Fashion Scout is proud to announce the London-based eponymous brand Tolu Coker, as the winner of the AW19 coveted Merit Award. Created back in 2009, the new talent initiative is worth £20,000 across three seasons and has been created to support and develop new designer businesses on a global level.
In winning this season’s Merit Award, Tolu will receive a fully sponsored catwalk show with Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week with space to host press and buyers.The Merit Award provides a unique platform for the brightest new designers, with many going on to become established labels within the international fashion industry. Tolu Coker follows in the successful footsteps of past winners including; Eudon Choi, Phoebe English, David Koma, Roberts|Wood, Xiao Li, Han Wen, Katie Ann McGuigan, EDDA and SS19 winner i-am-chen.
On hearing she had won the Merit Award Tolu Coker said,
“Finding out I’d won the Merit Award was the perfect end to a fantastic and very busy 2018! I’ve been working on projects in China the past couple months and since I got the call all I’ve been thinking about is getting back to London and getting things done. It came as somewhat a surprise and it’s also a challenge, preparing for a debut show because I’m a one-woman band. But I’ve been ready for a new collection since graduation and I have new stories to tell, so while it’s nerve racking, I’m very excited! It’s such an honour and it’s come at such an important time because storytelling is such an integral part of my brand and my artistry – I’m passionate not just about designing, but also about how I communicate my design and use my voice. That freedom of expression requires financial and logistic support, so this definitely feels like a step in the right direction. I’m really looking forward to the mentorship, PR and business advice too, it’s such a necessary resource.”
Tolu Coker is a unisex fashion brand centred around inclusivity, diversity and social responsibility. More than just a fashion label, it serves as a creative outlet for the youthful expression of political reform, changing social and economic climates and new emerging identities. The brand explores and acknowledges hybridity and fluidity in societies and cultures, translating this into forward-thinking fashion and environmentally conscious clothing, shoes and accessories.
Tolu aims to showcase her identity throughout her work by embracing dual heritage and cultures. She does this by reconstructing the black identity within the western world by adding personal prints, embellishments and personal old polaroid photos of her family. Her work is a fusion of generational experiences, with some pieces being inspired from extracts from her Father’s diary. The brand ethos is all about identity.
Images: Fashion Scout, Tolu Coker