British designer Duro Olowu is a lawyer turned designer, born in Lagos Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and a Jamaican Mother, and was raised between Nigeria and England. What better environment to develop his love for designing than England, a place that embraces international culture, art, and music?
When Duro was younger, he developed an enthusiasm for fashion, and became inspired by the mixture of colors, rich texture of clothing worn by the women around him. Following in his father’s footsteps, he became a lawyer but later gave it up to follow his dream of becoming a fashion designer.
In October 2004, he launched his first self-titled women’s wear label with a collection for Spring/Summer 2005. The collection was inspired by a theme of ‘love and joy’.
Olowu was named New Designer of the Year during the 2005 British Fashion Week in London, only one year after the launching of his label!
Duro Olowu has the skill to take the bold pattern and color from his African heritage - but to use the shades and patterns to mix prints in a modern way. The effect of an old English rose floral, shown against a leopard print, was powerful and so was the idea of taking the same print in different colors and putting them together in one garment. Above all, Olowu's clothes never look ethnic, the prints confined to streamlined, modern clothes. The result was a collection that seemed to bring out something in the designer's soul - but also to relate that to the modern closet.
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