Toronto entrepreneur bringing African fashion to the mainstream
A young Toronto-based designer is bringing the beauty of African prints to the world with her colourful collections of swim wear, boots, and dresses that will brighten up even the dreariest of Canadian winters.
At just 22 years-old, fourth-year Ryerson student Tehilah Abakasanga's clothing brand ÖFUURË has been taking the fashion industry by storm.
Now she's back in the city for a month-long pop-up at 2581 Yonge Street, which will last until December 29.
The Nigerian designer first launched ÖFUURË three years ago, and since then has amassed an Instagram following of over 139,000 fans, including some of the music and fashion industries' biggest names.
Her brand has been co-signed by superstars like Kelly Rowland and Tia Mowry, who've rocked colourful pieces like the CHIOMA crop top, a long sleeve made from cotton and wax fabric that runs for $80.99 CAD.
ÖFUURË's designs feature prints that are both exclusive to the brand and also found across West Africa.
Inspirations include Ankara prints and the popular Kente pattern indigenous to Ghana, which can be worn on the beach, as a fanny pack, athletic wear, and even in cold-friendly gear like trench coats and boots.
"People don’t think African attire goes with cold weather," says Dunnie Onasanya, ÖFUURË's Washington-based brand manager.
"[Abakasanga] offers her designs in so many prints and variations, it’s very easy for people to find something that they like that's ready to wear."
Aside from the incredible colourways, the best part of ÖFUURË is that the pieces cater to all sizes, running from small to 3XL. Plus it's affordable: the hit Maxi Infinity floor-length dress comes in tons of ready-to-wear patterns and costs under $200.
This latest pop-up located just north of Eglinton station is the third and longest physical store ÖFUURË has run so far. It's open to any fashionistas interested in supporting African design.
"If you have an appreciation and a love for it, totally rock it," says Onasanya.
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