Fashion Scout is proud to showcase the London based Eponymous brand Tolu Coker, as the winner of the AW19 coveted Merit Award. Created in 2009, the new talent initiative is worth £20,000 across three seasons and has been created to support and develop new designer businesses on a global level. Tolu follows in the successful footsteps of past winners including: Eudon Choi, Phoebe English, David Koma, RobertslWood, Han Wen, Xiao Li, Katie Ann McGuigan, EDDA and SS19 winner i-am-chen.
Tolu Coker is a unisex fashion brand centred around inclusivity diversity and social responsibility. More than just a fashion label, it serves as a creative outlet for the youthful expression of political reform, changing social and economic climates and new emerging identities. The brand explores and acknowledges hybridity and fluidity in societies and cultures, translating this into forward-thinking fashion and environmentally conscious clothing, shoes and accessories.
Tolu aims to showcase her identity throughout her work by embracing dual heritage and cultures. She does this by reconstructing the black identity within the western world by adding personal prints, embellishments and personal old polaroid photos of her family. Her work is a fusion of generational experiences, with some pieces being inspired from extracts from her Father’s diary. The brand ethos is all about identity. This development of unique and innovative design techniques, which utilise both traditional artisan craftsmanship and modern technology, is integral to the brand’s conscious consideration for sustainability and the advancement of technology in the AW19 collection.
Reworked denims, recycled leathers and re-used plastic and lace scraps are paired alongside striking and daring silhouettes, bold illustrative prints/embroideries and a playground of textures to add a youthful, contemporary and luxurious flair to each piece. Black and white feature heavily within the new collection, gives a youthful freshness, with many outfits containing being classic casual silhouettes of hoodies and jeans but also with Nigerian tribal head pieces. The brand is a catalyst for acceptance and freedom in fashion as well as a tool to urge consumers to move towards buying more investment clothing pieces – clothing that is timeless and in its longevity, reducing carbon footprint.
She boasts a global client base, with her roster including high-profile names such as Rita Ora, Rihanna, Emily Sande, Demi Lovato, Ms Banks, AJ Tracey and Tiwa Savage. Her work has also been internationally recognised by publications and platforms such as Vogue, Love Magazine, Dazed, Hunger, AnOther, WWD, NME, LVMH teams and even the Tate!
Originally from Nigeria,Tolu is a Fashion Designer, Textile Designer and Illustrator and has lived in Spain but currently resides in London.Whilst studying at Central Saint Martins,Tolu undertook several successful stints at Maison Margiela, J.W. Anderson and Celine and gone on to have many collaborations with established labels such as Dr Martens, Swatch and illy.
The young designer was recently shortlisted as a finalist in the ASOS Fashion Discovery 2018, and is a triple- award winner of the globally-acclaimed ITS 2018, where she took home a hat trick of awards across both Fashion and Artwork categories – The Diesel Award, The Vogue Talents Award and The ITS Time For Coffee Award.