Image: Models wear Daltimore’s White Line SS21 collection / image credit: @_alaoo (instagram)
What made you position Daltimore as a streetwear brand?
When I first decided to start the brand, I was in my first year in pharmacy school, and back then all I wore were tailored pants and corporate shirts and I told myself I would do the opposite with my brand. So from then, I was always thinking of making pieces that I could use to express another side of me that wasn’t a ‘health care professional’ because that’s all that society saw me as and they put me in a box. I decided to leave the box and show my creativity and streetwear is my canvas.
You are a pharmacist. Why did you decide you also wanted to be a fashion designer and did you get any training?
I get asked this question a lot and it also shows how much people expert health care professionals to be strictly into healthcare. Growing up my parents always wanted me to be a doctor and I quite loved sciences but I always had a creative side and I wanted to have the best of both worlds so I started my brand while still studying. I never really had any training as I had only basic tailoring for three months after I graduated university but before the training, I was taught to use a sewing machine in church and since then I was sewing bags, purses, and other small items which helped me when I started making clothes. But mostly, I’m self-taught.
In your opinion, what makes streetwear “streetwear” and how do you see it evolving over time?
For me, streetwear is anything you can express yourself and your style with. Most people hear streetwear and think t-shirts and stuff but streetwear isn’t really about the piece of clothing but the expression.
Image: Nigerian rapper, Ladipoe, wears a silver crucifix-embellished leather jacket from Daltimore / image credit: @iamjinius_ (instagram)
Who was the first major celebrity to wear Daltimore?
That would be the rapper Ladipoe. I got the contract to make some outfits for a performance for him and at first, I was really nervous and imposter syndrome kicked in a bit but I trusted myself and the work I had been putting in for the brand and that gave me the confidence to pull through.
How did you manage to garner an impressive list of celebrity clients over the years? Was it the relationship with stylists or Daltimore’s marketing/word-of-mouth?
I would say the artists are drawn to the brand because our pieces are unique and we aren’t making the regular “streetwear” clothes and also the stylists have been key to it because they have been connecting me to the artists.
Which celebrity, wearing Daltimore, has been able to capture the true vision of the brand?
Bella Shmurda. He’s a very creative artist and detailed. We both love pushing the boundaries of fashion and we always love to fuse streetwear with our native culture.
Image: Nigerian singer, Barry Jhay, wears a red leather jacket from Daltimore / image credit: @22.jumpstr (instagram)
As a designer, what does sustainability mean to you, and in what ways have you integrated the concept into Daltimore?
Sustainability is very important in fashion today as we are trying to protect our environment from waste and pollution. We have tried to adapt some sustainable practices by making use of vegan leather and fur for our bags and jackets. Also, we have eliminated plastic and nylons from our packaging materials and replaced it with locally crafted packaging and recyclable paper.
The Daltimore accessories (pendants, jewelry, bags, etc) compliments the brand’s aesthetic. What was the motivation to make accessories as standalone products?
Before I started the brand, I was making beaded bracelets, hand-woven bracelets, etc. I always like DIYs’s so I found making accessories fun and I decided to pursue it further.
Image: Model wears Daltimore’s Black Line SS20 collection / image credit: @ayanfee__ (instagram)
Daltimore has released a couple of collections since it was founded in 2015. Which of the collections do you have a strong connection to and why?
Our SS20 collection, Black Line. It was a collection in tribute to my elder sister who passed away and I was able to channel my emo side into it.
What’s the future of Daltimore?
In the future we would like to have our flagship store, our products stocked in top retail stores around the world, and to showcase our biggest fashion runways.