When the 20-year-old Bayo Oke-Lawal possessed the thought to start out a fashion brand, he would soon find out that he didn’t have the necessary fashion education and immediately began acquiring one. As a matter of fact, Bayo had to sneak out of school and find his way into the company of fashion designers and fashion enthusiasts.
“At 20, I will leave school, hide and sneak to work at fashion designers houses. I will work with fashion shows. I will work at every place I could work just to learn because I couldn’t go as far as that. So I was like how else am I going to learn?”Bayo tells a crowd in a Ted Talk in Cape Town, South Africa.
For the 20-year-old, it was a very hard task for him; he had to save up money working in a bank to start up his brand. Bayo’s life revolved around the bank and fashion houses. “I would leave the bank at 6 pm and intern with another designer so I could learn the craft,”
When asked how he came about the name of the brand, Bayo tells a story about his childhood and growing up differently from other young boys. He had documented this since age 16 in an article about the colour orange, his love for it and how unique it was to it. Bayo gave the article the title Orange Boy.
Praise is given to societal convention, particularly adhering to society’s idea of masculinity. In 2010, Bayo created Orange Culture in a way to liberate the thought of toxic masculinity and its harms to men and society. However, on his first collection launch, there was a lot of negative criticism filled with threats.
Bayo was disheartened but kept on going and growing to this point where the brand has become one of the best in the continent. We’ve chronicled the incredible fashion evolution of the brand.