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Adebayo Oke-Lawal on Re-defining Masculinity and Finding Purpose in Challenging the Status Quo

Updated: May 27, 2022


Although virtual and lengthy, the designer maintained a friendly disposition. Earlier, he had mentioned that preparations were ongoing for a show in Paris. Strapped for time and unbelievably busy, yet he created time just for this. He talked freely and shared intimate details about his passion and vision. Bayo made jokes, laughed at mine, and we bonded briefly over Orchids, his favourite flower, coincidentally, mine as well. Even during connectivity and power issues, he remained patient with us and carried a charisma that was easy to read even with his camera turned off… - Edidiong Eton

Adebayo Oke Lawal is a foremost Nigerian fashion designer and creator of the luxury brand “Orange Culture” which was founded back in 2011. Bayo had always had a penchant for fashion and design and carved a niche for himself in the Nigerian clothing scene. The fashion mogul insists that Orange Culture is not just a brand but a “movement” that covers universal silhouettes with an African touch to a creative class of men, translating into a heady mixture of Nigerian-inspired print fabrics, colour, and contemporary urban streetwear.

“A brand is more than clothing, we don’t just create shirts and pants, we tell stories and create conversations that people may not necessarily want to have. Especially in Nigeria…”


“I think at the beginning, I always knew, this thing makes me happy, this thing makes me smile, why don’t I just find a way into this industry. After people saw my first designs that’s when I realized that this could be more than a dream…”


He is no stranger to challenges and criticisms about his approach to masculinity and the fluid nature of his concepts. Despite this, Bayo continually disrupts and de-constructs harmful stereotypes that limit the modern man from fully expressing himself.

“People have created these lines to create a message of disparity, with these lines came all sorts of expectations from men and limits to emotional expressiveness and fluidity when it comes to clothing…”

One of the prominent features of the Orange Culture design is ‘fluidity’, Bayo can creatively combine this concept in his work. He is fully aware that his creations are far from the typical menswear, but also far from ‘crazy’. He expresses how he also draws inspiration from historical styles and the things men wore then. Look at the 1800s and even up to the 70s, men wore skirts and dresses like apparel.


Bayo has also worked as a fashion editor, and television actor and is involved in prominent CSR activities in his home state.

“A lot of us here might not be able to go to New York or London Fashion school, I didn't have this much access, but now I have the honour to grant access and tell my story, hopefully, it serves as a guide to budding fashion creatives…”


This exclusive interview features the designer in his element, an intimate look at the man who had a dream and never looked back, his goals, and plans to continue to shake tables, whether anyone likes it or not.

Full interview availabe now in “The Essence of Creativity” Click here




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