Founded in 2011 by Nigerian-born designer Washington Roberts, his eponymous label offers a selection of precisely tailored and effortlessly elegant garments. Sharp silhouettes and geometric prints have emerged as signature elements of his design aesthetic, his penchant for vibrant colors and unusual textile combinations garnering him coverage from major publications including Women’s Wear Daily, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue Italia.
Taught to sew by his seamstress grandmother at a young age, Roberts initially moved to New York to pursue a career in chemical engineering. However, his passion for fashion and creating could not be denied, and he eventually began working in the fashion industry as a stylist, going on to design for brands such as American Rag, Tory Burch, Victoria’s Secret and Vera Wang.
In his own work, Roberts steers away from using the kind of prints typically associated with Africa, particularly wax prints. This is because he sees them as cliché and wants to communicate to the world that Africa is teeming with contemporary, creative minds who are more than just the stereotypes that the world has conjured and affixed to the continent. “It was a conscious choice when I started my label,” the designer told Spice TV Africa of his decision not to work with these prints. “I felt like there was so much more to the continent and that there are different ways to celebrate our “African-ness.”