I don’t talk much about it on the blog, but one thing I do on the side is individual wardrobe consultation. And one piece of advice that I often give my clients is to find a brand whose story resonates with them. What I mean by this is to go beyond just the aesthetic of a brand and take a deeper look at what they stand for. Does it tie into who you are or who you hope to be? Does their intention align with your life? While these may not seem like they have anything to do with looking your best, the truth is that it actually means everything. How you dress is a reflection of who you are and who you want to be, so putting intention behind this is absolutely essential to who you are as a person. And who you are as a person is how you truly reflect your best self.
In the last few years, I’ve incorporated this more into my own way of dressing, avoiding brands that I can’t really get behind for various reasons, and supporting those I believe are taking a truly thoughtful approach to dressing. While I’m hardly perfect (for example I hadn’t shopped at Zara for three years strong due to their knocking off and undercutting young, independent designers, but just recently bought a beret, so whoops), I’m constantly working to keep a brand’s story in focus both with my own wardrobe and with my clients.
Olori is one of those brands you can get behind and not feel guilty about - on multiple levels. First of all, each piece takes inspiration from Africa, incorporating the culture with traditional textiles that I can seriously get behind (I actually got some interior design inspo from this bag, it’s that good).
Second of all, the word Olori itself is laden with intention. Meaning ‘Queen,’ it signifies the inherent worth of every single girl and woman. With a name like that, the message of being designed for the strong, independent woman comes across loud and clear. But it’s also meant for those who think about the choices they make before they make them, who question the norm, and who aren’t afraid to ask ‘why?’ It’s for the women who are thoughtful, non-conformists, and who are not afraid to fail because that’s just the first step to trying again. The Olori crown adorning my shirt doesn’t just represent power, it represents empowerment.
As a perfect example of a brand walking their own walk, they also focus on empowering women through working with women-owned businesses within their supply chain, as well as assisting with tuition fees for underprivileged girls (aka future Queens).
So while I’d probably reach for this purse regardless (because it’s also gorgeous and that obvs counts too), knowing the story behind the brand takes it from a pretty purse to a reminder of self worth - that I’m kind of the shit and that good things are happening all around me, despite it all.
As a recovering cynic, I'm a big believer in affirmations. I seriously believe that the things you tell yourself and how you treat yourself on a daily basis have more effect on you than the outside world. And if you’re starting the day by reminding yourself of your self worth - and in a beautiful way too, well in my opinion, that’s a brand to get behind.
Photos by Nikko DeTranquilli
In partnership with Olori