By Clinton Efe Akporherhe
As African fashion makes its much – anticipated foray onto the global scene, It is only fitting to recognize one of the pioneers of its rich and dynamic culture over the years. The ultimate indigenous clothing brand; Okunoren was founded by Taiwo and Kehinde Okunoren and launched in 2002. The twins, Born and bred in the city of Lagos took after their mother; Abiola Okunoren who was a foremost fashion designer by gaining accurate understanding in the art of premium tailoring.
Photo credit: Okunoren Instagram page.
The knowledge gained from their mother’s craft and the twins’ intrinsic attention to detail would later birth an award winning brand whose artistic nuances are deeply rooted in Yoruba’s ancestral heritage. Okunoren’s creative director; Taiwo, who is also unsurprisingly the most vocal of the duo has steered the brand’s artistic direction to a creative utopia where key elements of Yoruba folklore fuses effortlessly with contemporary western clothing. This fusion was witnessed firsthand at the 2019 arise fashion week hosted in Lagos, where Okunoren debuted arguably the best collection of the week.
The collection was tagged divinity to form and it featured an array of pieces that included pants and skirts made with Aso-oke; trench coats, shirts and jackets with art details that showed reverence for Yoruba divinity, sewn onto the sleeves and sometimes all over the cloth, as seen on different pieces modeled by British supermodel; Naomi Campbell.
Off the runway, Okunoren also replicates their design ingenuity to a variety of pricey products that include sandals that were specially crafted with calf skin in Ijebu – Remo south west Nigeria, slippers made from Raffia thongs and a host of other well-crafted products.
The time for Made in Africa brands to showcase her heritage, culture, and style to the world is now and in this regard, Okunoren has been simply exemplary!. Being one of the leading fronts in the African fashion scene, Okunoren has been worn by Nigerian superstars like Davido, Ebuka, Naira Marley, et al.
As African fashion begins to take center stage globally, we deeply believe Okunoren has what it takes to grab the bull by the horn and give Africa the right recognition it deserves. Please keep on Okunoren, we are solidly behind, documenting every stride.