Founded in 2015 by Faith Oluwajimi, Bloke is a Nigerian genderless artisanal label that aims to explore the nuances of masculinity via an offbeat, highly expressive design aesthetic. Emboldened by the increasingly liberal views and shifts in consciousness of the new generation, the brand—which began as a knitwear focused line before branching off to incorporate an array of fabrics—diverges from traditional ideas of what a menswear label is, presenting collections filled with items like unisex suits, knit crop tops and billowy tunics. “My design philosophy is introducing a distinct notion of luxury through an artsy design aesthetic, with an undertone of spiritual consciousness,” Oluwajimi explained to Dazed.
Bloke’s design process is informed by a strong angle of sustainability, and toward this end, Oluwajimi employs deadstock fabrics to create his garments, sourcing local materials, using low impact production methods, and employing ethical and transparent manufacturing practices wherever possible. They commit to using only locally sourced materials, and work with a small local community of knitters, textile artists, and local artisans to produce their collections.
Since its founding, Bloke has enjoyed positive press from both African and international publications; the brand has been featured by the likes of Metal Magazine, L'Officiel, and The New York Times, and in 2016 was selected by Vogue Italia’s Vogue Talents as No. 34 out 200 Emerging Brands Changing Fashion Globally. The label was selected to participate in Arise Fashion Week’s first edition of the “30 Under 30 competition” in 2020. The following year, Bloke presented at Milan Fashion Week Men’s alongside fellow Nigerian designers Lagos Space Programme and Tokyo James.
- WGSN Future Designer Programme, 2021
- Emerge ALÁRA Award, Winner, 2019