Meet Duro Oluwo, the Nigerian designer Who Decorated White House for Christmas


Some people say Nigerians are well represented all over the world, truth is we only know half of the Nigerians living in diaspora because apart from the popularly celebrated names, there are thousands of Nigerians all over the world doing their thing and excelling every single day.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama has enlisted Nigerian-born fashion designer Duro Olowu to decorate the White house for Christmas.

You might have never heard his names but he is a respected designer in the United Kingdom, born to a Nigerian Father and a Jamaican Mother, Duro Oluwo was raised in our very own Lasgidi.

He studied Law in London before returning to Nigeria where he developed a passion for design.

“My Jamaican mother used to find the tailors who carried sewing machines on their shoulders and get them to make patchwork shirts and furnishings from local fabrics mixed with others she picked up on holidays abroad. She was a big influence on how I see color and print,” Olowu told the New York Times in November 2012.


He launched his first women’s wear label in 2004 and today his designs has graced the shoulders of stylish women all over the world including Michelle Obama, Uma Thurman and Kiera Knightley.

In an interview with Elle Magazine, he said the features of the Vermeil room where he decorated were used as “a backdrop for a magical and surrealistic festive atmosphere.”

He said “My idea [was] to create a beautiful feast for the eyes reminiscent of a warm and joyful season filled with international treasures and signature fabrics.”

This year’s holiday theme at the White House is “A Timeless Tradition,” which inspired Olowu’s unique designs in the Vermeil room.

Vermeil room is sometimes used as a ladies’ sitting room during formal events, Olowu brought in two 8-foot Christmas trees, which he draped in stunning ribbons, ornate appliqué and encrusted ornaments.

He also created custom teddy bears using vintage African fabrics.
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