With over 50,000 Instagram followers, Nigerian-British designer Tega Akinola offers her vision of upcycled streetwear on the web. Between sneakers and accessories dotted with USB cables, multifunctional high heels and fleece handbags: the one who cites Nicole McLaughlin’s and Alexandra Hackett’s DIY sources of inspiration is doing her bit.
Like many young designers, recent graduate Tega Akinola’s thirst for creativity increased tenfold with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the daughter of creative people, with a graphic designer father and a mother with a passion for designing and making clothes, she began designing various fashion items alongside her studies.
As a student with limited means, she does not hesitate to pick out outdated pieces from her wardrobe to redefine its contours and bring a good dose of novelty. Inspired by the work of upcycling designers such as Frankie Collective, Nicole McLaughlin and Alexandra Hackett aka miniswoosh, the streetwear fan embarked on the adventure and shared the results on social networks.
Spotted by the platform that promotes young sustainable designers APOC STORE, Tega Akinola has since developed original pieces that she can now sell. In 2021, she was also chosen by GOAT to be a judge for its custom sneaker contest. More recently, it was the Sneakers Unboxed exhibition run by the resell platform StockX that decided to put the spotlight on the work of this 21-year-old artist.