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LFDW Designer Diaries – Why We’re Crushing On Onalaja’s SS17 Collection

Although her brand is a little over 2 years old, Onalaja’s second appearance on the LFDW stage did not disappoint. The brand’s SS17 collection wowed the crowd with golden bronzed and embellished designs to denote the strength of the women that inspired her. Kayinsola Onalaja, the brand’s creative director noted that the pieces in the collection were designed for the modern woman and overall, the collection is a celebration of the modern woman’s strength and femininity.

Onalaja SS17

Onalaja SS17

“I wanted to put a focus on women that had influenced me a lot,” said Onalaja about the collection’s influence.

Women like Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Margaret Ekpo, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (whose We Should All Be Feminist TED talk served as a soundtrack for the runway show) served as inspirations for the designer.


When asked about her penchant for muted tones and bronze hues, Onalaja explained that the collection, titled “Melanin, Her Story and The Art of Manipulation” was inspired the wide variety of melanin infused skin tones. The collection’s embellishments, which were all made and designed by hand, were also meant to compliment the different hues of the model’s skin tones.


“The Onalaja woman is fun,” said Onalaja when asked about what kind of women she envisioned wearing her designs.

“She’s not very conventional with the things she wears, but she’s very strong, opinionated and confident.”