirt features a unique design by Alabo "highlighting an Afro-Surrealism tarot card providing insight and guidance through symbolism and spiritual wisdom," according to a press release from Daily Paper. The designs reflect Alabo's artistic vision of using elements of fantasy and mysticism to critique African society.

"Daily Paper is dedicated to promoting African culture by honoring the past and its influence on their vision of the future," said the artist. "They push the boundaries and challenge the perception of Africa in the fashion world which is what I aim to achieve in the art world too. It just makes sense that we work together and inspire each other."

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Image courtesy of NASO.

Discover the Minimalist Designs of Nigerian-Owned Fashion Label NASO

They're set to launch their latest collection at Banana Republic this month.

NASO is a new fashion label founded by first-generation Nigerian-American Uyi Omorogbe, who has made it a point to place social impact and minimalist design at the center of the brand.

Influenced by African aesthetics and manufactured completely on the continent, the brand is invested in building schools in rural ares of Nigeria, and uses a percentage of its earnings in order to do so, says Omorogbe. The brand built its first school in the Nigerian village of Urhokuosa, where Omorogbe's father is from in 2019.

Now, NASO is expanding in a major way with a new partnership with fashion retailer Banana Republic. The line will launch at their flagship store in Manhattan later this month, and it's the first brand to have a pop-up at the store. The hope is that the collaboration will help further NASO's ethically-minded mission. "Our mission is simple: to produce great products, create economic opportunity, and empower the youth of Africa to change their communities and in the process, the world," says Omorogbe. "When our customers wear our clothing, we want them to have a feeling of empowerment, a feeling that makes them think, "Well done," or as we say in Nigeria, NASO."

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A few months ago, Stogie T highlighted the song "Love & War" as a single from his latest EP The Empire of Sheep, released in November 2019. After releasing a deluxe version of the project last week, today the south African emcee shares a music video for "Love & War," which features the emerging vocalist Lucille Slade.

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Black Coffee’s ‘Africa Is Not A Jungle’ Showcase Lockdown Edition Will be Hosted Online Every Week

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With festivals, concerts and events around the world having been postponed and cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Black Coffee's company Soulistic Agency will be presenting a Lockdown edition of Africa Is Not A Jungle. A Is Not A Jungle is the South African house music superstar's tour which had dates across South Africa and other parts of the continent—Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola and Uganda. The tour was put on hold in March soon after President Cyril Ramaphosa banned social gatherings of more than 100 people.

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