Walé Adeyemi’s Hai-tee

I had the great pleasure of working with fashion designer Walé Adeyemi last year, and since then have been keeping up to speed with his fashionable life via his twitter feed and blog. It was great to see that his latest venture for his fashion label B-side is a mini collection of tee’s and vests to raise money for the Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Appeal. The £25 tees are now on sale from the B-side site, with all profits going to the appeal.

I caught up with Walé to find out what inspired him to create his Hai-tees…

Everyone seems to have done a little something for Haiti – sending money to DEC etc. – what made you want to go that one step further and create a tee-shirt to raise funds?

I thought it would be a good way to express our thoughts for those affected through art and fashion. A t-shirt is something that everyone can wear to show their support.

What inspired the image?

It came from a phone call whilst I was in Asia and Michael Dudley (the artist who designed the graphics) and I were talking about the situation and how drastic it was. There were a lot of images of children shown on the screen around that time which touched so many people; so that’s where the image came from.

So, my French is pretty bad… what does the phrase at the top of the tee mean and why did you choose it?

It means “unity makes strength” and the statement itself was justified to use as the strap line of the design as it says everything we feel.

What has the response been so far?

We’ve had great support so far. People who have worn it include Alicia Keys, Example, Reggie Yates, and Estelle to name a few. The cause is getting lots of love!

The disaster in Haiti was initially on our screens and in our papers all the time – but now we hardly get any information about how they are doing or what more we can do to help. What’s your message to people who think everything is ‘done and dusted’ over there?

That is exactly the reason why we are doing this now. Disasters like these become old news once the cameras stop rolling, but the issue is still there in a big way and we are just trying to tell the people of Haiti that they are not forgotten.

You worked on River Island’s Tee’s for the Trust campaign – clearly you’re a very charitable man! What is it about those kind of projects that makes you want to get stuck in?

I think the best way to express things that are close to my heart is through my work. I also want to give back when these great opportunities come along.

What other exciting projects have you got going on right now? I saw you on Brick Lane the other day with a film crew…

Aha, you’ve got the insider – just a show called “My Genius Idea” with cBBC. It’s a children’s design show that teaches them the importance of looking at their surroundings for inspiration.

Thanks so much Walé!

For further information on the situation in Haiti, this blog from the charity HelpAge is a really interesting insight into the challenges faced by the older generations over there.

By: Sarah Barnes, 30.06.2010 | Comments (1)
Tagged: , ,