American rapper, Kanye West, has revealed that Nigerian-born designer, Mowalola Ogunlesi, would be the design director for his ‘Yeezy Gap’ venture.
The rapper took to Twitter to announce his multi-year Yeezy deal with Gap, using the hashtag #WESTDAYEVER with an apparent logo for the upcoming line set to debut in 2021.
Ogunlesi also shared the news via her instagram page.
According to yahoo, the 25-year-old designer who moved from Lagos, Nigeria to England at the age of 12, graduated from Central Saint Martins just three years ago.
In 2017, Ogunlesi launched her eponymous brand and has since styled Solange Knowles for Dazed Magazine and Skepta for his hazy ‘Pure Water’ video.
She is also responsible for Naomi Campbell’s white halterneck gown, which featured a symbolic gunshot wound, that she wore this past London Fashion Week.
Ogunlesi worked on Nike‘s Naija World Cup kit launch and Grammy-winning rapper, Drake had been spotted wearing a custom Mowalola jacket.
Her Spring/Summer 2020 show, in collaboration with Fashion East, has become one of the most memorable collections in modern-day.
Ogunlesi is known for her futuristic, sexy and out-ofthe-box tailoring approach to fashion.
Entitled ‘Psychedelic’ and taking inspiration from 70s and 80s Nigerian rock music, Ogunlesi described her debut as a celebration of the black African male: his culture, sexuality, and desires.
That translated into sexy Lagos petrolheads who stormed the runway in tight painted leather looks, decorated with Mercedes Benz logos and silver chains, while lacy lingerie poked above models’ waistbands, creating an unexpected contrast with their oiled-up, muscular bodies.
She’s since collaborated with Ruth Ossai and Ib Kamara on a Lookbook, travelled back to Nigeria as part of Grace Ladoja’s Homecoming to host a pop-up alongside the likes of Off-White, and picked out 13 of her country’s most exciting creative talents to spotlight on Dazed.
Reacting to her parents acceptance of her chosen career, Ogunlesi recently revealed “With people like me or other Nigerians I know that have proven to be successful in this industry, it does allow our parents to see the other side, what it could be if they let their kids explore. We need more of that in Nigeria because they’re really scared that their child won’t be successful.
“It’s a very money driven society. Having children who do creative things, changes the world in a different way. I’m really happy that I got to be in this creative industry and be on this journey. I’ve been getting deeper and deeper in my thoughts of what I want the world to look like, and what I’m trying to do to create that world with my work.”
CANDIIDONLINE reports that Kanye West is working with Gap on a clothing line, which will carry the name of his Yeezy fashion label. It is expected to be available for customers next year.
The two brands, said the partnership will help them find “new audiences”.
Gap sales have been struggling in recent years, while Mr West has long expressed interest in selling his fashion to the masses.
The partnership with the US retailer also represents a bit of a triumphal return for Mr West, who worked at the company as a teenager.
Kanye is said to be designing “modern, elevated basics” at “accessible” prices.
He has previously partnered with Adidas, which regularly sells out of its batches of limited edition Yeezy trainers, which can go for more than $300 (£243) and far higher on the resale market.
West’s clothing brand was valued at $2.9bn in April, according to the companies. He will retain sole ownership, receiving royalties and a potential shareholding, tied to sales.
The Global head of Gap Brand also expressed his excitement to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his Yeezy brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership.
CANDIIDONLINE reports that news of the deal sent Gap shares surging on as investors bet the tie-up will help the retailer revive its cool. The shares closed up more than 18%.
“At a stroke, even announcing it has transformed Gap from being a rather bland and uninteresting brand into something that finally has a bit of cachet,” said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail.
“People are talking about Gap in a way that they haven’t done in a very long time.”