Mowalola Ogunlesi: The Nigerian Millennial Making Waves in London’s Fashion Scene

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By Daniel Edu

Nigeria’s fashion industry is gaining international recognition, with Nigerian diaspora fashion enthusiasts making significant strides. Among them is Mowalola Ogunlesi, a name that’s becoming increasingly familiar in the global fashion arena.

If you’re wondering why the name rings a bell, her brother is Odunsi Ogunlesi, the alternative music sensation known as Odunsi the Engine. Furthermore, her mother, Adenike Ogunlesi, is the owner of the renowned children’s clothing line, Ruff N Tumble. It appears that creativity truly runs in the family.

Despite being just 28 years old, Mowalola has already achieved remarkable success. She was born in Nigeria but ventured to London, UK, in 2017 to pursue a fashion education at the University of Arts. Since then, her career has followed a trajectory that many can only dream of.

In 2019, Mowalola showcased her work at London Fashion Week, capturing the attention of none other than Skepta. That same year, she styled Naomi Campbell in a controversial yet attention-grabbing outfit.

Her creative journey continued as she designed outfits for Skepta’s “Pure Water” music video in 2019. Mowalola was also one of the six designers commissioned by British Vogue to style Barbie dolls for the iconic toy company’s 60th anniversary celebration. In 2020, Kanye West appointed Mowalola as the Design Director of Yeezy Gap, a significant achievement.

In 2022, she began collaborating with MGA Entertainment as a designer for a collection of Bratz dolls, further expanding her influence.

Mowalola’s success can be attributed to her boundary-pushing, gender-neutral, and almost otherworldly yet incredibly creative designs. Her unique perspective and innovative approach have solidified her position as a rising star in the fashion industry.

This report is brought to you by Temi Iwalaiye, a lifestyle reporter.

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