Sep 25th, 2017, 09:55 PM

Infamous Vie: A Presentation

By Stuart Edwards
Image credit: Leo Chamalet
One of AUP's own has created his very own fashion line—and hopes to tie AUP closely to his endeavors.

While endless amounts of talent and know-how characterize the American University of Paris student body, AUP can now consider a new designer among its community of young professionals. Student Arafat Adekunle is releasing his brainchild, prêt-a-porter line Infamous Vie, this Friday, September 29, with a sneak preview just for AUP the evening before. The line, as Adekunle characterizes it, is "streetwear, street style. The new generation ... we want to create a new genre of our own," and will feature jackets, sweaters, T-shirts, pants, and sneakers in both runway shows. 

Adekunle started conceptualizing the line two years ago. He said, "I saw how people were dressing in Paris, the youth culture... [I would think] I really like this outfit, I wish I could get it, but the prices are so expensive." So, he decided, "I'm going to get this my own way. If I can't get something, I’ll design something myself." Adekunle started his career in 2016 by designing custom denim jackets to prepare, and has now branched out into designing a full ready-to-wear collection. Adekunle has linked this initial experience into the idea behind the brand, saying he's "really into something simple, something natural and real. We want to do something for the people that like fashion, not just for trends and hype."

The first show, at 6:30PM on Thursday, September 28 in the Combes lobby, will feature half of the pieces of the line and serve as the "run-through" for the main event on Friday, according to Adekunle and Producer Danielle Jewett. Additionally, the first show will feature only the AUP students selected to model. The show on September 29, at 5PM in the courtyard gardens of 151bis rue Saint-Jacques, 75005, will feature the complete collection and an expanded team of models.

Adekunle relied on AUP to finalize the logistics of the events. Adekunle secured a 2,697 euro allocation from the Student Government Association for the project, with an additional 315 euros contributed from senators' own budgets, according to SGA minutes from September 20, 2017. Adekunle pitched this project as a way for AUP students get involved in the fashion industry; many of the models, as well as many on Adekunle's team, are AUP students.

Image credit: Infamous Vie

Additionally, Adekunle claims that the line and events themselves will serve as an "in" for industry hopefuls, and will inspire students to follow in his footsteps, saying "Infamous [can lead] to various opportunities for a lot of other students to not be afraid to want to do big projects, to adventure into the fashion world. A lot of students come to Paris for the fashion and the culture, but they don't get to experience the fashion, but this is the door. Infamous is gonna be the first to open your eyes, and to give [students] the courage to do it. I want them to be like, ‘Arafat did it—I want to do it too.’" Jewett said that they hope the event "is a way of bringing together multiple programs under the university's umbrella; to create a link between the AUP community and the fashion community," adding that the project incorporates aspects from many different AUP departments, including Fine Arts, Communications, and Journalism.

Additionally, Infamous Vie is collaborating with UNICEF for a piece in the line, the "Tee by Infamous for UNICEF." Teammate, AUP student, and UNICEF contributor Tommy Tomova originally proposed the collaboration, which personally interested Adekunle. On the collaboration, he said, "I’m originally an African. I’ve been in a developing society, I know how it is to be needy, to not be a member of the upper class, and I want to help people." Twenty percent of proceeds from sales of the UNICEF tee will be donated to UNICEF, and there will be a UNICEF donations box at the events.

Adekunele is keeping the line itself tightly under wraps until the launch but says that, through this project, he "invites everyone to give a try, to really get inspired," and that he's "looking forward to people doing what they dream. Do [your] best, it's not always easy, you will be stopped, you will have enemies, [but] you just have to move forward and put your imagination and your dream out there to give the best you can."