The Nigerian-born Ayo Elizabeth Olaogun is a fashion designer based in Vienna, Austria, She is the brain behind the fast rising label, Ayo Van Elmar (AvE). Though AvE was launched three years ago (2010), It almost seems it has been around forever – The 29 year old designs are elegant, versatile, ethnic but universal, colorful, bold and expressive.
Ayo who relocated to Vienna, Austria at the age of 18 has carve a niche for herself in the Austria fashion industry with her contemporary Afrocentric chic style.
AvE last two collections, Magic Shields (A/W’ 12) and Chakra (S/S ’13) are wearable designs, different but chic and a form of prayer to the blast victims in the Northern state of Nigerian, an incantation against intolerance, hatred and bloodshed, thus the reason why you seeing the model with a rifle on the runway.
“Nigerians are very fashion conscious and are always dressed-up, regardless of their size and the event; style lovers, cravers and always far ahead of most European cities I would say. Nigerians are consumers and crazy about fashion and these facts definitely go deep into their African culture; their boldness and readiness for patterns and colour. When I was growing up, the fashion scene that I was exposed to was very elaborate, glamorous, voguish… There were a lot of gold accessories, matching bags and shoes. And a lot of glitter. The Austrian fashion culture doesn’t go down that line at all… I think everything about Austria and its style is the direct opposite of what it is in Nigeria. From my own personal observation, I have realised that mainstream Vienna is not ready for ‘advanced’ fashion. To me, women here seem to be scared of standing out from the crowd, which is exactly what AvE is about. Presenting contemporary Afro-centric design to the Viennese woman is ‘lovely and beautiful.”. Said Ayo in a recent interview.
- Ayo Elizabeth Olaogun
- Ayo taking a bow during one of her fashion show.
- Ayo Van Elmar (AvE) Vienna store
What do you think of her designs?
To check more designs, check up AvE website below.
Address: Hutweideng. 7 / 1 / 2
Where to shop:
Black and Blue
Mon to Fri; 10am till 6pm, Sat; 10am till 5pm
Twitter: Ayo van Elmar