EYE ON DESIGN: OYSBY LONDON

They're versatile, unique and always on-trend, we catch up with Creative Director, Dolapo Otunla, the brains and beauty behind footwear brand OYSBY London

OYSBY London AW16

How did you get involved in footwear design? My journey into footwear design started while I was working in Oil and Gas about eight years ago, and I started a retail footwear business alongside my regular day job. I eventually decided to make and sell my own products and I initiated this process by studying Apparel Industry Manufacturing at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. I launched my footwear brand, OYSBY, in August 2014 in Las Vegas. Since then, OYSBY has been delivering great products and receiving positive feedback from the public, press and even celebrities.

What do you love about it most? I love being able to conceptualize an idea and see the idea brought to life as products. It’s even more exciting when I see the products on customers and celebrities, runways, and also receive great feedback from press. It’s all very rewarding and satisfying.

What are some of the challenges you face as a footwear designer in terms of form meets function? A wise woman once said to me, “Never let your creativity become your greatest roadblock.” That wise woman happens to be me and I learned this very important fact over the course of my business. At the beginning, I was always very eager to to throw in several ideas into one season but over time, I realized that people appreciate simplicity with a little bit of quirk and since we adopted this strategy, the feedback got even better. In all of this, we never let our need to deliver exceptional aesthetics get in the way of the product functionality. There’s no point wearing a beautiful shoe if you can’t walk in it. At OYSBY, we take both form and function very seriously.

What materials do you most like to use? I love leather a lot. Apart from being one of the most comfortable and breathable materials for the feet, new technology has also made it possible to achieve very beautiful, fashion forward and extraordinary effects on the surface a leather. This has no doubt reinforced the fact that leather is enduring and will continue to evolve through the times.

How would you like a woman to feel in your designs? When I think of the OYSBY woman, I think of simplicity with character. I think of women that want to tip the scale, light a fire, break boundaries, run the world and staying true to themselves while doing all these things. Women that have worn OYSBY shoes have said they feel like they have been able to express their most eccentric style dreams without losing the elements of class and sophistication. This is how every woman should feel when wearing an OYSBY shoe.

What exciting plans do you have for the future of the brand? Our world today is ever so dynamic and OYSBY is evolving in such a way that it adapts to customers’ needs without losing our core values of fun and individuality. There are so many choices out there but I keep seeing the same thing over and over again. For the future, we’ll continue to deliver new and unique upper designs, heels and interesting uses of materials and colors. We are granting HHH an exclusive preview into our FW 2016 campaign and this collection reinforces the aforementioned plans. We are also beginning to expand our geographical reach and what this means is that we will become even more accessible to our customers.

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