Following up with WAVES founder Tobi Odeyale

Nearly a year ago we sat down with Tobi Odeyale, founder of prospering self-made brand WAVES. Odeyale discussed his inspiration behind creating the brand, when he became interested in clothes, and his creative process. At the time he was running WAVES through instagram but since then has officially started an online store. Currently, the Staten Island based creative finds himself dabbling in new creative mediums, growing in terms of self and work, and planning great things for the future.

Check out our follow-up interview with Odeyale below.


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Odeyale shot by Johnny Mkiv

It’s been about a year since we’ve spoken with you. How have you been as far as keeping up your brand and stuff?

Honestly, I’ve been great, I’m grateful and I can’t complain. Things have gotten more complicated and stressful but that comes with being successful so I’m all for it.

Where are you in life artistically? Do you have a new outlook on designing?

As of right now, I’m completely drained of inspiration. I’m trying to find it again and start creating. I’m looking for a spark you feel me? My next course of action though is to design a collection, Fall/Winter collection for 2017. Stay Tuned.

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Have you been involved in any other creative endeavors?

I’ve been doing a lot of film and photography lately, because that’s very essential to one’s image in my opinion. I’ve also been working on several projects that I don’t want to speak on now, but you will hear about it in the near future.

What are some people, things, etc. that currently inspire you?

The people I see everyday inspire me. The clothes that they wear create ideas in my mind because I try to stay in tune with today’s trends. The city that I grew up in, Staten Island, also inspires me to one day be known as a figure there and to put them on the map, you feel me? Everyone successful has to give back to their community. My deceased Grandfather is my biggest inspiration though. He had a business of his own and his sudden death changed my entire perception on life and death as a whole. (Two years ago) he died in his sleep, so that just shows you that you can leave the world at anytime, like nothing is really guaranteed except death. That’s why I try to make the best out of every moment because you just don’t know.

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My condolences to you and your family about the sudden loss of your grandfather. Were there any other challenges you encountered? If so, how did you overcome them?

I didn’t really encounter any challenges. I just had some mixed emotions. I felt confused and I couldn’t come to the realization that he was really gone. The last time I saw him I was 5 years-old,  so I don’t really have closure. I used to speak to him on the phone a lot, but I wish I would’ve seen him one last time.

A lot can happen in a year. Have you noticed any changes within yourself personally and artistically?

I’ve definitely progressed a lot in the past year, especially with my following and business. I think I’m more mature, I’m wiser, and I’m more confident in my ability as a creative. There’s also been some changes in regards to the people around me. A lot of people who slept on me try to affiliate with me now. Girls that curved me in the dms try to talk to me now [laughs].

IMG_1848As for your brand WAVES what can we expect to see in the future?

Expect higher levels of creativity. That’s all I’m striving for at this point. I want to create at a higher quality and quantity.

Have you learned anything new that you wish you would have known earlier over the year?

No not really. Whatever I experienced made me who I am today so I’m grateful for the mistakes I’ve made.

What’s a quote or phrase that you personally find empowering and relevant in your life? 

One quote that really stands out to me is a quote by Michael Jackson. He says, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change”. To me, that’s total representation of what I’m about, I’m all about progression. I wanna give people the best of me and become a better person while doing that. I wanna change the world and my life, so in order to do that, I have to start the work from within.

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2018 is approaching. What are some things you would like to do or have done in the new year. 

Uh… I simply just want to progress and enjoy my life. I’m in my last year of high school so I gotta make it memorable.

Any closing remarks, shoutouts, words of advice, etc?

Shoutout Phil, Toure, Dan, Damian, Amir, Cory, Zach, Matt, Casley, Andre, Will, Steve, AJ, Nick, Sashank, and Aidan. Those are my brothers.

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Odeyale shot by NillaCruz

For more Tobi Odeyale & WAVES apparel

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