Amaka Osakwe, the brains behind top fashion brand, Maki Oh says she plans to dress the world.
In a chat with Fast Company magazine, Amaka Osakwe who has dressed Solange Knowles, Lupita Nyong’o and Michlelle Obama speaks of her background in fashion and the inspiration behind her clothing line, Maki Oh. The creative output of her designs is derived from the most bizarre means – role play. The 30-year-old shared that she can design a single piece of clothing, she cook up a story and imagines the life of the woman wearer; her rushing to catch a bus after a long day, if she is in a relationship, what her family looks like and so on.
This seemingly bizarre kind of inspiration gave birth to theme for her Fall 2017 collection in which she included danfo buses.
On why she decided to become a designer, she said: “I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do from the time I was 16 or 17, in Lagos, where I had spent my entire life. It’s not normal to be a designer in Nigeria: You have to be a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer or a banker, because those are the safe professions. It was hard to convince everyone that I wanted to go to fashion school.”
On her love for combining Nigeria fabric-painting into her work, she said: “Most of the fabric that people think is African–the colorful stuff–is made in China or the Netherlands. I feel my work is about educating people about our culture and celebrating our beauty. I have used a traditional motif that is hundreds of years old that has been passed down from generation to generation. They don’t change much and each motif has a meaning behind it. Clothing used to be worn as a form of communication. Cloth would allow you to make an actual statement, like, “I’m happy that you’re here,” or “I’m sorry about what I did to you earlier.” Some people can still understand what each motif means.”
To read the full feature, visit Fast Company