INSPIRED BY SEASONS: MEET OLU ALEGE
A co-founder of Street Level Culture, a creative agency with its thumb in all of the pies, New Yorker Olu Alege was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx. As such, he’s witnessed New York utterly transform in the last couple of decades (as he points out, they used to call it the meatpacking district for a reason). One thing that’s remained totally consistent is Olu’s love of nature. You can see it right away because he’s a down to earth guy, and he’s able to have fun and enjoy himself without pretentions. He’s also a particularly dapper gent; a fine example of what happens when style and smarts intersect.
You’ve lived in New York for twenty-five years. What continues to inspire you about the city?
Street culture is so big for me. Like every five years there’s something new. I’ve seen so many subcultures and that just inspires me so much. The people, the clothes, my surroundings. I guess I’m just inspired by what I’m around and that’s why I feel like I always have to continue to travel. New people, new cultures, new food. I love meeting people from all over.
Where would you live if you weren’t in New York?
I would go to London and have that Euro experience, because everything there is so close to each other. I just came back from New Orleans and it was so chill. I thought it was going to be a slow city, but everybody was doing stuff.
What characteristics do you need in a city to call it home?
I think I need to be around nature and people; good energy, you know?
You’re particularly inspired by nature. How do you express that in your day-to-day?
I used to always go to the botanical garden, I still do. There’s these parks all over the city that people don’t go to. There’s Fort Tryon Park all the way uptown near the George Washington Bridge. I go to Madison Square Park a lot, I like to go upstate to Storm King, that’s a dope spot. I’m always hanging out in the park for hours, especially when I have long days or rough days. I just need to be around grass and trees and wind and water.
Does your appreciation for nature inform your aesthetics?
Everyday. I love earth tone colors, the colors of nature and trees and grass. Nature is a hundred percent always on my mind, because I love color and I love things from the world, things from the earth.
You are very into following your ambition. Can you tell us a bit about that?
I think we live in this Do-It-Yourself culture. I went to school for accounting but I followed my heart and found what I love. So to everyone out there, follow your heart, and if you feel like you want to do something, don’t be afraid. Even though millions of other people do it, you have your own voice. Everyone is unique in their own way.
Thank you Olu! Shop Olu’s campaign style here.