Mowalola Ogunlesi

Mowalola Ogunlesi (born March 25, 1995) is a Nigerian-born fashion designer working and living in London. She is known for working with a wide variety of textiles such as leather and PVC to produce non-traditional silhouettes inspired by Nigerian and London youth culture.[1]

Mowalola Ogunlesi
Born1995 (age 25–26)
Alma materCentral Saint Martins
OccupationFashion designer
Years active2017 - Present
Notable work
Designed uniforms for Nigeria’s World Cup team for Nike, Outfits for Skepta’s 'Pure Water' video
StyleGenderless clothing
TitleDesign Director at Mowalola & Yeezy GAP

Early lifeEdit

Ogunlesi was born to two Nigerian fashion designers, her mother specializing in children's clothing and her father working in traditional Nigerian menswear.[2] At the age of 12, Ogunlesi moved from Nigeria to attend boarding school in the Surrey countryside. Ogunlesi earned her Bachelor of Arts in Fashion at Central Saint Martins - University of the Arts London, debuting a collection at the Graduation Press Show in 2017. She enrolled in the Master of Arts programme at Central Saint Martins that year but dropped out in 2018 to have more creative freedom in her work.[1]

Career and recognitionEdit

After leaving Central Saint Martins, Ogunlesi applied to the Fashion East mentorship and support programme. Her 2019 London Fashion Week debut took place on Fashion East's stage.[1]

Ogunlesi came under scrutiny in September 2019 when Naomi Campbell was spotted wearing a Mowalola gown with a bullet wound design. The dress was interpreted as a statement on gun violence, but on Instagram Ogunlesi clarified the garment was meant to convey a sense of being a walking target.[3]

Ogunlesi has attracted the attention of artists like Drake, Solange, Steve Lacy, Kelela and Kanye West.[citation needed]

In October 2020, Ogunlesi was named by Elle as one of "10 Trailblazing Women Changing The Future You Need To Know", the others being: Tobi Kyeremateng, Ngozi Onwurah, Simi Lindgren, Balanda Atis, Magdalene Abraha, Koffee, Holly Fischer, Celeste and Margaret Busby.[4]


In 2019 she created outfits for Skepta's "Pure Water" music video and was one of six designers approached by British Vogue to style Barbie dolls for the brand's 60th anniversary.[5][6]

On June 26, 2020 the Yeezy GAP 10-year partnership was officially announced, with Mowalola appointed by West as Design Director.[7]


  1. ^ a b c SSENSE (2019-01-30). "Total Exposure With Mowalola Ogunlesi". ssense. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  2. ^ de Pressigny, Clementine. "mowalola: the nigerian designer setting london on fire with her sductive fashion". i-D Magazine.
  3. ^ Dazed (2019-09-22). "Naomi Campbell and Mowalola comment on that bullet hole dress". Dazed. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  4. ^ Team Elle (2020-10-28). "Black History Month: 10 Trailblazing Women Changing The Future You Need To Know". Elle.
  5. ^ Adegoke, Yomi. "Subverting stereotypes with Mowalola". The Face.
  6. ^ "Nigerian Deisgner, Mowalola Ogunlesi, Styles Iconic Barbie Doll | Independent Newspapers Nigeria". Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  7. ^ "Kanye West Taps Nigerian-British Designer Mowalola Ogunlesi as Design Director of Yeezy Gap". Complex. Retrieved 2020-11-19.