Lagos born, Glasgow raised, London based Olubiyi Thomas attended Central Saint Martins from 2010-2013, 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 head designer 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is an independent label that takes an artisanal approach to design, exploring textiles, techniques and reinterpreting historical references for garments that are thoroughly modern but a departure from what is expected from young London designers. The signature style is elongated tailored silhouettes that drape and layer exquisitely, with raw edges acting as a visual exclamation mark. The re-contextualised Malian dyed cotton is particularly striking.
A background as nuanced as Olubiyi Thomas's results in influences that are myriad and perhaps unexpected. From the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, Adam Curtis documentaries, identity politics, and Nollywood, to Victorian England, cottage industries and historical civilisations.
Inspired by his dual heritage Olubiyi Thomas takes an artisanal approach in his vivid reimagining of the linkages between traditional British men's tailoring heritage and African cultural history. With carefully sourced sustainable textiles, an expert focus on craftsmanship, cut, and technique, it is all handmade in London.