It is with a great deal of emotions that my mom accepted to play the model for our new holiday capsule. Since my very first steps in the fashion world, she has been right beside me. It’s now my turn to highlight this incredible woman and show her, through my deepest passion, all the admiration that I have for her. After all, if I made it up to here in clothing design, it is largely because of her.
I always saw my mom as a strong, independent woman, with great sensibility and a capacity for wonder that is unique to her. I was certainly influenced by these values growing up.
As early as 9 years old, I started showing interest in fashion. I had found, in the local newspaper, a fabric sale to which my mom agreed to take me to. I made the pattern myself and sewn, on my mom’s machine, two fleece hoodies to go play hide and seek in the dark with my friends (#lifepriorities).
I got deeper into my passion a few years later, after I fell in love with a jumpsuit worn by Alissa Milano in a bad 90’s movie. I HAD TO make this piece mine (with a few iterations) and add it to my wardrobe. Do I need to specify that Sorel, my hometown, couldn’t offer me what I was looking for!
In no time, my wardrobe was full of new clothes, all personal creations, with my shoes being the only exception since I could unfortunately not make them. I was experimenting and looking to develop anything that would make me learn something: jeans, overall, bikini, winter coat. Always beside me, my mom supported me in my wildest projects. She even hand-knitted a big collar and sleeve cuffs for me to put on a crazy coat I was making and that we are still talking about today.
Then came the moment when I had to leave the family nest to go study fashion design at Collège Marie-Victorin. Always there for me, my mom would support me from my hometown and she even visited me many times in the very “glamorous” Montreal-Nord. She even dared to come and sleep in my student residence to visit my school and meet my friends.
My entry in the working fashion world wasn’t smooth. I was restless and moving from one company to another, trying as many different things as possible (children, men, women, denim, sweater, coats). I think my mom offered extra support back then to compensate for my dad’s disapproval of my carrer choice, for financial security reasons mostly.
Then came an unexpected situation that changed the roles for a bit. Breast cancer came knocking on my mom’s door so it was more than my turn to be there for her as much as I could. It was a very rough period and it was hard to remain positive with sickness being part of our lives. I remember being very scared to loose her,
Odeyalo was born just over 2 years ago and I wanted this brand to reflect my deepest values. Exasperated by the superficial fashion world and its ephemeral trends, my desire was to create a simple brand, easy to coordinate, with timeless pieces for the strong woman who’s looking for style without compromising her comfort.
Today, looking back at this photoshoot we just made with my mom, and after acknowledging how she was incarnating all the pieces so well, I just understood. Not only she was beside me, but she’s and integral part of it.