When I first laid eyes on this captivating Nigerian Fashion Line, my eyes and heart glowed with excitement!
I had been searching for African Fashion lines, in my small town, of Chattanooga, Tn, for a while! But I had no clue how I would achieve this without shopping online, traveling to another city, or paying an expensive price to get African Pattern pieces!
I even made up in my mind that I would go to my local Hancock Fabric Store, pick up my own material, and patterns. Find a local seamstress and pay her to make some of my favorite pieces!
Many of my favorite celebrities such as Solange Knowles, the Queen of Tribal Prints, Nia Long, and Beyonce are known for sporting these beautiful African pieces.
Our First Lady Michelle Obama has also been spotted sporting Designer Duro Olowu on MANY different occasions! and I knew, I too, could make this fashion forward look work!
First Lady Michelle Obama Rocking Duro Olowu Pieces:
Solange sporting a mixture of African Pieces:
But not for a very affordable price!
So when the revealing of Duro Olowu's line was presented in JCPenneys for Spring 2013, I knew I was going do everything in my power to purchase as many pieces as possible from his JCPenney line!
I had SOOO many ideas for every piece I saw! I could mix and match so many of the pieces together, and with other vintage/classic pieces I already own!
My brain was on overload!
Although the line was much more affordable in a department store, then going to a fashion Designers personal page, it was still not exactly in my budget. I could only pray and keep my fingers crossed, that by the time the Spring season was over, that the line would be more on my budget.
So as the time passed, many of the pieces went on sale for as low as $5 due to the line not being accepted by a lot of JCPenney consumers!
Which I can not understand! Due to the richness of this line! Perfect for Royalty. I was for certain that by the time, this line went on clearance, that there would only be a few pieces left or none. Boy...Was I proved wrong!!! There were many pieces left for very low prices!
I think I was most surprised by the fact that the line was not accepted by some of the African American culture, due to the fact that this is a representation of our roots! It's a beautiful thing when the new generations pay tributes to the their heritage!
It was a bittersweet feeling. Part of me was sad, that the line didn't go as far as it should have in JCPenney, but another part of me, was very happy that I got ALOT of the pieces I had been patiently waiting for.
When it's all said and done, I realized that in Fashion, not everyone will understand the movement! Some people will not understand your vision!
I was also told by an African American employee that the line was ugly! She told me this as I purchased my pieces, although we are very friendly to each other, and she does her job very well! This was very unprofessional of her, due to the fact that it could have caused the consumer, to walk away, and not purchase the merchandise.
But I did not let it bother me. This within itself, motivated me to want the pieces more!
I debated with the employee, but when it was all said and done, it did not matter what the employee thought looked good in her eyes!
It was about what I knew I loved, could make work, and could express my personal personality and style with!!!
With this being said, "Who cares about what people think about your style, whether they like it, or not!"
People are going to be judgmental either way!
"Who Cares about the Rules if You Like It Wear It!!!"
I am proud to Rock Duro Olowu Fashion Line and to open other people's minds! Colorful African Silhouettes, prints, and patterns make me HAPPY and make me feel like an African Queen!!!
And I love wearing Art pieces to express who I am!
I am Duro Olowu! I am Edwina LaShan!
Enjoy Ladies and Gentlemen!
"I don't Wear The Clothes You Wear... I Look Different and I Don't Care!"- Janelle Monae/Goodie Mob
Duro Olowu Green Paisley Button Down Blouse partnered with a Brown and Ivory Plaid Short. Colorful Blue and Hot Pink Tribal Print Pattern Scarf.
"Please Don't Kill My Vibe!!!" -Kendrick Lamar
Gold stud earrings. Yellow clutter ball necklace.
Photo Cred: Elle Magazine, Edwina LaShan