It’s reading period. Olasunkanmi Asunmonu, known to most as Jeffrey, sits in Bridge Lounge, diligently scribbling notes on a blank sheet of paper. The notes, however, are not in preparation for an exam. Jeffrey is writing a personal thank you to one of his costumers.
On the first of December, Jeffrey announced the launch of his apparel company, Maverick. For those who know Jeffrey, this leap into the world of fashion design was not a surprise. Even to a stranger, his fervor for fashion is obvious. Sporting freshly ironed blazers, silk scarves, and rolled pant legs to show off vibrant socks, Jeffrey may very well be the best dressed man on campus.
Although he has always loved fashion, the idea to start Maverick only came about when Jeffery first came to the University three and a half years ago.
“I’ve always been fascinated by being on a college campus, making friends, and talking about the different things that makes them, them,” says Jeffrey.
But there was something many students had in common – they embodied what it meant to be a maverick; they were individualists, each pursuing a number of passions.
“Being a maverick has become the norm,” says Jeffrey. For him this is something unique to our generation, a quality that was abundant during the Renaissance, but has remained dormant in mainstream society ever since. “Young people make it seem so laissez-faire how they combine everything so effortlessly,” he says. “It takes a lot of hard work, but they do it regardless.”
This versatility is something Jeffrey wanted to embody in his first collection. Each piece is multifunctional, designed for day or night, staying in or going out. As for the colors scheme, Jeffrey chose vibrant reds, oranges, blues, and greens. “Maverick is a celebration of what it means to be a maverick,” he says, “so I chose bright colors, for cheer.”
Multicultural influences are also present within the collection. Take the Patricia and Ankara dresses for example, inspired by the Italo-Haitian designer Stella Jean. They are unmistakably African; a zingy pattern of burgundy, olive, and turmeric as warm as the Sahara. For Jeffrey, the maverick lifestyle sees no boundaries and therefore he believes it essential to gather inspiration from across cultures.
So far, the Maverick website is home only to this first collection of apparel. Future plans for Maverick, however, include expanding the product line to include work by other artists.
“I want it to become a platform for young individuals to put out their own work,” says Jeffrey. This could include works of art, photographs, jewelry, etc. The fine details aren’t all sorted out yet, but the goal is to have Maverick be an online outlet for young people to promote and sell their creations.
After graduation, Jeffrey plans to take a break before attending grad school or entering the work force to really focus on Maverick and its expansion. For now, designing clothes for his collection serves as a relaxing study break. For Jeffrey, his electro-chemical engineering major fits together harmoniously with Maverick, more so that one might think. “It’s all about finding those things that make you holistic,” he says, “even if you’re not sure what outcome they might bring.”