Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu aka Tinie Tempah deserves all the accolades. He isn’t just an award-winning British born Nigerian rapper, he’s also an emerging fashion designer and Creative Director behind unisex clothing label, What We Wear.
His electrifying show at ARISE Fashion Week 2018 was one of the few we looked forward to at the BNS HQ and once Imaan Hammam stepped out in the first piece from his collection, we weren’t disappointed.
Not only did his show further solidify this presence in the fashion industry but it was also entertaining with musical performances by Dice Ailes and Not3s. It was a perfect meeting of music and runway fashion, Tinie’s perfect baby.
Showcasing his Autumn/Winter 2018 collection at fashion week this year was quite significant for him and his brand. He told us;
It was very important to show at ARISE Fashion Week. I think even as a British born Nigerian, to bring something I had created in the UK back to show it on such a high level amongst so many amazing African designers and great designers that have even inspire me was a really really big deal. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
When asked if his designs were influenced by his African/Nigerian heritage, he said;
Yes, most of the designs actually. We had 7 days to produce the collection and I never thought I would get a call to show in Lagos and everyone was so excited. So all of the collection was pretty much based around that [Lagos] from the kimono style jackets that were made from material of a bag of ground rice to the jollof rice t-shirts to some of the more native, traditional prints on some of our pieces. It was all inspired by that.
I tried not to ask too much about his first love, which is music but I couldn’t help but throw in this one question – just out of curiosity. What is making fashion compared to making music?
Wow, I guess in so many ways it’s similar but in so many ways it’s different. For me, a lot about making music is about collaboration, it’s a collaborative experience for me. Someone’s making the production, I’m writing the lyrics, you know… A singer might come in and contribute something or when you’re working with live musicians, there’s usually a couple of musicians – it isn’t just always one person.
There’s a similarity to that in fashion. Also, I guess the pressure to get out what you’ve created or what you can see in your head – and to actually get it out to be exactly the way you envisioned it and for people to even receive it the way that you’ve hoped, there’s a pressure in that. I think they’re very similar actually.
Where can our readers find WWW in Lagos?
Currently, the best place is to go on whatwewear.com, however we are talking to a few stores out there in Nigeria so hopefuly look forward to us retailing in a few stores.
Any message for the BN Style reader?
I’d say one thing I really love about fashion now is the access to information. What we have is that you can not only just buy stuff that you like but you can buy stuff that is local to you and local to where you’re from and I think what I realised when I was out there is how many incredible designers there are out there.
So what I would say is definitely support local talent because that’s what every kind of society and economy really needs. If you support your local homegrown talent they can thrive and they can make a name – and it goes round in a cycle.
When asked to describe his style in one word, he said;
And that people, is my favourite answer till date. There’s nothing more personal than style because it goes way beyond clothes and fashion, it’s a lifestyle and it’s personal.