Mowalola Ogunlesi Takes Us Behind The Scenes With SSENSE x ESSENCE Collaboration

Nigerian-British designer Mowalola Ogunlesi is shaking up the fashion world with her audacious designs and boundary-pushing vision. In a historic collaboration, SSENSE x ESSENCE present this exclusive interview, showcasing Ogunlesi’s creative process, inspirations, and her role in redefining contemporary fashion.

Ogunlesi’s unconventional path into fashion began at London’s Central Saint Martins. After honing her skills with brands like Yeezy Gap and Celine, she launched her label under the mentorship of Fashion East’s talent incubator. From the start, her designs challenged traditional notions of masculinity and sensuality.

Ogunlesi’s creative process is often cinematic, drawing inspiration from films like David Cronenberg’s “Crash.” Her runway shows are immersive experiences that transport viewers into her unique vision. She incorporates elements of her Nigerian heritage, as well as themes of race, gender, and sexuality, into her work, forcing the audience to confront their preconceptions.

Ogunlesi doesn’t let the traditional fashion calendar dictate her creative output. Her “do what you want” attitude is reflected in her experimental designs that blend Y2K nostalgia with cutting-edge sensibilities. This approach has earned her a cult following and solidified her reputation as a pioneer in contemporary fashion.

Ogunlesi is part of a new generation of designers who are redefining fashion on their own terms. Inspired by the likes of Telfar Clemens, she is shifting away from traditional wholesale models and forging a direct connection with her consumers. Her instantly recognizable trucker hats, graphic tees, and leather mini-skirts are coveted by fashion lovers who embrace her bold spirit. Her unique visual language and ability to spark important conversations guarantee her continued ascent through the fashion ranks.

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Ntianu Obiora is a versatile creative professional with over a decade of experience in publishing, marketing, communications, and digital strategy. She is the Online Editor at THEWILL DOWNTOWN

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About Author / Ntianu Obiora

Ntianu Obiora is a versatile creative professional with over a decade of experience in publishing, marketing, communications, and digital strategy. She is the Online Editor at THEWILL DOWNTOWN

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