i was blessed with the opportunity to interview a friend from back in the day who is making a lot of power moves with her fashion accessory line, akeyno. check out the interview below.
Name: Olayinka Oni-Orisan
Birthplace: Hartford, CT
Reside: Washington, DC
Occupation: Student by day, accessory designer by night
How would you describe your style of dress?
I would describe my style as effortless and fun.
What separates your style from the next person?
The fact that I enjoy incorporating Afro-centric pieces into my outfits.
When did you become interested in fashion?
As a little girl I always used to make clothes for my dolls and enjoyed playing dress up with my mom’s clothes. It was actually my father that encouraged me to start my own business, when I told him that I wanted to get a job to help pay for some expenses for my junior prom that was coming up. My jewelry and accessory line is called Akeyno Handmade Accessories. In high school I used only beads and I would carry a tote with my jewelry around school and sell it to my teachers and classmates. When I got to college, my mom gave me her sewing machine and I began to experiment with African fabrics (Ankara) as well. The Entrepreneurship Institute at my school really helped me grow to where I am now. Most importantly I LOVE making accessories, it’s therapeutic for me in a way.
What is your favorite piece that you currently own? Why?
My favorite piece is a Lace Ruffle bib I made because EVERY time I wear that necklace I always get compliments and that’s free advertisement for my line. It is also my favorite because I made it!!
How much did your favorite outfit cost you?
My favorite outfit was actually free. It is a sleeveless jumper I made using West African wax print fabric, also known as Ankara.
What do you believe is the most essential part of an outfit and why?
I believe the most essential part of an outfit is your accessories and shoes. I believe both of these items add the finishing touch and can make an outfit go from boring to stylish just by the choice of shoes and/or accessories you select.
Is There Anything You’re Currently Working On?
For my S/S 2011 collection I am currently working on more of my signature pieces for my line called the Ankara Bib Necklace and bowties. I use a mixture of African fabrics to create unique statement necklaces that definitely turn heads. The bowties are an instant upgrade to any vest, blazer, jacket, dress, collared shirt, your hair or anything you decide to pin them on!
When it comes to shoes I love Steve Madden, but as for clothes I don’t have a particular brand. I tend to buy whatever I like whether it’s from Forever21, H&M, a thrift store, or Nordstrom.
What inspires you?
I would definitely say that I am inspired by my Nigerian culture, which is reflected in my accessory pieces.
What are your future career goals?
I hope to continue making jewelry and accessories part-time while working, after graduation. Once I get my MBA and work for a couple years I would love to run Akeyno full-time. We’ll see how it goes.
Do You Have A Quote That You Apply To Your Life?
Never resist a temporary inconvenience if it results in a permanent improvement. -Anonymous