Edwin’s passion for self-expression and creativity is built on two parallels – writing as a description of thought and fashion, in this case, crochet designing, as a medium for art and aesthetics, whereby every single yarn and pattern basically invokes nostalgia and often, a need to celebrate the unexpected.
While crochet is rapidly making a comeback on the global stage, Edwin Okolo, a fashion-forward indigenous designer is successfully leading the Nigerian frontier through his label – Studio Imo which focuses on creating a design experience that offers excellent craftsmanship and unrivalled creative expression through knitwear and traditional tailoring.
The two-man studio label explores the possibilities of knitwear in African climates in a way that flawlessly marries ingenious elements of pattern, texture, construction and drape to produce classic, timeless pieces. His wears reveal he’s as comfortable designing a sweater with a simple ‘V Double’ crochet stitch – one of which Nigerian actress, Dakore Egbuson-Akande wore proudly at an event – as he is designing a crochet dress with a mixed pattern of ‘Tunisian chain’ and Diamond Lace’ stitches for popular blogger, Deola Adebiyi.
A self-taught designer, he now provides services to a list of clients that includes Adekunle Gold, Temi Otedola, Halimat Magaji, among others. But Edwin hopes to expand the brand into bridal fashion in the near future.
The brand has also collaborated with prominent design labels including Orange Culture, IAMISIGO, and Denike Online. His works have also been featured in GQ SA and Vogue Italia.
In a recent interview with BBC Pidgin, Edwin highlighted his journey into fashion and explained the process of creating each crotchet design, one that has defied technology and remains a technique which must be done by hand. But importantly, he expressed the importance of recognising the rewards of hardwork and creativity, irrespective of the gender or personality. Understandably, most people are shocked by his unrestrained passion and genuine interest in fashion, especially with crochet designs.
So rather than thriving as a creative mind among many, Edwin has grown to be a trailblazer for many fashion enthusiasts, generating interest and conversation among Nigerians in the now modern art known as crochet.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Journalist, Political Analyst and Satirist with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.