Savvy grad set up his own vibesy African clothing line in final year
What did you do
Koye Adesanya bagged himself a top class Politics degree whilst designing and distributing his own clothing line.
The brand, Mojo Kojo, makes vibsey two-pieces out of African fabrics and the sample collection has sold out already.
Koye, who studied Politics at University of Manchester, planned to get the line out before he graduated. After coming up with the idea in second year, he spent months juggling student loans with business loans, essays with accounts and Tumblr with Politics revision.
“It was so mad” Koye told The Tab, “The whole process took a lot longer than I thought.”
Despite the workload, he says that studying in Manchester was the best three years of his life: “On top of the business, I still managed to have a good balance of work and fun. “My favourite club had to be Koh Tao in Fallowfield, it was fun and local. You could just go there, do your thing, and head home.”
In terms of style, he learnt alot about fashion from his time in Manchester: “The vintage shopping is great, I normally shop at Blue Rinse in the Northern Quarter. I feel like I experimented with my own style so much more there than I ever had before. I got to experiment with clothing to see what suited me and what didn’t.”
He got the inspiration for his first collection from Manchester students: “I really love how people dress there. Everyone pays so much attention to detail.”
But there are some things that even Manchester can’t get right: “Bindi’s are such a fashion turn-off. They’re so unnecessary.”
And don’t get him started on pumps: “Why do people even wear them? They’re grannyish and dirty, they’re dry and basic. Pumps just have to go.”
A lot of Koye’s inspiration comes from the 90’s fashion that prevails in Manchester: “It reminds me of the bold prints featured in vintage Moschino and Versace garments in the 80’s and 90’s. The prints are quite similar to African prints with their geometric designs and bright colours.
“I also got inspiration from the UK Garage scene of the 90’s. clubbers wore their best Moschino clothes to these events, creating a connection between the music and the fashion. This gave me the idea to launch my own African disco night, Ijoya.”
Ijoya is the African music night that Koye launched to go with his brand, that took off in Manchester and will continue in London.
He set up the whole line pretty much by himself, regularly directing fashion designers and his material supplier in Lagos.
While Koye learnt a lot in his degree, he says he learnt some of his best life skills from working for himself: “It was tough, being your own boss. It really showed me that what you put in you get out, you’re the master of you’re own success. I learnt so much about time management that I didn’t know before.”
With his second collection coming out online in September, Koye’s got big plans for Mojo Kojo. Next year, he’s planning to expand his African disco night, Ijoya, in London. But he’s not ready to risk it all just yet: “It’s going to take a while, I’ll get another job in the meantime.”
Though he can picture the likes of MNEK and Ian Connor wearing his garms, celeb clients aren’t his top priority: “It’s not my plan to get famous people wearing my clothes. I feel like I’ve got a long way to go before that. I’m just lucky to have people wearing my clothes.”
Find MOJO KOJO on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mojokojomcr?fref=ts