Lagos born, Glasgow raised, London-based Olubiyi Thomas attended Central Saint Martins from 2009-2013, a graduate of the feted menswear BA programme, having been persuaded that his Fine Art skills may bring fresh perspectives on designing clothes.
After cutting his teeth at Alexander McQueen in London, and cult underground label Siki Im in New York, he moved to a creative director position at now defunct artisanal London label De Rien, whose client list included James Brown’s progressive Hostem and Maureen Doherty’s egg in London, as well as New York City stalwart Michael Adjiashvili’s pioneering boutique Hotoveli.
Olubiyi left De Rien in 2015 and moved to establish his namesake label, debuting his maiden collection in June 2016 for Spring Summer.
Olubiyi Thomas is an independent label that takes an artisanal approach to design, exploring archaic textiles and reinterpreting historical references for garments. The signature style is elongated, tailored silhouettes that drape and layer exquisitely, with raw edges that complete the deconstructed avant garde aesthetic.
A background as nuanced as Olubiyi Thomas’s results in influences that are myriad and perhaps unexpected. From the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, the works of Yinka Shonibare, and Nollywood, to Victorian England, cottage industries and historical civilisations.
The label explores stories of multiculturalism and hidden identity, borne out of creative director Olubiyi’s self-reflection on his Nigerian origins and Scottish upbringing. Inspired by his heritage, Olubiyi vividly reimagines the linkages between British Post-Colonialism and African cultural history. Focusing on carefully sourced sustainable textiles and craftsmanship each piece is handmade in London.