Autumn Adeigbo enters her Midtown Manhattan showroom wearing an orange and purple French tweed skirt suit she designed, a striped Diane von Furstenberg coat, and celestial-patterned Valentino boots any modern-day witch would pine for.
She’s been statement dressing her entire life. Adeigbo saw back-to-school shopping as a way to reinvent herself, and her Nigerian mother sewed her outfits for special occasions. “I was in these printed one-of-a-kind dresses, tops, and bottoms and looked way different than anyone else in class,” Adeigbo recalls. “I always held onto identifying and creating yourself through clothes.”
You can see that energy in her clothing collections today. Adeigbo nods to her heritage and appreciation for different cultures by pairing classic silhouettes with bold, high quality fabrics—like a shelf dress in Vlisco African print with a hand-beaded neckline and sleeves, or the Italian silk and cotton gingham print dresses, skirts, and blouses in her spring/summer 2020 line. There’s even a bit of modesty to her clothes for more conservative dressers. “I want people to feel included because I know what it's like to not be,” she tells Supermaker.
The ethical entrepreneur is doing business differently, too. She employs women at every step of her supply chain and is among the wave of designers prioritizing a slow fashion, made-to-order model. Adeigbo, who’s been developing her brand for nearly a decade, gravitated to an ethical footprint because she says, “I wanted to be a fashion designer to give back, period.”