New Designer: NKILI
Raised in London and Oxford, Tolani Nkili Onajide moved to Dundee to study architecture. Shortly after her Scottish re-location, the label NKILI was started as a luxury brand focused on producing "the most delicately designed silk shirts, that people would treasure."
Tolani is largely influenced, perhaps unsurprisingly considering her chosen area of study, by Ludwig Miles van der Rohe, "one of the leaders of modern architecture", whose minimalist approach can certainly be seen within NKILI's simple, clean lines and elegant shapes.
Tolani explains that, "by highlighting the garment in its pure form, without distraction, the craft and beauty can be seen."
The simply cut shirts are embellished with a combination of tonal hand drawings and traditional silk-screen printing as well as hand painting techniques, on pure silk, ensuring that each piece is unique. All garments are manufactured from "print to production" in Scotland.
This Scottish connection is something that the designer is keen to maintain and strengthen. So when it came to the creation of a fashion film and look-book images for her new website, Tolani chose to approach photographer and Skinny favourite Jonathan Pryce of street style blog Les Garcons De Glasgow: "he has a genuinely great vision and a belief in what NKILI stands for."
Using Sofia Coppola as a reference and Dundee Botanic Garden as a location, Jonathan and Tolani collaborated to produce imagery that is, "feminine, light and fresh," a perfect match for the garmens themselves.
This April will see the launch of the NKILI S/S 12 collection on www.nkili.com, where it is available to buy. The web shop also includes hand printed silk scarves as well as shirts.