Meet Itunnu Olowolaju, a fine artist, African fashion enthusiast and rebel, in the best sense of the word. In a generation that is getting increasingly westernised, Itunnu wants to restore the pride of African fashion. His passion for what he does – reviving local textile traditions, championing high-quality craftsmanship and making sure decency stays in our fashion – is quite frankly infectious. Here we spoke to the young man on what drives him on…

Does your interest in Fine Arts influence your fashion designs?

Yes, absolutely. I developed a passion for African fashion after I got admitted into the Obafemi Awolowo University to study Fine Arts. I started my designs with prints like adire, batik, ankara and at a point, I even went as far as using clay/bamboo for my buttons. Looking back now, all this only helped shape my interest in indigenous fashion.

How were the early days as an entrepreneur?

Despite my initial fears, it turned out that quite a lot of people liked what I was trying to do. I remember when some foreign exchange students came around. They were visiting the Osun-Oshogbo groove and they wanted to look as African as possible so they asked me to style them. I must have done a good job because on getting back from the groove, each of these 25 students ordered for 5 more attires each. That was huge money for me back then and it further encouraged me to delve into African arts and fashion.

Why the interest in indigenous African fashion?

I want to use my brand of fashion to preach the African culture and integrity in fashion. It’s no secret that our generation has become far too western and we are abandoning our own traditions. I-Touch Clothing is just a way of merging these two worlds without losing the consciousness of our own origin or our morals. You will never find any of my designs that promote indecent exposure of the body.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

For me, creativity is something spiritual so mine definitely comes from God. Even the first idea ever for fashion comes from the Bible when Adam and Eve had to clothe themselves.

The name I- Touche?

The word I- Touche came from the inspiration of God, might sound a bit spiritual now but I recognise God in everything I say or do. The I in I-Touch represents ‘I am’ so I took the I and added it to the touch of God and since eight years now, I carry the brand name I- Touche. It has been God so far.

Do you have any future plans?

I have a lot of plans for the fashion industry and I hope to one day start my own textile company.

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