While he describes himself as a “mere maker of clothing,” designer Walé Oyéjidé has gained significant acclaim for using fashion as a platform to celebrate marginalized populations. His work, through his label Ikiré Jones, merges African aesthetics, European Renaissance art and haute couture to create wearable art that sparks conversation about cultural inclusivity.
“Sadly, fashion has often been used as a divider. As a sign of exclusivity, a sign of who does and does not belong to things. With that same strength, I flipped the narrative and use fashion as a way to bring us together by showing the many things we have to contribute to [the] conversation and showing how we all have places in the boardroom, places within the museum, places on the gallery wall. We can all create excellence and we all have beauty within us.”
– Walé Oyéjidé