Meet the Man Bringing Nigerian Textiles to Your Office Wardrobe

If you’re looking for the perfect pick-me-up for a tired office wardrobe, look no further than Post-Imperial, the label that’s using age-old Nigerian techniques to amp up your necktie.

When Niyi Okuboyejo, founder of the label Post-Imperial, left Nigeria at the age of 14, his mother told him how accepting and kind people were in the United States. “But she never dealt with teenagers,” says Niyi, admitting the culture shock he felt arriving stateside as a high school freshman in Houston, Texas. “I learned very fast that being African was not cool.”

This lead Niyi to affect a sort of tough-guy act. “I ended up wearing a lot of masks, pretending to be someone I’m not, and becoming friends with some very not-reputable people,” he says. “But I would lie to my friends and say that I was cutting class to smoke and sell drugs, but I was really going to honors classes.” By the time he hit junior year, all that acting (and high school football) left him physically exhausted, so he gave it up. Though being from Africa may not have made him popular back then, his heritage and Nigeria-inspired collection of ties and pocket squares is one of the coolest new accessories labels on the market today.

post-imperial-02.jpg
What makes Post-Imperial stand out from your average tie purveyor are its beautiful fabrics, which are made using a Yoruban technique called Adire dyeing. It’s a process so old that there are only a few “master dyers” left in all of Nigeria. Much like old Japanese fabric dyeing techniques, Adire leans heavily on the use of indigo, but generally uses a wider variety of pattern and color. Its cultural roots come from traditional Nigerian ceremonies, where cloths are exchanged at weddings, each with a motif that has specific reference and meaning.

Niyi respects and is proud of this cultural history. He says that sharing Nigerian culture as well as the larger African diaspora is at the heart of his brand. But he’s refreshingly wary of being overly nostalgic. “It’s called Post-Imperial because it’s about the time after old regimes, and creating for today,” he says. “It’s cool to look at old photos and fantasize, but we should be creating our own images. Twenty years from now, people should look at our time and fantasize about it.” He doesn’t fetishize tradition or allow it to hinder the way he wants the end product to look. For instance, the frayed edges featured on all of his products, from ties to pants to shirts, exist for no other reason than Niyi likes the way they look.

“I want to make products that people like because they like the way it looks. Then once they pick it up, they can start learning about the story.”
Twitter
This often leads to friction between Niyi and the master dyers. “Each time I’m with them, the process takes about three hours, and most of that is spent convincing them that my ideas work. These guys have been doing this for years, so I have to convince them to try it.” He goes to bat for his ideas not out of arrogance, but because he knows the end product has to, above all, be attractive to buyers. “Anyone can make something avant-garde, and people will look at it and think, ‘Oh that’s interesting,’ but they won’t wear it. I want to make products that people like because they like the way it looks. Once they pick it up, they can start learning about the story,” he says.

ALSO READ  RedCloud, KongaPay Partner To Give Nigerians Access To Distributed Banking Services

post-imperial-05.jpg
The result of this balancing act between past and present, avant-garde and classic is an unfamiliar but exciting mix of cultures. The ties, scarves, pocket squares, and even apparel are certainly conversation-starters, but are approachable enough to be added to even the most conservative of wardrobes. For men sick of standard rep ties, Post-Imperial has a Adire-dyed version with colors that crack and bleed outside the lines, giving the style newfound personality. Those who want to get even riskier and really light up a big meeting can reach for more complicated motifs in a range of bright colors. And there’s no man on earth who wouldn’t occasionally benefit from a jolt of energy in the form of a Adire-dyed pocket square.

