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Millennial Designer Spotlight: Babatunde “Papa” Oyeyemi The Designer Leading A Gender Neutral Generation

Mary Edoro

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Maxivive is far from your average menswear brand, it is an advanced non-conforming fashion movement!

Led by 26-year-old Babatunde “Papa” Oyeyemi who runs the Maxivive Group of Fashion Brands which houses; Maxivive, Mxvv the sports luxe extension of Maxivive, Bodun a limited edition, subsidized streetwear brand and more recently, PAL, a new addition to logo-mania streetwear/sport aesthetic.

Among millennials, the concept of gender neutrality is conventional. Long gone are the stone ages with clearcut differences of who should wear skirts or trousers, pink or blue. With the rest of the world quickly catching on to fashion’s new reality, how is our immediate society, where gender is a delicate topic, receiving this modern fashion of wearing whatever feels appropriate to the wearer?

Genderless fashion has to be my ONE voice!… I would like to believe that I am over Nigeria or Nigerians not been receptive to my ideas, it would grow on them and they would live to benefit from it down the line or maybe their children. 

says Oyeyemi

These ideas which he unapologetically translates to conversation sparking designs, leave those who are not open to taking style risks piqued.

More recently, at the Lagos Fashion Week A/W Presentations in March, more than a handful of attendants were looking forward to his Glistening collection showcase. Speaking with one of the extravagantly dressed guests, I asked the inspiration behind his avant-garde robe and woven hat look, he said without irony “Because Maxivive!”.

Over the 11 years of his career, Papa has grown a loyal following of hardcore fashion enthusiasts tired of conforming to society’s ideas of how they should dress.

I never follow trends, not one day of my career. It is already established that I create trends… I get bored easily so I look for ways to invent new things.

For this week’s Millennial Designer Spotlight BellaNaija Style‘s Mary Edoro talks with Babatunde “Papa” Oyeyemi about his brand and personal style.

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How It All Started
I started designing officially at the age of 15, with the birth of my first brand, Maxivive. I would like to believe I had already known exactly what I wanted in life from a young age and I knew I wanted to create clothing I could wear and feel good as opposed to the type my parents were buying for me. So it was more of a personal beginning but I have evolved now.

Favourite Part of Being a Fashion Designer
The designing/creating part. I love to create, I get bored easily so I look for ways to invent new things and do new activities but God knows I don’t want to have anything to do with the selling part of it but it is what it is, I have no choice right now. Money has to be made for sustainability.

The Ideal Maxivive Individual
My target market is any living person to be honest because I now own and run a group of fashion brands. But the ideal Maxivive person would be very young at heart, ready to explore with no “structured” boundaries.

Maxivive’s Pre-Wet 2018 Campaign

Inspiration Behind Maxivive Designs
This interview can inspire a design, anything or anyone can/or inspire me. I have a child and family psychology background so that also helps in generating designs from interpersonal relationships, human behaviours, an estimate of time etc. so both physical and emotional entities inspires my work.

Favourite Collections
Every collection to me has a defining moment and has a very special appeal to me. They are always the very best I could give at that moment in time, so I hold them dear to me. People and the press have their own personal picks from my past and present collections but I would always pick the one I am currently working on and what no one else has seen.

Trends
I believe it is already established that I create trends, I never follow trends not one day of my career. My past works are more relevant now simply because that’s what people have woken up to understand at the moment and that’s possibly what I have seen and done 3,4,5 years ago.

Genderless Fashion
This has to be my ONE voice! It’s the 221st century with emphasis on 2018. Wake up, everything is evolving around you, wear whatever that makes you happy, life is obviously too short to differentiate between menswear and womenswear.

Day 3 Lagos Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2018 Review by Mazzi Odu

Maxivive’s Wet 2018 Show at Lagos Fashion Week A/W 2018 Presentations

Genderless Fashion in Nigeria/Africa as a Whole
I would like to believe that I am over Nigeria or Nigerians not been receptive to my ideas, it would grow on them and they would live to benefit from it down the line or maybe their children. South Africa and other parts of Africa that I have been to are more receptive to the idea. Nigerians have really treated me badly but that’s fine.

Running a Fashion Brand in Nigeria?
This has to be how disrespectful, highly opinionated without any solid backing and unsupportive our people can be. I get it, you don’t understand and you might never buy, and that’s fine but don’t bad mouth what you can’t create or what you would eventually appreciate. Every other “Nigeria factors” have direct-to-the-book solutions.

Must-Have Qualities of a Fashion Designer 
There are no trademarks to success or how to have a successful career, whatever that floats my boat might equally sink yours but surely believe in yourself and go for whatever it is you believe in. It is never as good or as bad as they say or place it.

Go-to Style Uniform
I don’t have a style uniform, anything is possible with my style. My everyday uniform to work as seen by my neighbours – they are used to seeing anything-is-possible on me.

Favourite Place to De-stress
I have a room that I painted all white with a white ceiling and a bed to the floor in the middle of the room. I usually watch God through the ceiling when I need to cool off, I call this process, “My eyes are watching God”.

Guilty Pleasure
Oh, my Goodness, biscuits for breakfast, lunch and supper! Every day every time.

Lifestyle Philosophy
“It’s okay to be black, have a black skin, hair etc but do not ever have a black brain.”

Read more inspiring interviews with other young African designers on the Millennial Designer Spotlight.

SEE MORE AMAZING CONTENT ON WWW.BELLANAIJASTYLE.COM

Mary Edoro is a seasoned writer and content creator.She has developed her skill by writing for renowned websites, using words to express her love for fashion.She is also the Junior Editor of BellaNaija Style handling engaging features and news content on the site and social media platforms.Mary blogs about her personal style and offers guides to her favourite city, Lagos on her blog - Lagos City Chic with plans to conquer the world one cup of coffee at a time.Follow her on Instagram @lagoscitychic BellaNaija Beauty: [email protected] @bellanaijabeauty BellaNaija Style: @bellanaijastyle BellaNaija Living: @bellanaijaliving

4 Comments

  1. Tony

    April 18, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    This looks funny.

  2. Onyinyechukwu

    April 18, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Funkeeeeeee!..”Aposuu” must hear/see this!!!…

  3. Physio Tinu

    April 19, 2018 at 4:30 am

    Rada rada nonsense! Just using controversial overly sexed innuendos to garner attention. Puhlease shift.

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