Support Series — Niyi Okuboyejo

Niyi Okuboyejo

Meet Niyi (he/him)

Creative Director and founder of @postimperial based in Harlem. He's a Nigerian-born American fashion designer and believes that Africa is one of the last frontiers for new ideas. He took some time to share with us his work and what Support means to him.

As a BIPOC creative, what does “support” mean to you?

For me “support” is being able to rely on a community, whether big or small. In times of struggle and in times of joy.

Who has supported you and why was it meaningful?

My friend Yegwa has been a great support from a business and personal standpoint. His former store was one of the first retail accounts. And he has been a great sounding board regarding the vision I have for Post-imperial. But most importantly, he has been an eternal friend who I can call to vent to about trivial things during ungodly hours.

What is a big challenge being a BIPOC creative in your industry?

The biggest challenge has been trying to build a proof of concept and still trying to prove to people that the concept works.

Any words of advice or encouragement to BIPOC creatives just starting out?

My uncle once told me to “Go with the Goers.” This quote has been my North Star. I feel that for BIPOC, the best way to find ourselves out of these types of oppressive systems is by building alternative spaces and platforms for ourselves. In doing so, we will find our kindred, and we will build solid communities that Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes as Anti-Fragile.

What is your cultural heritage and how has it influenced your work?

I was born in Nigeria and moved to the US at 14. I am a product of both countries. Nigeria helps me to connect to the African diaspora, while America allows me to deconstruct and translate cultural references from that diaspora in ways that the global village will understand.

Why is DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) important to you and your industry?

I believe in alternative realities. And a monoculture doesn’t allow for alternative realities to exist. DEI is paramount to giving us an opportunity to exist in many spaces at the same time.

Why are telling BIPOC stories important to you?

Because it is also part of the story of humanity. That story is not dynamic without the inclusion of BIPOC.  


Niyi Okuboyejo

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