The British-Nigerian designer is making his mark via bright graphic prints and laid back style
After months of drizzle, cold snaps and grey skies, summer is finally upon us and the beach is calling. All the joys of the nation’s favourite season – from longer days to hours spent lying in the park with a good novel to shield our eyes from the sun – are about to come a reality. But us? We’re most excited for the return of guilt-free, pre-travel testing-free beach holidays. Remember those?
Yinka Ilori certainly does. The London-based artist has just collaborated with sandal brand FitFlop to bring us the most colourful sliders, flip flops and clogs our feet have ever seen so we can embrace the joys of summer – and be comfortable doing it.
Ilori, who began his career by up-cycling furniture, has since spread his wings to bring his bright, irreverent graphic prints to a range of areas. And we are most excited about his foray into footwear.
FitFlop is known for their insanely comfortable ergonomic footwear that focuses on ensuring our feet are as supported as possible. Porque, as we know all too well, stepping into badly-fitting shoes can wreak a world of havoc on our entire bodies, from our ankles right through to our spines.
Combining cool style with biomechanics, FitFlop is all about making sure we are putting our best foot forward.
For his capsule collection, Ilori has selected five of FitFlop’s most popular sandals and transformed each one with his trademark flare.
Inspired by his British-Nigerian heritage, Ilori says his work is all about “inclusivity”. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the joy these shoes will bring to people when they put them on their feet,” says the designer.
Marcia Kilgore, FitFlop founder, describes Ilori’s designs as having a “devil-may-care-good-vibrations cool.” “I am a huge believer in the power of positive thinking, and Yinka’s designs epitomize that," ela diz.
To reflect his British-Nigerian heritage, Ilori has transformed the neoprene water-resistant iQushion slides (£40-£45) with a twist on traditional Nigerian Ankara fabric in violet, grass green and sea blue motifs.
For those of us embracing the hybrid working lifestyle, his dual tone take on the Chrissie canvas slipper (£ 60) is a cheeky addition to any work from home wardrobe.
But our personal favourites? In the era that has given us a clog revival, we are all about the cow-print Fuzzy Shuv clogs (£ 145) with a fuchsia lining. Be quick though, these badboys are limited editiron – and we’ve got our eyes on them.