Revival & Resurrection is a sustainable British-Nigerian cyber boutique; using a holistic approach to tackle waste and empower the voices of women and non-binary people through colours & textures. The brand has sustainability in mind throughout the creation process and embodies it proudly through its aesthetics and design as well as proudly representing the designer Tobi Kolawole- Olutade’s Nigerian roots and inspiration from her family. We spoke to Tobi about her inspiration and how sustainability plays a part in Revival & Resurrection. Find out what she had to say in the interview below.
How does your cultural background have an impact on your designs and how you create?
Despite being born in the UK, my parents always made sure that I was aware of my beautiful Nigerian heritage and culture. However, it wasn’t until my six-year secondary school experience in Nigeria, that my awareness grew to an appreciation of the folktales and sense of community. Today, I’m able to tell my own version folktales with underlying aims of environmental and social justice through Revival and Resurrection, whilst building a socio-environmental collective to bring about change in the world.
Additionally, we aim to sustainably preserve some aspects of traditional Yoruba hand design methods through our collections.
How do you consciously produce your designs with sustainability in mind?
Sustainability has many facets and thus, we must consider each branch before you start the creating process. From my design inspiration, I consider the themes, and moods for the collections, which, in turn, guide the process to a beautifully responsible creation.
Your Instagram page showcases old school fashion photographs as well as family pictures how do these aspects tie into your designs?
Most of the photographs you see are of my mother and her fashion twin (her sister). These are relevant to my design process as I have fused the old school concepts which prompted her bold, courageous and colorful fashion looks – most, inspired by her culture and 70s, 80s, and 90s runway couture – with modern high-end streetwear.
Exploring my mother’s fashion history has been crucial to my journey as a designer, but also in a more personal sense. I’ve found that it helped me understand my inner self and creativity, not only for articulating my drive for change but also reflecting it in my work.
The pieces created for Revival and Resurrection arose from various ideas, the most important being, being able to adapt my most vulnerable experiences as a means to push my creative liberties to a whole new level.
Looking back at the inspiration for the forthcoming collections, not only do they showcase our delicate mother-daughter relationship but also, provide a platform for our genuine connection. We hope our story empowers and inspires many globally and evokes holistic sustainable liberation.
How can people unable to study fashion gain access to information to learn more about conscious fashion?
With the emergence of technology, information is more accessible, you just need to research. My favorite platforms for learning about conscious fashion are Business of Fashion (BOF) and the Sustainable Fashion Forum (Instagram). Additionally, I have read a handful of books on this topic!
What’s one of the most important things you have learnt during your journey as a designer?
I would say it is to trust your process and be genuine always.
During the creation process do you consider the design or the material first, how does the creative process work?
In terms of the creative process, there is no right or wrong way, you have to find what works for you. For me, I consider the design first and then go from there.
What are you looking forward to creating this year?
We are launching the first eternal accessories collection, ‘Evocation’, on the 15th of July 2020, so that is very exciting. This collection is a social initiative aimed at positively tackling and preventing the rise in solid waste and the multiple issues pertaining to this, in Nigeria, specifically in Lagos State, which is currently the largest producer of solid waste in the country.
Do you have any advice to aspiring designers?
These are the four things that keep me going:
- As a Christian, I believe that one should seek God’s guidance before venturing into anything.
- Do not be afraid to be vulnerable with your creative process
- Take breaks! It is very important you set apart time to rest
- Lastly, trust and believe in yourself. Most days, you’d have to be your own hype man/woman/support system