5:42 am - Friday January 24, 2020

STRIKING GOLD IN USA: Nigerian born University of Minnesota undergraduate, TAOHEED BAYO designs African Sneaker for NIKE…creates Yut Air Max 1 concept from Yoruba culture *Reaches out to African root to create a brilliant design that does not only sell but teaches * “On designing the sneakers, I employed green for its base, which represents a part of Nigeria’s flag and earth. I touched up the colour with white. I opted for suede leather because I found it a perfect marker of the resilience of Africans”-Taoheed BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF


STRIKING GOLD IN USA:

Nigerian born University of Minnesota undergraduate, TAOHEED BAYO designs African Sneaker for NIKE…creates Yut Air Max 1 concept from Yoruba culture

*Reaches out to African root to create a brilliant design that does not only sell but teaches

* “On designing the sneakers, I employed green for its base, which represents a part of Nigeria’s flag and earth. I touched up the colour with white. I opted for suede leather because I found it a perfect marker of the resilience of Africans”-Taoheed

BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF

HE IS MAKING HISTORY AS THE FIRST NIGERIAN BORN NATURALIZED AMERICAN to have won the Nike By You X Cultivator challenge, a contest that asked for unique designs and creative backstories. TAOHEED BAYO, a quiet, creative, hardworking and brilliant designer who is an undergraduate of University of Minnesota reaches out to rich Yoruba culture in Nigeria to defeat all other contestants for the coveted trophy.

Bayo designs amazing African Yut Air Max 1 for Nike has inspired from Africa. The Nigerian designer participated in the Nike By You X Cultivator challenge, was able to reach into his Yoruba and African root to create a brilliant design that does not only sell but teaches.

His success in the international creative industry is positively re-branding Africa’s most populous black nation on earth globally. As at today, he now designs for Nike company. It was reported that Bayo was trying to do his school assignments when a roommate told him about the challenge which immediately attracted his attention.

For the records on how he won, Bayo made a design that competed with several others in the Nike By You X Cultivator contest. For the competition, the contestants were given weeks to come up with a unique design and then create a backstory that would appeal to consumers. Bayo was able to employ the peculiarities in his Yoruba culture to create the Afro-Yute Air Max 1, which did not only sell well, but teaches.

His words: “The most integral part I think was having a story that resonates with a lot of people and making sure that it’s authentic as possible. But, you’re also trying to design a shoe that you want everybody to buy, not just something you like.”

On designing the sneakers, Bayo employed green for its base, which represents a part of Nigeria’s flag and earth. He touched up the colour with white. He said he chose suede leather because he found it a perfect marker of the resilience of Africans.

“Leather lasts longer, and it’s metaphorical in the fact that we Africans can endure. We last long. It’s almost like we can withstand time. We can adapt and endure multiple and numerous situations,” he said.

Winning the contest was not all about great designing but a brilliant story that goes with it, so he weaved in how colonialism and slavery have affected Africa.

“Africa is the centre of the world, we are no third world. The youths are now equipped to fight the alien system that plagued our ancestors,” he wrote. In coming up with the design, Bayo had to work with different creatives like photographers, videographers and poets. He is less concerned about the sale of the shoe, but more about how young people learn from history through its designs.

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