If you’re looking to buy Post-Imperial products today, your best bet is the brand’s online store. Most of the the label’s brick-and-mortar retail accounts are currently in Japan, where men are always three steps ahead of even the most stylishly-inclined in the Western world. But Post-Imperial is set to land in stateside this fall at Unis, one of America’s best stores. Niyi learned long ago that people may not be as kind and accepting in the United States as his mother said they would be, but now at 32-years-old, he’s just as American as anyone. “I’ve seen both sides, and I appreciate both sides. And my experiences in America have helped shape my aesthetic,” he says. As he grows older and experiences new things, Post-Imperial will continue to evolve. As Niyi puts it, “The dyeing process is just one part of what the diaspora has to say.” It’s easy to fall in love with the fabric-heavy story Post-Imperial is telling now, but we’ll definitely be listening as the brand begins to say new things.

post-imperial-04.jpg

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

How Kebbi State Government Publicly Disregarded First Wife, Aisha Bagudu As State’s First Lady
Politics
55 views
Politics
55 views

How Kebbi State Government Publicly Disregarded First Wife, Aisha Bagudu As State’s First Lady

MT - April 23, 2018

A mild drama recently occurred on Twitter leading to a public revelation that the popular Aisha Bagudu isn't recognized as first lady.  Recently, one of the national…

Moment Nigerian Singer Mayorkun Re-United With His Dad After Two Years
Entertainment
83 views
Entertainment
83 views

Moment Nigerian Singer Mayorkun Re-United With His Dad After Two Years

MT - April 23, 2018

Singer Mayorkun has reunited with his dad in Dallas. The singer says the last time he saw his dad was two years ago when he was still…

#BBNaija Special: According to Google, Cee-C is the Most Bitter Woman in Nigeria
Buzz & Trends
59 views
Buzz & Trends
59 views

#BBNaija Special: According to Google, Cee-C is the Most Bitter Woman in Nigeria

MT - April 23, 2018

Cynthia Nwadiora popularly identified as Cee-C was tagged a very bitter and angry person following her controversial activities at the Big Brother Naija reality show which was…

How Lagos Saved N4.5bn From Non-sponsorship Of Pilgrimages
Politics
47 views
Politics
47 views

How Lagos Saved N4.5bn From Non-sponsorship Of Pilgrimages

PH - April 23, 2018

The Lagos State Government says it has saved a total of N4.5billion in the last three years since it stopped funding pilgrimages. According to it, the feat…

Afrobeat Artiste, Seun Kuti, Unveils New Album “Black Times”
Entertainment
49 views
Entertainment
49 views

Afrobeat Artiste, Seun Kuti, Unveils New Album “Black Times”

PH - April 23, 2018

Afrobeat artiste Seun Kuti has announced a new album, “Black Times“. According to him, “Black Times is a true reflection of my political and social beliefs; it…

Former Super Eagles Star, Femi Opabunmi Reveals How He Became Blind
Politics
58 views
Politics
58 views

Former Super Eagles Star, Femi Opabunmi Reveals How He Became Blind

MT - April 23, 2018

There is a photo of Femi Opabunmi trying to mark David Beckham in what look liked a set-piece situation during Nigeria’s goalless draw against England in a…

#BBNaija: See All the Prizes Miracle Will Be Going Home With After He Emerged Winner
Entertainment
61 views
Entertainment
61 views

#BBNaija: See All the Prizes Miracle Will Be Going Home With After He Emerged Winner

MT - April 23, 2018

Big Brother Naija 2018 winner, Miracle Igbokwe is still counting his blessings after winning the reality television show yesterday night. A list of all the prizes he…

Read Vimbai’s Open Letter to #BBNaija Housemates
Entertainment
55 views
Entertainment
55 views

Read Vimbai’s Open Letter to #BBNaija Housemates

PH - April 23, 2018

Former Big Brother Africa housemate and media personality, Vimbai Mutinhiri in a new post on her Instagram page, has a message for the housemates from the recently…

25-yr-old Nigerian Man Becomes Africa’s first PhD holder in National Security Strategy In The UK
Best of Nigeria
68 views
Best of Nigeria
68 views

25-yr-old Nigerian Man Becomes Africa’s first PhD holder in National Security Strategy In The UK

