“My shoes are all about form and function, but I try to create product with some unusual elements, too,” said Dolapo Otunla, designer and founder of Oysby London, now in its third season after launching for spring ’15.
Oysby is an acronym for “Own Your Style, Be Yourself,” a saying that was front and center for Otunla when imagining her line of classic silhouettes reconstructed with fresh elements.
For spring ’16, the focus was on interesting heel treatments, flats with wave details and a particularly arresting cutout wedge. For fall ’16, Otunla is crafting unique constructions with embroidery touches and will also introduce sneakers. And she’s testing the waters with 3D effects.
“I like that my designs and style are not mass market. There was no point in trying to fit in,” the designer said. “We have this fun and fearless thing going on.”
Nigeria-born, London-based Otunla originally studied chemical engineering and has a master’s degree in Process Technology & Business Management. She later attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California.
“My diverse background speaks to my different ideas, and the brand is structured around my desire to be architectural,” Otunla said. “Even with the simplest of outfits, as long as you have your statement shoes, you can make a statement.”
Priced from $395 to $795, Oysby London primarily sells online. But with the help of a new PR team, the label is working on a marketing campaign to gain momentum with retailers.
“We are also looking into celebrity gifting. The American market generally validates brands by seeing people wear them,” said Otunla, whose label was recently spotted twice on Carrie Underwood. “We are looking to push into the retail scene in America, and all of these initiatives will help build the brand.”