Founded in 2014, òL was created from Allen Aderotoye’s genesis piece—a velvet polo that also served as a conversation piece. The designer hadn’t gone to school for design but didn’t let that stop him from world-building òL New York, a.k.a, Outside Lines.
The brand is known for their CrZy bucket hat that is a perfect Instagram op, and the Seamless Worker jacket works for pretty much any occasion. The designer’s pieces are reflective of who he is and his culture, tying into a self-made artisanal practice.
“Referring back to the name, Outside Lines, doing it your way is the only way you really know how to make it stick,” he tells ESSENCE.com. Aderotoye uses his Nigerian heritage to inform his design process. òL’s whole ethos is culture, which is fitting. He’s built the brand on storytelling through wearable art, something that many designers strive to do.
“òL lives in the range of contemporary lifestyle. These are pieces that you wear on your best days. When you feel alive. A birthday, a vacation, the first day of school. When you want to show your light.”Aderotoye’s sources of inspiration never run out as they come in all forms from people to experiences to travel. He often cites founders and creatives who were determined to see their visions come to fruition like Steve Jobs, artist Frida Kahlo, and the Atlanta rapper Future.
“All three of [these] individuals serve as a source of persistence and seeing their own visions through.” Aderotoye is inspired by life, the simple mundanities of everyday habits like turning down a different road will spark something in him. “It all comes down to how a source of inspiration can help directly influence innovation in the communities I connect with, he adds.”
All the New York-based founder wants is to continue building a fashion house that is inspiring to others. Even seeing people wear the brand helps Aderotoye keep momentum to design more pieces.