It’s a common assumption that most architecture students set out to achieve goals like mapping skyscraper blueprints. But this isn’t always the case.
“I still want to be an architect,” said junior architecture major Ebun Olaloye, “but there are things I want to do besides designing buildings.”
Olaloye began designing shirts as a sophomore at Pennsauken High School in Pennsauken, N.J. Since then, he has hand-painted more than 300 shirts.
“Most of them are separate designs,” he said. “Only a few of them were actually for my friends and family.”
Born in Nigeria, Olaloye brought his love for soccer to the United States when he immigrated to the country nine years ago.
Today, soccer athletes and themes are on many of Olaloye’s clothing creations.
“Eventually, I want to put together a line of shirts geared toward soccer,” he said. “I’m looking for what appeals to other soccer players.”
Some of his work extends to word play and typography. One of Olaloye’s favorite shirts has the words “Creative People Must Be Stopped” printed in clumsy and bubbled letters.
“A lot of people liked it,” he said. “It had a feeling of irony.”
By keeping up with his high school hobby, Olaloye said he shows off his traits while giving others the chance to do the same. He added that soccer, art and fashion were always his primary interests.
“I felt it was a way to express these things to everyone else, a way to tie these things together,” he said.
Olaloye said toying with clothing styles helps a culture just as much as drawing building designs.
“Shirts are the first thing you see on someone,” he said. “I want to find ways to make things with style and comfort.
“If I’m a well-refined designer, I don’t have to just design buildings. T-shirts, clothes and shoes are an extension of my creative style.”
Ian Romano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.