October 17, 2021 , the sun shines on the bright façade of the Villa Noailles, in Hyères, which hosts the annual International Fashion and Photography Festival. Victor & Rolf, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Anthony Vaccarello… The list of artists with recognized talent that this competition has crowned is long. This year, Ifeanyi Okwuadi joined the list of victors, winning the coveted Grand Prix du Jury, which was presided over by Louise Trotter, artistic director of Lacoste.
Who is Ifeanyi Okwuadi, winner of the 36th Festival de Hyères fashion award?
« Take the Toys from the Boys »
And for good reason, the collection presented, “Take the Toys from the Boys,” wasa hit: composed of seven male silhouettes, it was a real dive into the rich and playful universe of the 27-year-old designer. Sober outfits with impeccable tailoring that recalls the world of British boy scouts, with short shorts, bobs, scarves wisely tied around the neck, and high socks. A collection, according to the Londoner from Niger, inspired by an anti-nuclear protest movement led by women in Great Britain between 1980 and 2000. Indeed, it’s impossible not to spot details borrowed from the women’s wardrobe, such as the slightly fittedquilted jackets and the baby-style shoes.
A promising career
Ifeanyi Okwuadi readily reveals in the press that, as a child, he dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, but it was fashion that drew him in. After leaving high school, he studied textile design at Ravensbourne University in London and worked for Cat and the Dandy, a well-known costume designer in the English capital. He then continued his apprenticeship at the heart of British houses renowned for their technical prowess, such as Gareth Pugh. His next step? A new course at the famous Central Saint Martins School, through which designers such asStella McCartney, Sarah Burton, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, and Riccardo Tisci have all passed… We can only wish him a brilliant career.
By Marie Courtois