by William Okpo
A seasonless collection. An assemblage capsuled by impeccable tailored suiting, intarsia knitwear, flared shirting, and the incomparable signature William Okpo denim. Developmentally, this commendable undertaking by the Opko sisters, Darlene and Lizzy, began months ago. My initial grasp on direction began with a trip to Spin Expo in Brooklyn, with Darlene, sourcing knitwear techniques and mills that would inform the direction of the upcoming collection. Meetings followed by more meetings guided us as to how they wanted to begin compartmentalizing RTW. I was given even greater context, when the focus group conducted by the sisters gave those of us contributing a wider angle as to the brand, it’s initial conception, its current state and where they plan on taking it.
Corresponding almost daily with the team about deadlines, improvements and further development followed. Meetings with Darlene were often enthused and stern, with the presentation rearing, deadlines prompted an agile delivery of what was necessary to make this collection happen. Even at its bare minimum the collection was beautifully composed and the most informed since its inception. With a month or so out, knitwear development was the last box left to be checked, as with all things the turn over times seem to be the most intense. During my mentorship here, one of the most pivotal things I learned from the duo was corresponding promptly with mills and production teams as it really has the ability to impact the work you are producing.
photography — Jenica Miller
video — Jenica Miller
editing — Billy Ennis
as told by Liana Jaime-Lopez
As I pulled into the venue, now the presentation in full effect, I found an array of beautiful woman of color. From the hair team, makeup team, stylist, and Lizzy sitting at the helm of the space delegating responsibilities to assistants. Looking over at the rack I was animated to find the knitwear had arrived and just how we had requested it. Steaming and organizing for the stylist followed in attempts to make things easier as looks began to be pulled. We had more looks than girls! This to me, was an upside as it was a sign that we had over produced and they were content on placing only their best out there.
You could sense the sigh of relief of the women as the clothes were finally on the girls, accessories, shoes and all. As they began walking out, you could hear and sense the guest’s astonishment to find the clean, austere collection that spoke to who they were with a much more refined eye than ever.
The presentation sponsored by Lomography allowed those present to be as interactive with the collection as possible, as they went around with cameras and film provided by Lomography to shoot the models with the beautiful backdrop of the A/D/O creative think tank locale. With six girls standing in the center of reefed rings and two more standing at the foyer with a beautiful mural and an open space laid out in front of presentation, the DJ, and a short film playing adjacent to her, alongside goodies provided by Shea Moisture brought in part by OXOSI, the scene was set.
Available on OXOSI October 2017