Eunice Olumide MBE – Fashion, passion and philanthropy
Designer, supermodel and art gallery founder Eunice Olumide champions Scottish design and creativity – and believes her home nation can rival the world.
Born in Edinburgh, Eunice has had a fascination with design since an early age, studying art and graphic design at high school. However, her own approach to designing accessories and textiles was “learned by trial and error” with no formal training.
“I have always created out of a necessity for myself and my immediate community. I started off creating pieces for myself, family and friends,” she says. “I then created my first collection after being inspired by the social significance of African fabric, fusing it with traditional European tailoring.”
Her modelling career has taken Eunice around the world, working with internationally significant brands including Christopher Kane, Ralph Lauren and Vivienne Westwood. In 2017 she has awarded an MBE for services to the arts, broadcasting and charity fundraising.
“One of my favourite companies to work with has always been Harris Tweed,” she adds, a company which was also a major inspiration to Vivienne Westwood. “Their ability to mix the traditional with the modern gives them an inimitable style that defines them as uniquely and quintessentially Scottish.”
“Scotland has a rich and diverse history of producing top design talent from Pam Hogg, Holly Fulton, Louise Gray, Graeme Armour, Christopher Kane, JJ NOKI to early design architects such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh,” she adds, and in 2016 she worked on a BBC documentary celebrating the influence of Scottish designer Jean Muir.
“My hope for Scottish fashion would be to embrace true talent and difference,” Eunice says. “To create a society that is not intimidated by difference but to champion it. Where talent can excel so that people do not have to travel to New York or London to be respected at home.”
She believes passionately in Scotland’s design heritage, the strength of its contemporary designers – and the future potential of young designers. Despite the country’s relatively small population, Eunice argues that “our contribution to the world justifies us taking both new and established designers seriously” with Scotland having the potential, in time, to create a “fashion week to rival London, Paris and Milan”.
“Design offers an unlimited prospect for human beings to excel,” she adds, “using a combination of talent and empathy to create a new world that will work for all of mankind.”
For Eunice, V&A Dundee “personifies the true Scotland”, which she sees as “a nation of innovators, designers and inventors”. “The new museum is a beautiful addition to the nation and an incredible opportunity to celebrate design.”
We are delighted to welcome Eunice as a V&A Dundee Design Champion, recognising her contribution to design and fashion, and her incredible passion for the future potential of Scotland’s design creativity on an international level.
To find our more, please visit Eunice’s website.
The V&A Dundee Design Champions are inspirational designers creating high-quality work and helping to enhance people’s lives, or champions of the power of design to improve the world.
We will announce one Design Champion a week until the museum opens on Saturday 15 September.
V&A Dundee's Design Champions project is working with Dezeen as its media partner.
Dezeen is the world’s most popular and influential architecture and design magazine, with an audience of 2.5 million unique visitors each month.