The Talented Mr. Osifeso
There’s a familiar movie trope where the detective reviews old crime scene images and discovers that their prime suspect can be spotted in the background of all the photographs. It’s the ‘aha!’ moment, the final puzzle piece realization that leads to the arrest and the case-closed happy ending. This is how it felt interviewing creative director and designer Jide Osifeso, yet instead of a crime it was his impact on culturally relevant projects and moments. It was a piecing together of individual elements that lead to the realization of just how much of a cultural apex Jide has achieved.
He’s worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and SZA. He was Kerby Jean-Raymond’s first hire when he took the creative director helm at Reebok. He recently partnered with Daniel Kaluuya on a capsule collection for Jordan Peele’s latest film, Nope. He has an on-going design partnership with the celebrated Canadian brand Reigning Champ. You get the point, he’s been intimately involved with all these major touch-points across art, music, fashion and film and it’s only in seeing them all together can you truly understand his impact.
“I’m at a place where I can further explore projects that challenge me and collaborate with people I’m excited about. Building a creative community.”
Yet equally as charming is that you don’t get the sense Jide looks at it this way. He isn’t striving for fame or reaching upwards for more, but instead he’s reaching outwards, looking to expand his own creativity and a focus on even deeper and more meaningful collaboration. “I’m at a place where I can further explore projects that challenge me and collaborate with people I’m excited about. Building a creative community.”
While success is often an amalgamation of various elements, it was telling to look at Jide’s early influences to see how he got to where he is now. Jide’s love of fashion stemmed from his early interest in basketball— he recalls an obsession with the style of Anfernee Hardaway and Allen Iverson, the unapologetic boldness and personality they brought into the league. Growing up in southern California he also fell into skateboarding and the gritty DIY culture and style that surrounded it. With these two very different cultural touchstones as his baseline, Jide’s first job out of college was at RVCA under the tutelage of PM Tenore.
Primarily known as a skate/surf company, RVCA’s artist network program was ahead of its time--they were working with artists on producing cool, experiential pieces long before the current collaboration craze took over fashion. This was Jide’s foundation – an obsession with both NBA style and skateboarding culture and a deep understanding of the power of partnership. With the rise of streetwear and connectivity of the internet, Jide was in a prime position to understand and navigate the quickly evolving fashion landscape of the last 10 years. After leaving RVCA, Jide went to adidas for a time before moving to Los Angeles and throwing himself into any creative projects he could get his hands on, working on all aspects of fashion, learning and growing and expanding his network to where he is today. Always seemingly ahead of his time.
“For me it’s never been about trends or any sort of hype element, but rather community and the transfer of energy and ideas.”
So that begs the question, what is currently inspiring Jide? The short answer is Nature. Jide lives just outside of LA’s metropolitan area in the Eastern San Fernando Valley, he notes the quietness of the place and how beautiful the surrounding area is. He speaks on his frequent trips up Vancouver and the raw, untouched beauty of the Canadian wildlife. Yet with Jide there’s always refinement to his interests, it’s not so much that this is a ‘trend’ he’s betting will continue to grow but that it’s a genuine interest point, a reflection of himself and his work. “For me it’s never been about trends or any sort of hype element, but rather community and the transfer of energy and ideas. That's what me and my people have always been driven by and now I’m in a position to make that my focus.” In that sentiment is where Jide’s true success lives. An understanding of his interest and how they can be reflected naturally in his work without compromising the integrity of people and projects he’s working with.
As Jide continues to collaborate on various other projects he is also focused on growing his own label, HYMNE and continuing to evolve as a creative.
“I want to stay sharp and become ever more dynamic, having my own forum to do that in has always been the end goal.”