PH - April 23, 2018

A 25-year-old U.K based Nigerian man and Twitter @olamideDIY just achieved a great feat of becoming Africa’s first PhD holder in National Security Strategy. Sharing the amazing…

Actress Omoni Oboli Launches Feeding Outreach “Sister Lizzy’s Kitchen” in memory of Late Mum
Entertainment
53 views
Entertainment
53 views

Actress Omoni Oboli Launches Feeding Outreach “Sister Lizzy’s Kitchen” in memory of Late Mum

PH - April 23, 2018

Nollywood actress and latest author in town, Omoni Oboli, turned forty yesterday and to celebrate her new age, she spent her day with the children of Makoko…

Nigeria’s Chinedu Moghalu Appointed Head, Communications & Advocacy, Africa Risk Capacity/UN WFP
World Buzz
60 views
World Buzz
60 views

Nigeria’s Chinedu Moghalu Appointed Head, Communications & Advocacy, Africa Risk Capacity/UN WFP

PH - April 23, 2018

Chinedu Moghalu, a Nigerian, has been appointed the Senior Communications Specialist/Head, Communications & Advocacy for the Africa Risk Capacity/United Nations World Food Programme, based in Johannesburg, South…

#BBNaija’s Teddy-A Surprises BamBam on her Birthday (Photo)
Entertainment
66 views
Entertainment
66 views

#BBNaija’s Teddy-A Surprises BamBam on her Birthday (Photo)

PH - April 23, 2018

Today is Big Brother Naija’s BamBam’s birthday, and to celebrate, her one-time strategic partner in the house Teddy-A paid her a surprise. According to Olorisupergal, Teddy-A threw…

#BBNaija’s BamBam to launch Beauty Oils on her Birthday
Business
59 views
Business
59 views

#BBNaija’s BamBam to launch Beauty Oils on her Birthday

PH - April 23, 2018

Bam Beauty Oils – that’s the brand name of the beauty oil collection Big Brother Naija’s BamBam is set to launch on her birthday, April 23. BamBam…

#BBNaija’s Teddy A To Launch Clothing Line “Badman Apparel”
Entertainment
60 views
Entertainment
60 views

#BBNaija’s Teddy A To Launch Clothing Line “Badman Apparel”

PH - April 23, 2018

Hot out of the “Big Brother Naija” house, evicted housemate Teddy A is set to launch a clothing line. The musician made the announcement on his Twitter,…

Omoni Oboli Celebrates 40th Birthday With New Book
Entertainment
50 views
Entertainment
50 views

Omoni Oboli Celebrates 40th Birthday With New Book

PH - April 23, 2018

You can now add author as a title when referring to Nollywood actress Omoni Oboli who turned 40 today. To celebrate the big 4-0, the actress has…

Nigeria’s Most Bitter Woman
Entertainment
61 views
Entertainment
61 views

Nigeria’s Most Bitter Woman

PH - April 23, 2018

Who is Nigeria’s Most Bitter Woman? We asked the Google Image search engine for this question and you won’t believe what we found. But first, congratulations again…

Chude Jideonwo Covers Latest Issue of The Guardian Life Magazine
Entertainment
67 views
Entertainment
67 views

Chude Jideonwo Covers Latest Issue of The Guardian Life Magazine

PH - April 23, 2018

Joy, Inc. founder, Chude Jideonwo is on the cover of this Sunday’s edition of The Guardian Life magazine. Tagged ‘The harbinger of joy’, in the issue Chude…

Miracle Named Winner Of BBNaija 2018
Entertainment
91 views1
Entertainment
91 views1

Miracle Named Winner Of BBNaija 2018

PH - April 23, 2018

Miracle has emerged the winner of the Nigeria’s biggest reality TV show, Big Brother Naija, BBNaija which started since January 28, with 20 housemates. Miracle will be…

Loading...