Duro Olowu’s Guide to London Is All You Need for Fashion Week Men’s – vogue.com/Marjon Carlos

London, once again, is on the brink of massive change. Be it political (see: Brexit) or sartorial (London Fashion Week Men’s is poised to kick off tomorrow), the city is headed for a sizable cultural upheaval. But for Nigerian-born designer Duro Olowu, a resident of London for the past 25 years, the cobbled streets are familiar stomping grounds. A fixture on the British fashion and art scenes since opening up his Masons Yard shop—a bustling menagerie that has quickly become a hub for both stylish natives and visitors—the rakish creative knows the coolest haunts of the vast and diverse London scene. All of which makes him the perfect guide for those descending upon the city to take in the new season of menswear designs.

From the best place to grab a cup of coffee in between appointments and the essential apothecary for English gents to the perfect London flea markets to find the most unique furniture and vintage fashion finds, Olowu shares his thoughts on the city as well as all the places you’ll want to hit up between shows.

A True-Blue Londoner
“I have lived in London for more than 25 years, and although I now divide my time between here and New York, its singularly unique and thriving multicultural community reminds us of what in the end history has taught us. That despite the recent surge in racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and homophobic rhetoric of politicians both here and all over the world, diversity and equality are huge benefits to any society. The tragedy of the recent Brexit vote was a great blow to Londoners and, I feel, a far cry from what most people in this city feel or represent.”

When It Comes to Fashion, Look to Your Elders for Inspiration
“London style is rather unique and always ahead in many ways. An interesting and international mix of sharply cut classic tailoring with edgy experimental details. I constantly look to people in their 70s and older for style inspiration. The effort they make with the way they dress on a daily basis is very uplifting.”

To read more of designer, Duro Olowu’s Guide to London Fashion Week Men’s, check the link at the end of my brief addition that follows:


For ideas of a few other things and places to do/see during this year’s London’s Fashion Week for Men, check out, you must not miss the following gem also mentioned in the Vogue major.

No matter how “obscure” or hidden a good store/shop is, people would eventually find it out. Alfies Antique Market on Church Street is one such store, and it’s one I keep recommending because of its wide array of African, especially Yoruba antique Aṣọ Òkè from 19th and 20th Century. It’s a visit that will reward the senses AND your collection of hand-woven old textiles from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and, especially Nigeria which was what led me there.


An ipele/iborun (the Yoruba word for shawl) of sanyan silk (Anaphe sp. Or Epanaphe sp., Notodontidae) from the town of Ondo (in Ondo State), Nigeria, made circa 1900.  Purchased in April 2009 from Duncan Clarke. [Source: Aṣọ Òkè Yòrùbá: A Tapestry of Love and Color, A Journey of Personal Discovery by Tola Adenle]

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Source: Google Images

Mrs. Obama who has reportedly worn Olowu’s designs before becoming America’s First Lady, in a Duro Olowu design. See link below      

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The designer, holding textile that is either Aṣọ Òkè Yòrùbá or manufactured textile inspired by one of Aṣọ Òkè ancient designs with weaving pattern colors that fade into other colors [Credit: Google Images]


Dr. Clark runs Adire African Textiles at Alfie’s Antique Market, and sold the piece above years ago, a piece that now hangs at the Mississippi State University’s Archive. Dr. Clark said he did not remember who bought the piece when I visited his lovely antique shop while wrapping up work on my book, Aṣọ Òkè Yòrùbá:  A Tapestry of Love and Color, A Journey of Personal Discovery.  The above picture is on my blog, emotanafricana.com where I first used it before using it as well as some others from Dr. Clarke are used in the Yoruba textiles book in the chapter on Yoruba’s ancient sericulture past.

It is great that vogue.com through one of its writers, Marjon Carlos, is now focusing attention on fashion on Africa beyond Western World capitals. The Lagos Fashion Week and Nigerian designers in particular are enjoying a lot of coverage as well as patronage outside Nigeria where they’ve shown for many years that they are to be reckoned with.


Check out the rest of the essay on Olowu’s Guide to London Fashion Week Menswear:






FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2017. 12:25 a.m. [GMT]


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