Creative Women & Projects

Ilé Ilà by Tosin Oshinowo Celebrates Native Yoruba Culture Through Furniture Design

By April 25, 2018 No Comments

The first time I saw Saworoide, the 1999 film by Mainframe Productions, I was fascinated not just by the storyline but by the details of the setting which featured all the interesting aspects of the native Yoruba culture, from Fashion to depth of language to Furniture. Everything about the movie reminded of my mom and grandmom’s photographs – the ancestry and details – everything that I had imagined just by looking at those photos came to life in Saworoide.

And then I stumbled on Ilé Ilà and everything that I felt in Saworoide came welling up again, like an anastasis – all the lives that I felt and could almost touch through my mom/grandmom’s photos revived, filling me with joy.

Ilé Ilà (translated “House of Lines”) was started by Tosin Oshinowo last year 2017 to celebrate her native Yoruba culture. It is a lifestyle furniture-line designed and hand-made in Lagos, Nigeria. Ilé Ilà designs period-conscious furniture with a contemporary African content, hand-made with love, in Lagos Nigeria.

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There’s a joy that comes with knowing that the beautiful and bold parts of your culture will not die, even through the chaos of change and innovation. Ilé Ilà gives you that joy – combining the ancestral furnishing style with bold contemporary touches. I can totally see my mom and I sitting in it majestically.

Tosin Oshinowo is the Architect behind the design and execution of the Maryland Mall. She has a natural affinity towards product design and is particularly interested in the functionality of chairs, placing them in a Nigerian-African context.
Cultural Identity is paramount, at ilé-Ilà, each chair is named based on its aesthetic. Àràbà – aged tree, Òkín – the majestic peacock or Alààfíà – peace on this house, each chair is a proud celebration. You should totally get one!


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