During the Fashion Revolution Week, our team has the pleasure to get in touch with a very creative young to talk about the theme of “upcycling” and her original creations.
Hi, would you introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Tega Akinola, and currently, I’m a final year student in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Aside from my studies, I like to get creative through designing and making things, which is mainly footwear and bags. After I graduate, I plan to turn that into a full-time endeavour.
How did you come up with the idea of upcycling streetwear? What did inspire you at first and what does inspire you now?
Upcycling is something that has pretty much always been a necessity for me, particularly when I was younger, and before I knew of the actual term. What I love about upcycling is that, for me, there’s beauty in the imperfections. I don’t believe the piece has to be perfect, especially when starting out. A lot of them actually look good because they’re upcycled, and you can see the former stitching lines, and sort of work out which material came from where. I wouldn’t always have money to buy new clothes, so my mum (who has experience in designing and sewing) would encourage me to take my old clothes and do something new with them. However I didn’t purposefully decide to upcycle streetwear, it’s just that I like streetwear a lot, so I guess I make things that I would see myself potentially wearing. Nowadays, my inspiration tends to come from everywhere, but I love visual artists like Gab Bois, and I do try to keep up with fashion week shows.
Show us your first piece and the ones you are most proud of!
The first piece I upcycled was the Nike Sock Heel. I noticed the trend of upcycling Nike socks on Instagram, and so I wanted to hop on it and put my own spin on it. I mainly saw people making items of clothing, so I decided to do something with footwear instead. That’s how that came about.
Another piece I’m probably the proudest of is the Cable Bucket Hat. It was the first cable work where I had no foundation to work with, so creating the shape was a challenge because it depended on the placing of the cables on top of each other and the position of the cable ties, too. So, that one took a lot of brainstorming!
Thank you so much for your time!
Don't forget to check her Instagram profile: @tegaakinola