Ah, the talented and creative youth.
Meet high school junior, Tobi Odeyale. Born in Staten Island, he is a 16 year-old designer with a vision to bring the simplicity back to streetwear once again, all while keeping that unique and artistic touch to your wardrobe. To put the vision to work, Odeyale founded a small, up-and-coming brand, based on an idea that came to him while in history class. That brand is now known today as WAVES.
We had the pleasure of getting to know this young creative, and learn more about his past, previous endeavors, and what he has in store. Read our conversation below.
Tell me more about yourself. Who is the founder behind this brand?
My name is Tobi Odeyale. I’m 16 years old, and currently a junior in high school. I was born in Staten Island, New York raised in New Jersey, but still attended school in Staten Island till 7th grade. I’m Nigerian, which is a country located in West Africa. Most people would describe me as chill, unique, and funny. My whole life I’ve always done things different than what people my age would normally do. I’ve always stood out.
What inspired you to build this brand?
Having the urge to create dope things inspired me to build this brand. A simple thought in the middle of a history class is what sparked the whole idea.
Do you remember what struck your interest for clothing?
What really struck my interest for clothing was seeing rappers wear the craziest outfits at award shows. That inspired me to be creative and unique in the way I dress. Ever since I was young, I’ve always had an interest in clothing. Making different combinations, mixing and matching different types of clothes you wouldn’t normally see together just to make a dope fit. Clothing has always had a major influence on the way I talk and act.
How old were you when you noticed this interest?
I was about 10 years old.
Many designers go through a number of trial and errors before finally getting the vision perfected. What would you say was the biggest challenge with creating WAVES?
The biggest challenge with creating waves was making a great, concise collection that everyone could relate to. I wanted to make a clothing line that anyone from any background could wear and admire. Making a clothing line that is liked by everyone that views it was the toughest/biggest challenge.
What worked as the motivator to push through that challenge?
One thing that worked as a motivator was the people. Their positive and negative words influenced my work ethic. Words are very powerful. Negative people who doubted and overlooked my vision motivated me to achieve what I wanted on a bigger platform. Positive people who believed in me stopped me from giving up and urged me to work and push harder towards reaching my goal.
Why did you decide to name the brand WAVES?
I named the brand WAVES because of a hairstyle black men have which are called waves. When I went to school on Staten Island, I had the hairstyle and many of my friends did too. Another reason why I named my clothing brand WAVES, is because I want my clothing line to be the wave and center of the hype.
Are there any major differences that you notice in your creative process from when you first started designing, to now?
Yes, when I first started creating collections, I would often rush and overthink the process. I would also, ask people for their opinions and not keep my designs on the low. Now, I invest lots of time into creating every piece to ultimate perfection. I don’t show anyone my designs, except for the people in my team and I don’t show the public the designs. Every collection is dropped out of thin air, a surprise.
What are the next few moves for your brand? Where do you plan on taking it?
A fashion show is going to take place soon for our 2016 Fall/Winter collection. We will also be launching a lookbook and website in October. A pop-up shop will take place in May.
What would you say separates your clothing brand from the others?
Anyone can wear our clothes, we don’t have a specific audience for consumers. This is all for the people.
Any advice for people who have an interest in starting a clothing line or brand of any sort?
Manage your money, create dope clothes, and make the right moves.
If you want to buy some of WAVES clothing, DM them on Instagram @waves.clothing. Tobi is currently working on an online store.