Bunmi Olaye

Fashion Tutor
Bunmi Olaye

In 2009, whilst in the final year of her degree studies at the University of East London, Bunmi co-founded the “Bunmi Koko” label, designing four critically acclaimed ready to wear collections. Bunmi had been discovered by former Fashion Director of The Daily Telegraph; Hilary Alexander at her graduate show during Graduate Fashion Week. She soon gained a celebrity clientele, garnered much praise in the press and won several awards such as Emerging International Designer Award at the 2010 Africa Fashion Awards in Johannesburg, listed in the JP Morgan Powerlist: Top 100 Britain’s Most Influential People of African and Caribbean Descent and Winner of The Young Entrepreneur Award at The Precious Awards in London.

Bunmi also had the privilege of being invited to meet Nelson Mandela at his home in Johannesburg in July of 2010 during the Fifa World Cup. In April 2011, during the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, she was invited to join the expert panel of designers to give commentary on the infamous wedding gown, on the ITV Royal Wedding Coverage. This led to a royal invitation to meet HRH Prince Charles at a private event held at St. James’s Palace to celebrate West African culture in July 2011.

In 2014, she rebranded and started her new self-titled fashion solo venture; Bunmi. She has been designing bespoke bridal and eveningwear pieces for her growing clientele.

Bunmi has worked for luxury brands Alexander McQueen, Ralph & Russo as a pattern cutter as well as consulting for emerging fashion start-ups. Her passion for empowering women through her clothes was highlighted in the 2017 Lancome; My Shade My Power campaign, where she starred alongside other powerful women in film, music and beauty industries.

She has since then added teaching to her professional portfolio and has recently taught the Pattern Cutting Module on the Fashion Design BA (Hons) course at London College of Contemporary Arts. She is also planning a new ready to wear line in the near future.

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