Mowalola Ogunlesi Designs Clothes Inspired by Horror-Movie Love and Thongs

All Clothing, Belt, and Sunglasses by MOWALOLA. Jewelry MODEL’S OWN. Boots by MANOLO BLAHNIK.

For her Spring 2020 collection, which debuted in June at London Fashion Week Men’s, Mowalola Ogunlesi was thinking about love—“but not in the Hollywood sense,” she says. “More like a horror-movie love. Everything’s going great and then something happens, and you don’t really know what’s going to happen next, but it’s all very exciting.”

All Clothing and Belt, by MOWALOLA. Jewelry MODEL’S OWN.

Ogunlesi, who moved from Nigeria to England at the age of 12, has become a London nightlife fixture, and she designs clothing with her fellow party people in mind. “When I’m thinking about the cutouts and where to place them, I put them in areas of the body that you wouldn’t normally expose,” she says. “I want people to wear what they want to wear at the club.” Take, for instance, the design below: “I kind of just looked at thongs and how they come up above the trousers, and I wanted to turn that into a top. A thong top.”

After earning her bachelor of arts at Central Saint Martins, Ogunlesi abandoned her pursuit of a master’s degree at the London institution. “I dropped out because I couldn’t really create inside an institution anymore,” she says. “I wanted to go and do it on my own. People should know that there are no limits to what they can do.”

All Clothing and Belt by MOWALOLA. Boots by CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN for MOWALOLA.


Model: Shanelle at Storm Models
Hair: Shiori Takahashi at Streeters
Makeup: Laura Dominique at Streeters
Set Designer: Sophie Durham
Casting: Establishment Casting
Production: Danny Needham at Rosco Production
Photography Assistants: Andras Bartok and Asher Herr
Gaffer: Guy Isherwood
Fashion Assistant: Nathan Henry
Manicure: Amy Hide
Set/Prop Assistants: Joshua Yates and Alberto Lotti
Production Assistant: Roberts Kravecs