Nigerian-British designer Mowalola Ogunlesi is going to play an active and instrumental role in bringing to life Kanye West’s recently announced apparel line partnership with Gap.
Ogunlesi, who was born in Lagos and is currently based in London, will serve as the Design Director for the YEEZY Gap clothing line. Her appointment was confirmed by the award-winning rapper turned fashion designer after officially announcing the partnership with the apparel retailer on Friday.
A sought-after fashion designer who has worked with the likes of Naomi Campbell, Skepta and Solange, Ogunlesi also announced her next adventure on Instagram.
In a statement to The New York Times, Gap revealed the new YEEZY Gap line, which will be under Kanye’s creative direction, will produce “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at an accessible price point.”
Ogunlesi debuted at the London Fashion Week in 2019, where she unveiled her signature aesthetic of leather, cutout tops, and vibrant patterns. In an interview with Vogue in 2019, she spoke about the “perceived Africanness” of her work being largely by default instead of a conscious effect.
“I’m Nigerian, so whatever I create is automatically going to be Nigerian work. I don’t feel like I have to brand myself as ‘the African designer’.”
About the conversation surrounding African designers to base their works around post-colonial narratives, she said: “The conversations that I want people to be having in Nigeria are the same conversations that people are having here in London. At the end of the day, I’m just a designer making sh*t that I want to make.”