APRIL: What inspired you to create Go Bare, and what drives you?
OYELLA: I had the idea of creating Go Bare in my final year at University whilst studying Writing Fashion & Culture. I had been working 25 hours throughout my degree, as well as undertaking an internship. Sitting in the library – extremely exhausted, slightly frustrated, and feeling lost, my thoughts started forming in my mind. Firstly, something my lecturer had said came to mind which was, “Make yourself understood; get society to see how you see it”. Following from this another thought started to flow, “How are you going to make yourself understood, what will your dissertation be about?… Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, born with a silver spoon” and the last words from my cousin “You will move to England, Oyella, and forget about us; you will forget about this life”. Go Bare was formed from all these thoughts as well as looking at English phrases in a literal sense – “even if you didn’t own shoes and weren’t born with a silver spoon… we were still all being fed by the same loving hands”.
My dissertation was the start of Go Bare, the logo was created by a friend, Abbie Freeman, and I organized a barefooted march through London. This was done to recognize those who cannot afford shoes that must walk barefooted and or without suitable footwear. It was also reclaiming my roots and depicting the ideology of remaining grounded.