Celebrating designers from the birth country of our founder is not a new thing, especially not since she set eyes on the Orange Culture "Dovetail" Collection from 2 years ago. Since then, she has been hooked on sourcing designers and design houses originating from her birthplace. Wait, why am I writing this in third person? Haha.
What is an Etched Journey?
In my understanding, it is not just any type of journey. It is one that has to be chronicled for reference time and time again. This collection by the brain and soul behind Orange Culture Nigeria, Adebayo Oke-Lawal does just that. It is a testament of a journey and as an onlooker, I envision this journey to be fulfilled with every release of a new collection by Orange Culture. See the designer's inspiration below.
Etched Journey. Inspiration by Adebayo Oke-Lawal
Growing up in the metropolitan city of Lagos that was constantly nestled in chaos, vitality and a spiral of fleeting hopes, it was almost impossible to catch a moment beautified by its silence alone. Everyone always seemed in a hurry to somewhere, for something. But I remember driving past Third Mainland Bridge often with my family, my head pressed against the cold glass alive with dew from the AC, staring out into the sea as fishermen rowed their canoes alone at even the loneliest of hours. The solemnity of that still beauty rattled me.
The elegance of their arm strides saturated in the euphoric concept of gracefulness carried around by people who knew what belonged to them would surely come to them. It stirred something inside of me. I wondered what they were thinking while they stood, legs muscled and firm on the wood, waiting for their capture, or as their lips cracked as they sighted something I couldn’t see. The universe came to them in those moments, and on descending the bridge, I constantly felt robbed of an indefinable beauty.
This season, Orange Culture celebrates the conversations I finally had with these men about their amazing journeys on water, the beautiful relationship between man and his canoe and the revelation experienced in silent conversations with both his canoe and the sea while he waits for the miracle of a fish. “If you ever want to find one self, lonesome with an inanimate object as crazy as it sounds might be your best truth. My canoe helped me find me, if it were human, I would love it forever”. Shapes are inspired by the stories these men shared about fishing in Lagos in the 70s and what we envisioned an Orange Culture man would want to wear.
We wanted the pieces to celebrate that rawness in the journey of our fishermen and to ignite the sort of beauty that didn’t need to be loud to be noticed; the beauty that holds itself in moments that demand a human recognition beyond the eyes but through the soul.
The print is of cubic paintings of a Lagos fisherman rowing his canoe under the longest bridge in Africa, the Third Mainland Bridge, as the sun sets in golden slides. Print is designed in collaboration with Designers foundry.
The shoes were inspired by slip ons that the fishermen also wore. They described it as easy to wear and very comfortable. These highly versatile and elegant pieces are also made by team Orange Culture.
Our bags were designed exclusively in collaboration with Nigerian brand O’eclat and were inspired by our African story; Bags made for easy travel and that raw experience. Small neck pouches in green and red alongside leather chokers which were designed in collaboration with the Treefairfax brand.
O'eclat x Orange Culture Nigeria
Now for the rest of this brilliant collection.
Check out that flare!
I loved the energy of this entire shoot, the inclusion of persons other than the models speaks volumes for Orange Culture as a brand.
I love Orange Culture Nigeria (don't you just love that country pride within its name?) and you will hopefully see me in one of his eclectic designs soon. If you enjoyed this post, please share it and stay tuned for more posts of this nature featuring Nigerian & other African designers whose work I adore. Till then, #buyNigerian!