ornstar is a Nigerian fashion brand created by Adedamola Adebayo using 90% locally made fabric. It's a brand that peels down to its African roots, blurring the lines between genders with sustainable and indigenous fashion trends, focusing on styles, colours and fits to flatter the younger generation, but equally appealing to an older generation.
Adedamola grew up as an introvert in the urban setting of Lagos, Nigeria with a dream to stand out and be counted. A dream he had envisioned since the age of eight. Perhaps that is where the name Bornstar was conceived?
He wasn’t privileged enough to afford a fashion school. Instead, he learned fashion design hands-on with twenty-two other apprentices in a shop, where he struggled to balance and relate to the different personalities and characters working there. However, determined to stand out beyond the norm, he expressed his thoughts and personality through his clothing.
He left the shop after eight months, feeling the need to express himself more fully, and developed his own vision through sketching and designing. “One of my greatest traits as a designer is to blur the lines between gender binaries through androgynous pieces and change the narrative for Nigerian designers.”
He started his company officially only a year ago with the intention to leverage its position as a retail fashion brand into becoming a manufacturer of an upscale clothing line targeted at both men and women between the ages of 20 and 60. Adedamola sources his fabric locally with the aim of ensuring each piece portrays the identity of the brand as a sustainable and conscientious brand allied to his androgynous ideals.
His own favourite designs at the moment were for an editorial project he worked on for a magazine entitled Conformity in Disguise. “It’s an ideology of adhering to one standard or social uniformity in appearance of something on the outside, which masks what’s beneath.”
Recently, one of his mentors and the biggest influencer in the Nigerian fashion industry, Adebayo Oke-lawal, the founder of Orange Culture showcased his work. It is all happening very fast for this young nineteen-year-old designer.
I asked him whom, in an ideal world, he would choose to dress. Answer? Rihanna. Perhaps there’s no surprise there, but most of the brands he is currently inspired by are also Nigerian, such as Emmy Kasbit (@emmykasmit).
Adedamola says that he is fortunate to have the respect of some of the most talented photographers in Lagos such as Aanu Macaulay, Adediran AdeOluwa, and Tosin Wisdom, and also the support of the Lagos model agencies to create his fashion imagery and enforce his message.
As well as the unisex clothing line, Adedamola also designs bags and sandals, which are hand-made by local artisans in Lagos.