By Clinton Efe Akporherhe
“Fashion, you learn. Style, you cultivate” – Kolawole Olumegbon. Founder/Creative Director: Laween Luxury.
It was about 4:30 am in the earliest part of the morning and the sound from the bugle was usually loud and deafening. The soldier with the pipe was probably anxious. It was a Sunday morning and everyone was tired from the Saturday before to get out of bed. Struggling from side to side, I turned to greet Mr. Kola (as I love to call him).
“Good morning” I grumbled,
” Yeah, good morning bros” he replied and before long we were both back asleep.
I remember meeting him for the first time the day before. I had just come back from my place of primary assignment to complete our orientation program 8 months in service at the NYSC orientation camp at Sagamu, Ogun state. I could immediately sense that Olumegbon Kolawole is fashion-minded because his all-white uniform was clean and well ironed. This was startling to me because I knew he had just left the dusty parade ground. Although I gave no compliments initially, a conversation quickly began.
“Give me your phone, let me show you my page on Instagram,” Kolawole explained.
“What do you do?” I asked
“Just give me” he replied, smiling,
Prince_K__ (his handle on Instagram) has over 30 thousand followers which I must confess is a very solid online presence. Taking a closer look, I noticed the content was based on one thing only; Fashion!
At that moment, I connected the dots. Kolawole loves and does fashion. Fate has brought us together and I was propelled to make something of the encounter. I immediately wanted to know everything about the man, who he is? How long he had been into fashion?.
It was now 8:31 am inside the boy’s hostel, Corp members were busy trying to take their bath, while other listened to music while sleeping.
“My name is Kolawole Olumegbon, Creative Director and Founder of Laween Luxury“.
When he said these words, I could almost see the pride on his face. of course, everyone should be proud of what they do. I especially expect a fashion designer to be prouder.
His face wasn’t even as close to being as lit when we spoke about football. ” I don’t really like football….and it gets boring sometimes,”
Kolawole said with obvious disinterest.
“But I like Chelsea” he added.
Everyone loves to talk about what they do and even more about what they’ve done. Childhood and teenage years play a very vital role in anyone’s upbringing and I needed to know Kolawole’s background and find out how it connects to his love for fashion.
” Back then in Caleb university, I was one of the fashion-conscious people,” he said confidently to the recorder.
“When I was at Kings College, I also won the award for the neatest boy in the school”.
” what are you doing after this,” I asked, “well, I’ll take my bath….then I’ll be going to mami market……”
The time is now 1:15 pm and I’d been doing a lot of thinking about Kolawole’s fashion story. We caught up again at the boy’s hostel after the time for church service had elapsed.
“I’ve been into fashion for as long as I can remember” he spoke again to the recorder,
“but I created my brand five years ago, and it has been a smooth ride ever since” he added, chuckling,
“That’s a whole lot of time to be into what you love. I envy you” I thought.
Besides fashion, Kolawole is also a certified Architect from Caleb University. Architecture is a work of design and construction which will have definitely played an important role in this man’s amazing fashion designs. Another thing that inspires Kola’s craft is music,
“Made in Lagos, Twice as Tall and A better Time…..yes, in that order” he replied when I asked about his favorite music album of the year.
Experience has shown true fashionistas are perfectionists inside and out. They are very neat people to the core and Olumegbon Kolawole is no different.
“Why do you wash your clothes yourself, why not give it to those women at Mami market?” I asked,
“I don’t want it clustered or washed together with other people’s clothes…” He answered.
To be neat is okay, but to be this extremely cautious is almost rare. Well, coming from a man who described success as “people feeling his craft in their bones” and who went to say he has little or no influence in the fashion industry because he wants to be as original as possible, I should not have been as surprised.
Late in the evening, around 9:15. I caught up with Mr Kola andasked why I didn’t see him at the parade ground
“I was at the camp gate. There is a special force at the gate” he said with a smile on his face while folding a nose-mark he designed.
“Your ‘Iyawo’ right?” I flattered.
“is that also part of the interview?…” He replied as I put away my recorder and chuckled.
“What a day,” I pondered, worthwhile to say the least.
Fate has brought me to Olumegbon Kolawole of Laween Luxury and I have played my part as I reflected on my bed with my eyes closed,
“I cant wait to see what tomorrow has in store.”