Printed E&E Vol. 2: A conversation with Tunde Ogunnoiki
You have found major success in recent years. Can you talk about that experience?
We’ve been growing… We started off with small accessories, but didn’t really get our pick-up until we dropped our State of Mind hats. That was a series of 10 hats that all had ordinary words, meant for the ‘user’ or wearer to evoke and make their own. Pretty much, we create the aesthetic and you evoke your meaning onto it.
After we did that, we had a couple of really nice collaborations and that helped us get to a larger audience. Through that we’ve met a couple of people and had placements with Rihanna, 2 Chainz, Future, couple others… I can’t even remember off the top of my head!
What is your favorite piece from fresh.i.am?
I’m wearing it! I’ve wanted to make this for like 2 years, but we finally got to a place where our audience and customers would appreciate and understand it. It’s basically a holster, I wanted to create something for a Summer piece. During Summer, you kind of want to be naked, and I like to wear as few clothes as possible. At the same time, when Summer comes, you lose all your pockets! I wanted to create something where I could go to the pool or the beach or whatever, and still have my pockets.
Our stuff is more utilitarian or military inspired, functional, but trying to bridge that gap between functionality and style. We’re in the future now, so I think it’s possible. 5 years ago, it wouldn’t really make sense. But now a holster makes sense!
What is next for fresh.i.am?
We just opened up a store and that’s been good for us, one of the biggest jumps we are making right now. For us right now, just building and solidifying our cut and sew. We’ve been developing our production in Atlanta and trying to build out our manufacturing end. Just trying to make pieces that are more intricate, that speak closely to the ideals of what we like to create.
Why do you personally make clothes?
I make clothes, as an extension of my Visual art.
Where does the inspiration for your aesthetic come from?
My inspiration comes from everywhere but I like to focus it through my lens.
What is it like to be creating in Atlanta? A huge cultural city at the moment.
Creating in Atlanta is like meditating, if you do it right you can get a lot out of it.
What is Atlanta’s fashion scene like?
Fashion scene in Atlanta is young but very eclectic, the new kids who are making their mark are not afraid to try new things, and are actually having fun with their style. I’m enjoying it can’t wait till it’s well known globally.
What is your favorite part about your job?
The favorite part of my job is I get to make cool stuff for a living.
Watch our interview from Agenda with Tunge Ogunnoiki: