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Every year and in every edition of Paris Fashion Week (PFW) the same thing happens. What? Well, there is always one brand and one show that stands out above the rest. Which one was it this time? That of the brand founded by Mowalola Ogunlesi, which coincidentally bears the designer’s name.

Mowalola,
Summer 2023

Ogulensi presented its Spring/Summer 23 collection in the French capital, dubbed “Burglarwear”. It marks the brand’s defiant return to the catwalk after a three-year hiatus and presents a study of what it takes to steal money, jewels, data, power and hearts.

Through Mowalola’s eyes, we discover a series of characters united by a lack of remorse in their actions and by the pride and power of conviction and manipulation they possess. It is at this point that white-collar bankers, pastors, Yahoo boys and ostentatiously dressed internet hustlers come into play.

Mowalola,
Summer 2023

Here, thief typologies are appropriated and passed through the prism of sass that has characterised the brand since the day it was founded. A black leather ecclesiastical dress has a crucifix-shaped cut-out on the chest, flaunting nipples and navel. City boy tailoring is reimagined with sensual hip-bone cut-outs, and jewelled balaclavas join low-slung trousers with slashed swathes of suit fabric. The cobalt blues, blood reds and acid yellows of cropped jackets and T-shirts, gimp bodysuits and butt-shaking miniskirts reference the shades of comic book supervillains.

Just as this collection challenges notions of what it means to steal, it also explores what it means to be stolen. A long-sleeved hooded mini-dress and a knitted column gown with lace fronts are constructed in a way that intentionally restricts the arms, evoking associations of submissive fetishism and abduction.

Mowalola and her army of miscreants are not alone, although they should be for their mischief, but instead, they are accompanied by a surprise. This surprise is none other than a collaboration with the sports brand New Balance. 

The model they have created is inspired by the iconic running shoe silhouette of the 00s and is designed with memories of sweaty dance floors in mind. As you’d expect, the New Balance x Mowalola 90/60 exaggerates its core features, with its enlarged N, inflated midsole and pop colours. Other design features include a thicker, clearer CR device, a tongue badge, a diamond-shaped outsole and a heel split.

Mowalola,
Summer 2023

How soon will we see these sneakers and creations out there? Less than you think.

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