INTERVIEW AND PHOTO GALLERY
The first thing I did this year was collaborate.
It was important to me to work with young creators in Nigeria this year and I discovered a brand who creates really dope hats and T-SHIRT on Instagram. It did not take me a while to recognize the founder of the brand; he was an old schoolmate back in secondary school. I was particularly happy to see his progress with his craft, so I decided to reach out to him.
We set up a photo shoot session in Osogbo, Osun state with four models to showcase the cap line and T-shirt line. It was the one of the most nerve racking thing I have ever set up. Why? Because it was my first real photo shoot on my own specifically with new and old friends. I had the plan set up, I knew what I had to and I was intent on keeping everything in pace.
I will write more about how to take dope pictures in a boring location in my next post and I will share the challenges I had setting up this photo shoot in a basic af location.
I had a few conversation with Eyinimofe Ajani the founder of LEON and here are the details of what we talked about…
Tell me about Leon
LEON is a fashion brand – an urban clothing line which focuses on street wear. Okay… so the first products that were churned out were caps, the it grew into a T-SHIRT line.
Where did the inspiration to start the brand come from?
I have always loved Fashion. I like the idea of letting my outfit speak for itself. However, the idea to create the brand was born while I was in University (Afe-Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti). My friend and I were having a conversation about affordable clothing lines. So we had this idea – it was wild to think of but here we are today. We thought ”instead of spending a lot of money on our choice of style, why not try and create those outfits ourselves?”
So we became creative partners and created LEON
Where is your partner?
He is currently in New York right now.
Are there any clothing brands that inspire you?
Yes, there are some. However, there is one that stands out. The owner of the brand is Nigerian; we actually went to the same University. His name is DAVID BLACKMOORE. I really admire what he does with his craft and his work ethic. The fact that he is Nigerian makes it really inspirational. I look up him a lot as well.
Any other Nigerian Brand?
You know… the usual. I honestly admire any brand that push boundaries that make a bold statement with their work.
I focus on discussing the little things that inspire young people to create something for themselves. What can you describe as your own ”Little things”?
Okay… I would say I have always admired entrepreneurship since I was a kid by growing up with a father who is also business minded. He works for the government (civil servant) in Osun but to be honest we both know it does not count side eye. He had always had something going for him – businesses that are profitable.
So I have always admired that. He a constant inspiration who taught me to create something for myself.
So who are the fashion icons you look up to?
Lady Gaga all day, everyday. Someone once told me she dresses crazy and I disagreed. Lady Gaga’s personality is eccentric and she showcases that in her fashion choices. She is not normal and we all know normal is boring anyway.
I also admire Rihanna – her clothing line Fenty is pushing boundaries as well and she is a fashion icon. I quite dig Luka Sabbat; you watch Grown-ish right?
In Nigeria, I admire Mai Atafo – his fashion sense and his brand are fire! and lastly Noble Igwe.
With the photo shoot what are you trying to showcase? Is there any message(s) behind these collections?
The T-SHIRT line is categorized into two – The ”Quiet Rebellion” series and the ”Proud Savage” series.
The first series is themed around two great men who inspire me a lot – Mohammed Ali and Martin Luther King. They are quite knows as strong-headed people who did not accept intimidation. They fought for the right things. Ali believed he did the right thing, he spoke up for his race, he spoke against inequality using his athletic platform. King was a worldwide phenomenon whose equality speech will forever be remembered in history; he spoke against racism and he pushed forward the civil rights movement
They both made groundbreaking marks in the world and this series is dedicated to them.
The second series is themed basically around everyone with a dope sense of fashion all around the world. Fashion Icons do not conform to the standard fashion rules, they break the rules and make their own rules. That to me is being savage and that is why we have fashion icons we look up to.
Speaking of collaboration… do you have any other brands you are collaborating with?
I do! I am collaborating with another fashion BRAND – MILD on a new project called L&M. It focuses on colorful wears, it has been moving forward so far and we have got some awesome ideas we are putting in place. One of which is featured in the photo shoot.
Any upcoming personal project you’d like to share?
2019 is all about making new lines of street wears. LEON will grow from its regular hats and T-shirt line that our consumers recognize us with into more stylish inventions – alte, affordable and fashionable.
We are also working on a look-book as well. So it is going to be a busy but eventful year ahead.
PHOTOGRAPHER // Blackprowriter
CREATIVE DIRECTOR // Blackprowriter X Leon
STYLIST // LEON
LOCATION MANAGER // Blackprowriter
MODELS // YEMI AJAYI (@yhem_hi) . MODUPEOLUWA FESOBI (@MOH_FES) , HONEY AJANI, TOSIN OLAWOYIN
You can contact LEON through their Instagram Page @_LEON_NG for more information on sales.