ÒL New York founder talks about style, manifestation and Nigerian-American culture in the fashion industry
Courtesy of the brand
While it sounds a bit cliché, it’s really no secret that life is really what we make of it. In recent months, we have encountered a roller coaster of social, emotional and political turmoil that has changed all lifestyles, leaving us in search of answers that in the long run have challenged and redefined the landscape of what. really mean humanity and empathy. One thing is for sure: being prepared for change and accepting that change is our new normal can potentially save us from spending time thinking about the deeper meaning of life and its entities. This is where Allen Aderotoye comes in –– the Nigerian-American designer and founder of New York L New York who transformed his curiosity into creativity in accepting our new reality.
Aderotoye, who spent most of his time in the height of his quarantine and lockdown, reflecting and recharging his social battery, was like many other creatives seeking inspiration as policies keep in place were still in effect. What started out as a short jaunt has evolved into a new West Coast lifestyle, ultimately relieving him of the pressure of having to be elsewhere and allowing him to create new experiences and stories to be told through design and art. “Accept the reality that change is the only constant,” Aderotoye told ESSENCE while reflecting on his sanity and how he is doing personally. For Allen, moving in the midst of a pandemic may have been a rash decision, but one of the best decisions he’s ever made in the long term. Now, in his Los Angeles location, Aderotoye dedicates his time to fully immerse himself in his brand, òL New York (Outside Lines) and evolve from his new perspective into a new city.
If you’re wondering exactly how Aderotoye would describe their brand, it’s simple. “ÒL is more than the clothes you wear, it’s a vibration in its own right,” he says. “ÒL is something you experience. It’s a way to stand out, look good and feel good. The brand’s recent success is not limited to what we see on the internet and social media, but rather to local and community marketing. It comes full circle for Aderotoye, as when he saw his brand worn by Nigerian star Wiz Kid during a meeting on a recent tour of Maryland. According to the founder, òL would not exist without a sense of community which, in his opinion, nurtures creativity in all of us. Since its conception in 2014, òL has succeeded in creating a bi-costal path for itself, proving that its brand’s history goes deeper than clothes, it brings art to life in all other fields.
On the design of òL New York
“ÒL draws its inspiration from my youth and my interests. Companies like Stussy & Supreme have rooted their offering by being more than just a brand. They are a way of life, a culture, a perspective and a time reservation. This concept is similar to that of òL, which is broadly an energy that must be experienced through culture; we create space for creatives by creatives, creating for high level artists and art lovers. òL was created in New York and this has allowed us to align ourselves with many creative mediums: fine art, music, film and philanthropy. “
On the integration of culture in the fashion diaspora
“Being a Nigerian-American is part of my identity which is present in so many pieces of òL. It’s visible through our designs, our fabrications, our culture and some of our products are even made in Nigeria. I use my diaspora to create a unique perspective and perspective, which involves the business as a whole.
On pioneering change in the industry
“The biggest change I would make is the overall treatment of young designers. Anyone brave enough to enter this industry should be taken more seriously. Of course, there are several barriers to entry, but when a prospect is cultivated with or without technical training, it would be amazing to have support in place from a production and collaborative standpoint to make it more real. . This will help us innovate more as an industry and make new design more accessible. “
On the creative process behind the design for òL New York
“I create a space for ideas to come to me. Today I have designed a few accessories which I am delighted to produce. Tomorrow it may be completely different. My days vary widely, especially with the amount of creativity I can have in a day. The variety that can be difficult in business also brings out different ideas and increases my intuition about what to do next. I make room in my days to create, but it’s not something that I force. In a weekly design session, I will work with my team to analyze our product offering and how we can improve it.
On his personal style and his recent favorite follies
“One word; intentional. When I dress it starts with where I plan to go. Is it day or night? Is it cold or hot? It’s all taken. into account, then I ask myself, am I going to have dinner or will I run to the store? There are so many variables, but I am going to continue with the underwear and let it sink in from there. If I have something new to try out, this will be what I grab first, then stylize it to match the setting I’m headed for. something to splurge. Come to think of it, I’ll probably be buying a work of art – something I can put up the stairs or in the foyer to keep myself inspired. However, I’ve splurged on new concepts – looking for more ways to communicate more through our offers at òL I am now developing some ideas for home items.
On his favorite article from òL New York
“My current favorite is the CrZy bucket hat. This is my first bucket hat, but not my first hat design. It is part of the CrZy family, a collection of pieces that we have created in unique colorful knits with a distinct vibe. Those who understand it love it, and I really appreciate it. In fact, I was initially interested in making a beanie months ago, but it didn’t work out as expected. After sitting on the idea for a bit, I was then able to embrace the bucket hat design and it worked. I shared it with my audience, it was incredibly well received and an instant classic. As a designer, it was an amazing feeling to see the community immediately gravitate towards this piece. “
About Demonstration for the Future of òL New York
“Pure abundance, continuous growth and infinite intelligence. There is a lot in store for Outside Lines.
Chocolate City Crew Neck – Brownie
Courtesy of the brand
Courtesy of the brand
Courtesy of the brand