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July 28 2014

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Inside Duro Olowu’s World of Rebellion

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Duro Olowu
Duro Olowu

Two years ago, London-based designer Duro Olowu brought a collection of globally sourced inspirations to Salon 94′s Freeman Alley space. The wares were combed from all over the world—from his birthplace in Lagos, Nigeria, to the quieter corners of his adopted hometown—and included such cherished ephemera as vintage Parisian Deco wallpaper and feather-lined lamps from Uganda.

Now Olowu is expanding upon his 2012 show with More Material, an exhibition that opened last night at Salon 94 on the Bowery and brings together works from the likes of Carrie Mae Weems, Juergen Teller, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, and more, alongside colorfully curated home items from vintage dealers near and far.

“The show is really an extension of my last show,” related Olowu. “[This time] I really wanted to show the rebellious side of women, the way they’re represented, and the way they represent themselves with elegance—elegant rebellion.”

Duro Olowu

Swooping fashion illustrations by Antonio Lopez (“They’re very, very alluring without being vulgar—a new rebellion,” noted Olowu) rest alongside documentary street photography from Sandy Kim (“I just see a cool tomboy who wants to have fun”) and more overtly political/feminist-leaning works from Weems, Sherman, and others. As in the case of the original rendition, there’s also a shop selling new Duro Olowu pieces, as well as artworks—a Lopez, a Lorna Simpson—and hand-selected vintage house and jewelry objects.

“It’s going to be up for a month and a half, and I’d love for people to experience the beauty and integrity of the incredible mix of artists and ceramics and great jewelry and just feel empowered,” said the designer. “I’d like young girls, older women, and middle-aged ladies to feel empowered by wanting to be individual.”

Photos: Courtesy Photos

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Dept. of Culture