Londoners can now get decked out in the quintessential Lagos gent style with a visit to David Wej, following the fashion brand’s new store opening just off London’s bustling Oxford Street.
Highly regarded as a leader in sartorial men’s fashion in Lagos, Nigeria, David Wej widens its empire with this new store opening its seventh international location. And what a location. The store’s proximity to busy Oxford Street at 38 Great Portland Street, is expected to expose the brand to a whole new audience.
Launched in 2008 by founder and Creative Director Adedayo Eweje, the new David Wej store offers timeless premium, affordable menswear, focusing on their signature traditionally inspired bespoke jacquard suits, classic shirts and accessories.
Melan Magazine visited the new store during its opening week in June to learn more about the brand, its founder and plans for the future.
Melan Magazine: Why did you decide to take the risk of opening a new store at such a difficult time, during a pandemic?
David Wej founder, Adedayo Eweje: I believe that COVID-19 will soon be a thing of the past and we wanted to be able to better serve our UK and European customers. Post pandemic the fashion landscape will most definitely change, and we will be well positioned to respond to the changing appetite that our customers demand. As an international brand we pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve hence why we decided to be based in this prime London location.
What message do you hope your new store opening will give to up and coming African designers?
We are a proudly Nigerian brand, and our headquarters remain in Lagos. I want to pave the way for other African designers especially during this critical time where diversity in fashion is such a huge conversation. This move is not just about us expanding as a brand but about putting Nigeria on the global fashion map. We want Africans to know that this is possible.
Your designs look luxurious. Are they in an accessible price-bracket?
We take pride in our craftsmanship and fabric quality. From a sustainable perspective consumers want clothes that will stand the test of time; however, it does not need to cost the earth.
Has the launch been successful so far?
We’ve received a lot of support, most especially from Africans. We didn’t expect this turnup. The last four days has been very exciting and overwhelming. We’re so happy and proud of what we’ve achieved. We’re so proud to be a Nigerian brand.
Can you explain to us what being a proudly Nigerian brand means?
We started this in Lagos 13 years ago, Lagos being the commercial hub of Africa. So, we are in essence telling the story of Lagos through fashion. It’s not just the fact that I am a creative designer, it’s about the total package. We want people to know that it’s good to let your products speak for you. Let your products be out there. I truly believe that within the next few years, African [fashion] will dominate the entire Oxford Street.
Who do you want to see wearing your designs?
Everyone! Our customers are upwardly individuals, no matter where they are from: Nigerians, Africans, Caribbean, Europeans, Americans, Canadians, Arabs, the list goes on…
What do you want people to feel when they wear David Wej?
We want people to understand the possibility that what they are wearing was birthed in the heart of Lagos. The idea is to gift our clients that impeccable taste of what Lagos is all about. So, every collection is going to tell the Lagos story. The rumours are true, Lagosians are proud and stylish and that’s what I want people to feel when they wear my designs.
Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
I am inspired by my environment, wherever that may be at the time. Like what you see here [gesturing to some designs], these are our Danfo [local buses in Lagos], a familiar sight in the streets of Lagos. In a nutshell, I’m inspired by home. Personally, I will not stop being inspired by home because I feel it is time to project Africa on the world stage, where it belongs.
View the new collection via the online store at www.DavidWej.com