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Design Legends Interview with Omowonuola Adeshina

Home > Designer Interviews > Omowonuola Adeshina

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Omowonuola Adeshina (OA) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Omowonuola Adeshina by clicking here.

Interview with Omowonuola Adeshina at Wednesday 23rd of September 2020
Omowonuola Adeshina
FS: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
OA: I began designing shoes after my walk through the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. I felt inspired to explore my love for footwear in a refreshing way that day, however, it wasn’t until a year later that I took the initiative to attend a shoemaking intensive where I learned a large sum of what entails my shoemaking process. Nevertheless, I do a lot of research on my own to learn new techniques and find ways to progress more efficiently.

FS: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
OA: I have always designed clothes as a hobby for as long as I can remember, but I had a terrible experience with the pair of shoes that I wore to the Bata Shoe Museum, which ultimately struck my curiosity. I wanted to know the kind of materials used to create the poorly designed pair and that was the driving force behind learning about product development and how shoes are made. In response to my design incentive, I would say my vision is what keeps me going.

FS: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
OA: Not to sound cliché, but I’ve always felt like I was born to design. Growing up I remember being obsessed with footwear and how beautifully they complemented outfits, so to be gifted enough to design some gorgeous pairs is really a wonderful experience.

FS: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
OA: I design beautiful footwear according to what I am feeling or experiencing at the moment, but in the future, I would love to dabble in 3D printing from time to time.

FS: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
OA: I consider myself a young designer but I would definitely say believe in yourselves entirely and chase your dreams passionately.

FS: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
OA: A good designer is consistently expressive of their concepts in a way that enlightens and intrigues the consumer’s mind, while I believe what sets a great designer apart is the ability to influence design culture, new trends, and consumer needs.

FS: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
OA: In terms of footwear, if it is aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, and functional.

FS: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
OA: For starters, good design will always stand out in a crowd of parallel concepts, however, 99.9% are usually created with elevated craftsmanship and the utmost attention to detail in order to ensure value and longevity.

FS: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
OA: Robyn Rihanna Fenty. I would design a killer collection inspired by the woman that she is.

FS: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
OA: I’m not sure if this is solely a matter of time, but I have dreams of building my own manufacturing company that employs and educates shoemakers with little to no opportunity of expanding their craft to its full potential- mainly with shoemakers back home in Nigeria and Ghana. I also have dreams of providing these craftsmen with a life that values their skills and hard work.

FS: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
OA: Resilience and Perseverance. To never give up on a concept no matter how unattainable it may seem.

FS: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
OA: Manolo Blahnik, simply because it was his documentary “The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards” and a short interview of his titled "Manolo Blahnik: Tattoos, Milk Shakes, and Americana" that inspired me to pick up a pencil and put my design skills to the test.

FS: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
OA: It might just be the kind of person that I am, but most of the footwear I own holds some sentimental value. I do not have particularly favorite designs of mine, but I can say that the Alexander McQueen Armadillo and Jeffery Campbell Nightwalk heels intrigued my younger teenage mind to consider design silhouettes in ways other than they were conventionally created.

FS: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
OA: The Gemini Rebirth because it sparked a few new directions for my design projects and that to me beats solely creating beautiful footwear

FS: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
OA: I try to study the industry and its pioneering designers. I ask myself “What did they implement that was different from pre-existing designs?” and “What was their approach?” I watched a lot of designer documentaries over the years and continue to consistently educate myself in my art. I would advise anyone looking to improve themselves to fully immerse themselves in their craft, no matter what aspect it might be.

FS: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
OA: A footwear buyer, a footwear sales associate, a footwear blogger; I believe I would have found something relating to footwear to do for the rest of my life.

FS: How do you define design, what is design for you?
OA: Design to me is similar to art and that is a way for me to explore my thoughts and create new realities. It is a way to indulge in myself while contributing splendor to the rest of the world.

FS: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
OA: My family and friends, but most importantly my parents.

FS: What helped you to become a great designer?
OA: My ability to push through obstacles and think in unconventional ways.

FS: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
OA: I would say resource and time management along with dealing with creative blocks or loss of motivation.

FS: How do you think designers should present their work?
OA: In the best manner possible. As well thought out as your design may be, its presentation really does the heavy lifting of communicating the designer’s intent to potential consumers.

FS: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
OA: You can expect more intriguing collections as I continue to develop my skill.

FS: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
OA: To create footwear that adds value and sentiment to my client’s life.

FS: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
OA: People expect perfection and completion- to have it all figured out and make no errors while executing my plans, but the truth is I am still learning and embracing life’s challenges.

FS: How does design help create a better society?
OA: I think design influences tradition in societal groups, therefore one must be considerate of its ripple effect as it is disseminated through culture.

FS: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
OA: I am currently completing The Gemini Rebirth collection with different styles of interchangeable footwear and a wider variety of colors.

FS: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
OA: All my design projects appeal to my satisfaction in one way or the other because crafting footwear is something that I do for joy and peace of mind.

FS: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
OA: More opportunities for fresh and promising minds to be able to learn and develop their passion.

FS: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
OA: A minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 2 weeks, provided I have all of the resources I need.

FS: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
OA: Sometimes, I begin by translating my ideas to tangible concepts on paper, researching materials, techniques, and other times, I might dive right into a project without as much as a sketch if I know exactly what I want to achieve.

FS: What is your life motto as a designer?
OA: I always tell myself that I am here to “create and not replicate”, not only in the sense of designing unique footwear but also in the consciousness of creating value in the lives of my future colleagues and clients.

FS: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
OA: I believe design sets the trend. Over the years I have observed that pop culture is merely a means of transferring high culture to the masses in order to drive inclusivity and fashionably eradicate the restrictiveness of class structure.

FS: What is the role of technology when you design?
OA: To effectively visualize and communicate concepts as well as ensure the proper functioning of footwear mechanisms.

FS: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
OA: I use Adobe Illustrator to successfully envision my designs and an array of manual tools for developing my footwear. I usually sketch with your basic pencil and use a tape measure with some masking tape to draw a pattern on my shoe last, after which I transfer and trace the outlines using an awl and retractable utility knife. Other than these tools, my sewing machine, skive knife, hammer, and electric creaser are also essentials to me.

FS: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
OA: Color adds meaning to life. One cannot accurately convey the concept of a design without utilizing the precise color palette and materials that connote its intended meaning. Materials especially supplement the sensation that the designer is going for in order to stimulate the observer’s sense of touch and appreciation of craftmanship.

FS: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
OA: I automatically delve into an analysis of the materials and techniques that went into the production of that design.

FS: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
OA: Yes, I believe in co-design, however, I do not have an ideal design partner. I truly believe that there is something to learn from everyone.

FS: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
OA: By progressively working on it and assessing my previous projects to determine areas where I can grow technically and creatively

FS: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
OA: My go-to colour is black, favourite place is my design studio, favourite food is pretty much debatable since I’m a food lover, my favourite season is Summer and my favourite brand is most definitely the one I am building, Molly.

FS: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
OA: My day is great when I am able to execute design concepts as proposed, but I remain motivated by staying focused on my vision and my ultimate goal.

FS: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
OA: I would say yes. I used to always design clothing and admire great designers and their works when I was younger.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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