Rita Okoye, Lagos
Celebrity clothier Yinka Ash is fast grabbing the attention of some of Nigeria’s most influential singers as he continues to convert more of them to fans of his ‘Ashluxe’ brand.
The fast-rising young fashion-preneur has revealed how he is using the influence of 90s’ rap and highlife music to inspire his brand.
The Biochemistry graduate of Caleb University, Lagos, runs urban fashion wear brand Ashluxe and has clothed celebrities including Davido, Naira Marley, Zlatan Ibile among others.
His imprints have also be worn by South African model, Bonang Matheba. The Ashluxe narrative is rising with exposure in music videos such as Naira Marley’s song Puta.
Its range of pop culture fashion appeals to the millennials and they include T-Shirts, Hats, Pants, Socks, Slides, Track Suits among others.
According to Yinka, “Ashluxe has evolved from being a crazy idea in my head to the street style brand it is now that is coveted by all. The Ashluxe team is carefully curated and made up of the best and most talented individuals ensuring that we put out only our best. Tons of research is done to produce certain fabrics and curate the graphic design and techniques used in the collection. For example, the new spectrum reflective Ashluxe material took months to perfect in Paris. The Ashluxe trademark denotes quality and effort. Tangible effort is made to create a holistic experience because the art of fashion is multifaceted.
Yinka downplays his popularity among his celebrity clientele, saying, “I avoid dropping names when I can because I’ve worked with quite a lot and it’s impossible to name everyone offhand, but from Zlatan Ibile, Sarah Langa, Toke Makinwa, Bonang Matheba, Davido, Rahman Jago, Naira Marley and Pretty Mike among others. Working with them is quite humbling because these are VIPs and they show the brand such genuine love and support. Everything comes naturally, and it’s good that we have started to support our own.”
For the Epe, Lagos-born fashionista, the creative juices run in the family. Born to a father who is a Structural Engineer and his English Language lecturer cum writer mom, Yinka Ash also has a brother who runs an Apparel Design outfit known as Crowned Gear. He captures his inspiration: “Indeed, I’ll say that growing up in Lagos, you cannot avoid being in the fashion scene, we like to dress up! Also, being brought up by creatives, I’ve been exposed to various forms of design and art all my life so fashion did find me. Growing up in the 90’s, our style was influenced by rap culture, we adopted du rags, bandanas, baggy pants, Oversized Tees from Tupac, Snoop, Biggy, 50cent etc But then I also listened to Fela Anikulapo Kuti and was immersed in his idea of using music, a form of art as a vessel to spread his political opinion. So yes, the disparity between rap and Afrobeats and highlife helped influenced my school of thought.”
On AshLuxe’s plan for 2020, Yinka says, “God’s willing, this year we are doing some collaborations. We are also launching a summer collection. We are organizing our first independent runway show outside the fashion calendar. If you genuinely follow and love the brand, this year our offerings will blow your mind.”