Stylemaker Walé O. on Menswear
Nigerian-born Walé Oyejide is a modern-day Neoclassicism painter who conjugates rich African esthetics with fine Neapolitan tailoring and the result is Ikiré Jones Spring/Summer 2014 menswear collection!
Bold in design, the extraordinary assemblage of jackets, scarves, pocket squares and other articles of clothing weave and express a narrative long rooted in cultural patterns, prints and ideologies. Crafted from the finest of materials and created for the most resplendent of gentlemen, Ikiré Jones employs hip-hop and heritage to enthrall all cultures, lifestyles and walks of life.
Designer Walé O.breaks down the brand that is Ikiré Jones!
JET: When did you get your start in fashion?
Walé Oyejide: A few years ago, Esquire Magazine featured me as one of the ‘Best Dressed Men in America.’ Around that time, it occurred to me that I might be able to turn my creative eye into an economic endeavor as well as a vehicle for expression and story-telling.
JET: Where do you find inspiration?
WO: Inspiration is in small moments around us. I particularly cherish my friends, many of whom are creatives that push me to do better.
JET: What do you consider your strengths as a designer?
WO: I enjoy the fact that I am not handcuffed to a myopic view or perspective of the way men should present themselves.
JET: Describe the ‘Ikiré Jones’ guy.
WO: The brand is not directed to any specific demographic or to any people of a specific background. We make clothing for people with a sense of adventure who are also interested in well-tailored garments that are domestically made.
JET: Where do you see your brand in the next five years?
OW: We’re working hard to create something meaningful. We have very clear ideas that we are trying to convey about what is important in life. Goals like that often manifest in unconventional ways, so I’m not too fixated on the sort of “five-year plan” that a business with the sole intention of making a profit might enact.
For more, go to ikirejones.com
(Photo Credit:: David Evan McDowell)
About Tyrus Rochell Townsend
Cultural expositor Tyrus Rochell Townsend has written for Essence, Uptown, Vibe, BET.com, The Atlanta Post, Bleu Magazine, Details Style Network and numerous other publications. Read about his style musings at The Gentleman’s Daily and follow him on Twitter @gentlemansdaily and on Instagram at @tyrusrochelltownsend and @thegentlemansdaily.