Walé Adeyemi the British-Nigerian fashion designer who defined an era
‘Be your own future’
This is Walé Adeyemi Nigerian-British fashion designer who is responsible for some of the most memorable fashion moments in British pop culture, clothing the likes of So solid Crew, Craig David, Ms Dynamite, OutKast, Most Def, Rihanna and Missy Elliott.
The founder of B-side east London streetwear label was born in Nigeria Adeyemi later moved the UK where he studied BTEC National Diploma in Fashion at South Essex College from 1990-1992. Fuelling creative pulse Walé at the age of 18 interned for the legendary Joe Casely-Hayford it was within the foundation that the young fashion designer to be understood the hard work and dedication needed to pursue a career in fashion. Making the decision to further his studies at the Kent Institute of Art and Design (now University for the Creative Arts).
Landing a job at the designer boutique Head Over Heels in Covent Garden and on the weekends a working his stall in the infamous Camden Market.
Walés Camden Stall was conveniently located opposite a drum and bass store which became a melting pot for unsigned musicians and acts, his early designs where heavily rooted in Londons underground music culture.
Identifying more to music than a traditional fashion label some of his first designs, where sold record stores.
The term ‘B-side’ is a musical reference linked to vinyls where he stated.”When you used to buy vinyl back in the day you’d have the A-side track which would normally be the biggest hit and then you’d have the B-side side which the record company didn’t release… that was the underground side”
Garage artist such as Craig David started becoming more main stream which led to his designs being seen by a wider audience, Walé recalls “I remember it was the summertime and everyone was going to Ibiza and wearing my hats on the beach. Beanie hats on the beach, I was like great! That’s where it really started to bubble”
The Walé Adeyemi collection debuted in 1998 as a menswear collection "somewhere between the kerb and the boutique".
The brand now covers both menswear and womenswear. He was presented with the Fashion and Design Award at the Carlton Multi-Cultural Awards in 2001. 2004 saw Adeyemi nominated for the AoC Gold Award, which he won.
In 2005, Walé was noted for his iconic Graffiti Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, featuring him in the Moments in Black British Style exhibition. Walé received the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours for his contribution to British Fashion. The Walé Collection debuted and sold initially in Japan and London. In 2012, Walé opened his B-side by Walé store in Hanbury Street, East London. B-sidebyWalé is currently stocked in Harvey Nichols and Urban Outfitters.