Teni Adeola’s designs are easily recognizable; billowy, but structured ruffles that illuminate with movement, sheer tops studded with pearls, flamenco-inspired trousers. At only 21 years old, the Nigerian-born fashion designer has a sophisticated touch that has celebrities going crazy for her looks; Gigi Hadid has stepped out in one of Adeola’s Slashed by Tia designs, ruffles have been rocked by SZA, and even Chloe x Halle are fans. The senior at The New School in New York City is well on her way to dressing all of Hollywood, but it’s how she’s changed the landscape of Instagram fashion that’s most impressive.
Inspired by 16th-century Spanish dress in paintings (and a desire to adorn women of color in rich fabrics and designs, as they are often depicted as slaves in history books), Tia, as she is called, is upping the ante for IG fashion designers and boutiques. Designers like Tia are embracing the mechanics of social media with the knowledge that people are shopping differently than they were five years ago.
Creating visuals and editorials for social media (with an all-woman production team), Tia is reaching the youth and inspiring them in ways large fashion houses have failed to do. Her tenacity is shaping how these houses (and consumers) are interacting with young African designers, while putting the world on watch that a new fashion reign is coming.