Canadian based African designer Eniola Hundeyin, hails from Lagos, Nigeria and graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BES in Planning. Her label ENIOLA DAVID launched in September of 2007 when she made her friends denim skirts for a party. They got loads of attention so she proceeded to make a mini collection that month for a show she was invited to. And that’s how it really all began.
‘Essentially, ENIOLA DAVID lives by innovation, individuality and consequently, timelessness. It will always be a smart, conscious and creative label’.
What is The Afropolitan Collection about and what inspired it?
The story of the Afropolitan collection is based off the simple idea of the African woman dwelling in the metropolis but delves even deeper. The collection completely serves today’s afropolitan woman who is constantly moving ahead, breaking boundaries, creating solutions and overcoming challenges whilst reinventing herself. To create a collection that spoke to a woman of today and the future, I went back to the basics.
My influences were strongly rooted in my Nigerian background and my Western exposure. More specifically, I drew inspiration from Nigeria in the 70s, where there was a wave of creative talent, especially in the music industry. My all-time favorite collaboration was that of Lemi Ghariokwu for Fela Kuti’s spectacular album artwork collection. That was my first conscious introduction to Afro- Pop Art and I couldn’t have asked for a better reference point.
The 1970s also made way for non-native musical genres which were creatively blended into Nigerian musical flavors. (Surely my Nigeria 70-Lagos Jump CD was on repeat during my creative process). I connected all these pieces of seemingly contrasting inspiration and built them into a singular vision for the collection
Why did you employ these particular shapes and silhouettes?
I began with the shapes and went for straight lines, angular cuts, simple geometry. To create the unique silhouette in some looks, I mixed the hard with the soft (see ruched chiffon against stiff ankara fabric, chiffon blouse on blue tulip skirt). As well, I played with varied lengths (see: blazer dress with mini skirt and the yellow + lace evening look). All the looks were pulled together in the core: the waist.
What is the influence behind the color in this collection?
The organic use of color was influenced by Lemi G.’s vibrant body of work hence the choice of solely primary colors, yellow blue and red. Contrasting against them (color, which is the presence of light), was the introduction of black (in essence, the absence of light) and even peppy print against preppy monochrome. Using pop art as the pivot for my visuals was challenging to reconcile as it (pop art) can take on very simple or complex in form, but it worked well.
What sort of detailing did you employ?
The detailing is in the cleanliness of each piece and the intelligence behind the way the clothes function together. With this collection, each piece is unique and can be intermixed to form completely different looks. It totally works for the modern woman on the go who appreciates wardrobe versatility and wearability.