BellaNaija Style presents a monthly exclusive series, The Millennial Designer Spotlight. Here, we discover the new talented designers leading the African fashion scene to enlighten our readers with their stories, as well as celebrate the next generation of game-changers.
Tobi Olutade-led brand Revival and Resurrection is one millennial brand making a case for eco-friendly fashion in Africa. At its core, RR Collective is a premium conceptual and sustainable cyber boutique with a mission to use fashion as a powerful tool for enhancing social and environmental change in personal climates; using a holistic approach to tackle waste and empowering the voices of women and non-binary people through colours and textures also.
With more awareness being raised on sustainability, upcycling and recycling in the fashion industry, coming across a new brand that is transforming simple waste into wearable accessories is refreshing.
According to Tobi:
I have a vision to share in the responsibility of making global topics like sustainability the collective actions and voice of everyone.
Her fast-rising brand recycles snack wrappers into rings, earrings and necklaces with impressive craftsmanship. The latest collection, Evocation, has garnered a lot of attention because the pieces are made from popular Nigerian snack wrappers which would have otherwise just been litter. Creativity and innovation perfectly depict Revival and Resurrection’s ethos.
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In conversation with BellaNaija Style‘s Mary Edoro for this month’s Millennial Designer Spotlight , Tobi talks about her muse, the design process, and sustainable fashion in Nigeria.
How it all started
Though I have been building the structure of Revival and Resurrection for a few years, R & R was officially established in 2019. I have the vision to share in the responsibility of making global topics like sustainability the collective actions and voice of everyone. I started Revival and Resurrection to execute my vision creatively through my love for fashion.
The Inspiration behind Revival and Ressurection
My mother is my muse; she curated bold, statement, maximalist pieces back in her youthful days, her unique and daring sense of style was highly popular and appreciated amongst her peers. Exploring my mother’s fashion history has been crucial to my journey as a designer, but also in a more personal sense. I’ve found that it helped me to understand my inner self and creativity, not only for articulating my drive for positive, sustainable change and the empowerment of women but, also reflecting it in my work.
It depends on what piece I am creating but I will say a minimum of 4 – 8 months, as I am heavy on research and design testing before going on to create a final masterpiece.
Trends and designing accessories in 2020
Though we are fashion-forward, as a conceptual and sustainable brand we are not trend-conscious at Revival and Resurrection we create unique pieces that stand apart from mainstream commercial fashion. Hence, when we are designing we consider our concepts also, environmental and social goals first.
Favourite design so far
So far, as of the 15th of July 2020 I have only just released my debut collection, the “Evocation” Jewellery collection and I am VERY proud of it, a lot of hard work and research went into it. As aforementioned, with every collection that I create, there is a social goal and an environmental goal. When these goals are being recognised and evoking the conscious change that I want to see in the world, I have no reason to not to be extremely proud!
Sustainable fashion in Nigeria
Though we all (including myself) still have a lot to learn about sustainability as a whole, as I consider the sustainable process a continuous innovative learning experience. I think that it is definitely noticeable that the fashion industry in Nigeria is beginning to shift towards the idea that the future of fashion is sustainable and regenerative and I am definitely enjoying seeing the different ways that multiple Nigerian designers are incorporating this into their brands.
We currently have our eternal bag collection in the works due to be released towards the end of this year. This collection is a social initiative aimed at positively utilising textile waste to tackle the fashion industry’s notorious traditions of discarding tonnes of fabric and clothes to Landfill each year, which externally has other multiple environmental issues pertaining to this.
“Butterflies are God’s proof that we can have a second chance in life”
Photos: Tobi Kolawole-Olutade
Read more inspiring interviews with other young African designers on the Millennial Designer Spotlight.