Encouragement| Igee Okafor
Its always great to have a passion that drives us to pursue the things we want in life. Its even better when we’re surrounded by people that want to see our dreams come true. That was the case for 22 year old Igee Okafor.
“I must say, I had the most amazing childhood. My parents always provided opportunities for me to express my creativity. I think that’s because they were both creative as well.”
At the age of 19, Igee was working as a writer for a women’s fashion blog. Happy with the field of work he was in, Igee found even more joy in writing about men’s fashion. “My mom, who was and still is always in a business mindset urged me to create my own blog. She said, “I’ll pay for your domain name. The rest is up to you”,” Igee says. Igee took his mother up on her offer and soon www.igeeokafor.com was up and running.
Through igeeokafor.com, Igee shares his personal interests. Through writing articles and creative directing photoshoots, Igee caters to menswear and lifestyle enthusiasts. He also collaborates with high-end brands and other creatives to create visual content that he and his followers enjoy. He has worked with major brands such as Timex, Todd Snyder, Daniel Wellington, East Dane, Jack Erwin, and Topman. During that time he has been featured in Forbes, GQ, The New York Times, and Hypebeast. “Usually, a representative from the media outlet reaches out to me to ask if I am open to doing a feature, or interview. I usually do it because I enjoy sharing my experiences. It’s so surreal but, I’m always so humbled, and grateful.”
“I have always been a visual person, and I think that’s the reason I have been able to perform the way I do now.”
While Igee has been quite successful over the past few years, the process definitely wasn’t all puppies and flowers. Growing up, Igee didn’t always have the most confidence. “I had an issue with speaking up. I didn’t feel worthy of accepting good things that were happening in my life,” Igee confesses. But, any doubt Igee had about himself disappeared as he began to surround himself with positive people. “I started to surround myself with people who understood, and related to the way I looked at myself, and the world. Sometimes, these people were not real life characters. They were characters from television shows, movies, books, or stories of encouragement I would hear from my parents or other people.”
Igee’s support system is what keeps him going today. No matter how hard things get, he remains relentless. “I’ll be honest. I do not think I have ever contemplated quitting. Not to say that I haven’t had trying times in my life. But, none of those has ever led to me even thinking of quitting my passion.”
Having a successful blog, huge collaborations, and a new confidence boost are all rewards in themselves. Interestingly enough, Igee finds that the most rewarding aspect of his success is the respect he gets from others in the field. “I am most proud of the network of people I have managed to build relationships with.”
He also encourages other to pursue their own dreams for their own personal rewards. “Whatever it is that you want to do, do it wholeheartedly. Everyone has to start somewhere, so ask for what you want. Study the people in your field and how they got to where they are. Translate that to what is possible for you, and go from there. Always be open to learning. Reach out, ask questions, talk about your aspirations to anyone who’ll listen. Be kind to people, and do not downplay what you do.”
“You are worthy of it all. Go for it, full force.”
Going forward, Igee sees igeeokafor.com taking strides into the entertainment, menswear, and lifestyle industry. Solidifying the brand through collaborations with other established brands will continue to help igeeokarfor.com elevate it’s audience and impressions. Igee has intentions to conquer many genres. “Right now, I am working on transitioning into video content. Then, maybe a sweater collection. Both are still a work in progress. I’m still in the ideation stage.”
Graduating from college next year, Igee feels accomplished. He plans on working with more prestigious and well established companies in the menswear industry. It’s important to the brand that Igee continues to develop a well balanced variety of skills. “The end goal is to ultimately be my own menswear/lifestyle brand.”
What style/fashion accessory is your favorite?
I have an undying love for rings (and bags).
You’re in NYC, so the range of temperatures from summer to winter is extreme but NYC is definitely known for some cold winters. Any tips on choosing menswear to keep warm but stylish?
The leading essential to fine winter style is a Wool Coat. I recommend having at least two in your wardrobe. One that is easily adaptable for various day to day ensembles. You also need another venturesome piece for the days when you’re feeling more spontaneous than usual. This way, you’re less likely to drown in a style rut.
Following the wool coat, is the Wool Blazer which I like to refer to as, menswear’s unacclaimed celebrity. Most would agree when I say that there is no other article of clothing that is more multifaceted, and/or has the unparalleled profenciency to instantaneously aggrandize any style aesthetic. This alone, makes the wool coat a timeless classic, and an essential for winter seasons to come.
What are favorite timeless coats?
Black, or Navy Blue Topcoats.
Timeless hats to keep warm?
A Wool Felt Fedora or a Newsboy Hat.
What are your favorite timeless sneakers that are versatile enough to dress up to some extent?
I do not know much about sneakers, but when I do buy them, I buy in all white. I usually go for the slimmer silhouettes like the popular ones from Common projects. Every season.