My first real experience with the Nigerian-based design house, Grey, (where real = not in the pages of a magazine or observing collections at fashion week) was last December at a charity sale where one of the designers of the illustrious label, Rukky Ladoja showed up with a bag full of clothes to be sold at ridiculous prices to raise funds for the rebuilding of the Fashion Department of the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos.
I immediately bagged three pieces. A super luxurious jumpsuit, a beautiful print shirt and a lovely summer dress for my mum. In the mad dash to find great stuff, I never got to tell Ms Ladoja that I’d been a fan of hers since secondary school when my friend and I couldn’t wait for each Monday so we could discuss Rukky’s article in the newspaper pull-out zine, Elan. But I digress…
When I got home, my mum and I couldn’t get over the fabrics of the clothes. They felt like heaven and I never wanted to take them off. The result was a piqued curiosity and a renewed interest in all things Grey.
Delving into the world of Grey, starting with their Definitive Grey ’15 resort collection campaign : This Is Grey, which the designers said was all about the Grey woman, “a confident woman who is always on the cutting edge. She is drawn to classic silhouettes and fabrics but is ultimately seeking freedom and lightness in her everyday wardrobe”
I was sent on a trip down memory lane. The collection bore a lot of similarities to their IDENTITY S/S 15 collection, which debuted at LFDW last year and featured a lot of the laser cut fabric that was incorporated into this collection.
The Grey label was founded by Rukky Ladoja, Obi Obi and Tola Ayanwale, who started the label to provide wearable, affordable fashion for the Nigerian woman on the go.
Grey is a fast moving fashion apparel brand focused on designing and producing classic yet edgy women’s wear right out of Nigeria.
The label offers four distinct lines; Grey Casual, Grey Corporate, Grey Cocktails, and a newer higher end line; Custom. The focus of the label remains on the delivery of affordable well made clothing that form the everyday uniform of clients.
Over the years, the Grey team has had memorable collaborations, as the team seems to value creative input by individuals who share the Grey aesthetic, most memorable of which was the Grey capsule collection by Ozzy Etomi (of the4acesdate), which incidentally featured the same laser cut design that’s now become known as the Grey signature.
There was also a collaboration with artist, Karo Akpokiere who created prints which were incorporated into their Karo and The Woman Wrapper Pre-SS13 collection.
What I’ve come to appreciate about the label is that over the past give years, they’ve consistently been all about the Grey Woman. These designers know their clientèle. They consistently give us classic Grey elegance, simplicity, beautiful prints and flattering cuts with excellent finishing.
From their very first DIMENSIONAL S/S 11 collection to the DAISY S/S 13 where they flirted with men’s fashion, down to the DEFINITIVE 15, the Grey line keeps getting better and better, offering clothing that hits the nexus between form and function while looking chic.
Speaking as a fan, I can’t wait to see what they offer up next.