Designer of The Week: Ebuka Omaliko of Maliko
Maliko is a Lagos-based artisanal accessory brand founded by its creative director, Ebuka Omaliko. To create its iconic pieces, the brand makes use of leather procured in Nigeria while engaging local artisans because, according to its creative director, it goes a long way in preventing the art from going extinct.
From the outset, Ebuka Omaliko solely designs his footwears and accessories. Once he sketches an entire collection, he takes his drawings to his studio where he works with in-house artisans on how to bring the sketch to life. His designs are chiefly inspired by his interactions with the energetic inhabitants of Lagos. This is obvious in his works which are characterized by the use of lively colors and ground-breaking silhouettes that explores the joy, drama and chaos peculiar to life in Lagos.
He is fully involved in every stage of creating his pieces. In order to ensure that what is created matches what he envisions, he creates samples which he later hands over to the artisans to study before making exact copies to meet orders. In some cases, he goes lengths to customize his own lasts just to suit the shape of his designs. Ebuka Omaliko sees every of his creations as an iconic expression of his personality, hence, he names them himself.
Aside the production of artisanal footwear and accessories, Maliko also trains young people in leather craft not just to empower them but also to preserve our past artisanal heritage. The brand has collaborated with prominent designers like Emmy Kasbit, Bloke and Imprint. It has also been featured in magazines such as Vogue Italia, Native Magazine, Schick Magazine and Guardian Life.
Maliko was one of the winners of the 2018 Lagos Fashion Week Green Access Fashion Competition. Recently, the brand released a capsule collection which explores pastel colors. You can follow Maliko on IG @malikostudios