Olubiyi Thomas – the Avant Garde aesthetic

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Olubiyi left De Rien in 2015 and moved to establish his namesake label, debuting his maiden collection in June 2016 for Spring Summer.

“The brand was built by demand. It happened organically, after leaving De Rien and working in retail, I began making clothes for myself. People started to inquire about the clothes I was wearing and eventually I started taking personal orders. By the summer of 2016 I had managed to assemble a Spring Summer collection which I then took to Paris. The brand was built on the back of my constant curiosity of forms and how to create them though different materials and textiles. Using my knowledge of pattern cutting and tailoring, I was able to pursue my ideas and execute my designs to a level where I could honestly communicate my concepts. “ Olubiyi Thomas.

Olubiyi Thomas is an independent label that takes an artisanal approach to design, exploring archaic textiles and reinterpreting historical references for garments. The signature style is elongated, tailored silhouettes that drape and layer exquisitely, with raw edges that complete the deconstructed, Avant Garde aesthetic.

The label explores stories of multiculturalism and hidden identity, borne out of creative director Olubiyi’s self-reflection on his Nigerian origins and Scottish upbringing. Inspired by his heritage, Olubiyi vividly reimagines the linkages between British Post-Colonialism and African cultural history.

Focusing on carefully sourced sustainable textiles and craftsmanship, each piece is handmade in London.  

Olubiyi Thomas as a brand has contributed to the British Fashion scene and to the multicultural landscape of London.

Through fashion shows: producing 2 shows and taking the brand from London to Paris and Copenhagen and to Berlin for each fashion week, art exhibitions: the 419 collective collaborated with Olu Odukoya from Modern Matter in an Art Show in London for Olya Karyshchuk’s VOID (1 Granary).

The talent involved: Ben Kelway, Laura Genninger, Ib Kamara, Charlotte Knowles etc., as well as other various projects: the brand works with ‘4ourth Space’, a group formed to help bridge the disparity in education, support and resources for black students at UAL.

Aiming to better the black experience whilst also educating the UAL community. The brand has attributed craftsmanship and sustainability to the progression of Menswear by choosing to work with local businesses such as in house tailors, local weavers, local hand embroiderers and small manufacturers. 

Atelier Olubiyi Thomas is a Modular Boutique | Concept store; a cultural hub and dynamic space for nurturing talent, a community based on diversity, collaboration, inclusivity and merit, located on 37 Endell Street, London, WC2H 9EE.

The shop was fitted by Olubiyi Thomas himself and his girlfriend; from hand embroidered, antique, French linen curtains, a floor to ceiling sculptural installation made from dead stock, upcycled suede side leather that functions as a fitting room, an organic light feature created in collaboration with Artist Holly Vaughan, to recycled bedsprings hung from old exposed brick that display vintage garments that Olubiyi has collected over the years – he has created a space where customers can experience the universe of the brand of Olubiyi Thomas. 

Split into two floors, the ground floor housing Olubiyi Thomas’ own brand, archival and new season along with a made to measure service as ode to the past. Downstairs is the Atelier where Olubiyi works with his team designing and making his collections, as well as personal orders from clients. 

For more info visit www.olubiyithomas.com

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