Inside Fashion: BKYO, A Collision of Bold and Chic
Designer Bukola “Bukky” Elegbeleye takes AFROPHIRE inside BKYO.
My inspiration is drawn from my African heritage and simple, classic objects. I love color and it’s featured throughout all my designs using bold shades of leather and African print. These inspirations come to life in impeccably crafted pieces that are at once timeless and modern.
AM: Bukky it’s an absolute blessing to talk with you. Help us get to know more about Bukky Elegbeleye… Who exactly is the designer behind BKYO?
B: Thank you! My full name is Bukola. I am Nigerian-American. I grew up in Nigeria and moved to the US after college. I love my African Heritage, fashion, and most especially GOD! He is my number 1!
AM: When did you know that fashion was your passion?
B: Going to the shops for me is like an aphrodisiac. There was a time I was visiting my sister in the UK. She dropped me off at the mall and 5 hours later when she didn’t hear from me, she reported me lost! HA! I had lost track of time in the midst of all the fashion eye candy! So many ideas were birthed in my mind. I knew then that I could do this everyday and be happy.
AM: How long have you been designing?
B: I actually haven’t been designing that long. Recently I started to realize more often than not, what I wanted/desired couldn’t be found in the stores no matter how hard I searched. So, earlier this year I thought to myself “why not create what you want”? So, I started to sketch. Bags, clothes, shoes. That’s how it all started.
AM: When was your vision for the BKYO brand birthed?
B: The vision was birthed earlier this year in April. It was a time when I was at cross-roads with my career. The company I was working for at the time was on a road to bankruptcy so it wasn’t the best of times. In the downtime, the inspiration came to launch my brand. My boyfriend (now fiancé) was instrumental in helping me build the business.
AM: What is the meaning behind the name BKYO?
B: My first name is Bukky. So, the “BKY” is an abbreviation of that. The “O” is the first letter of my future married name! I am getting married next year. So, when I came up with the name BKYO, I was speaking into my future – I live by Faith!
AM: Describe to us the ideal BKYO woman?
B: The BKYO woman is Modern and Chic. She is a bold woman who isn’t afraid to walk on the edge. She doesn’t follow trends, but is always in style. She inspires others and is driven to do and live better every day.
AM: Where do you draw inspiration for your bold and chic designs?
B: My inspiration is drawn from my African heritage and simple, classic objects. I love color and it’s featured throughout all my designs using bold shades of leather and African print. These inspirations come to life in impeccably crafted pieces that are at once timeless and modern.
AM: What gives BKYO an edge over other bags?
B: First, the story behind each of our styles makes each bag personal. It’s not just a bag, it’s the inspiration behind – from Maria which represents humility and meekness to Esther which represents royalty and courage.
Second, the quality of our materials. We use 100% genuine leather and African Wax print. Each bag is impeccably crafted and made in the US.
AM: What message does the BKYO brand send to the world?
B: Live an inspired life, inspire others, and celebrate who you are.
AM: Are there any upcoming projects in the works?
B: Yes! We have 2 new designs coming up.
EXOTIC DORKAS – We are taking our Dorkas design and revamping it with exotic Ostrich and Lizard Leathers. Think DORKAS gone Wild!
AMINA – This is a new style. I got tired of carrying boring make up bags and decided to make one that inspires me each time I take it out. AMINA means courageous and trustworthy and can be used as a makeup bag or everyday clutch.
AM: Where can we find your beautiful designs?
B: Our designs can be found on our website – bkyoafrika.com
AM: How can we connect with you?
B: We are on Facebook (BKYO AFRIKA)
I also share daily styles and inspiration on WordPress (bkyoblog.com)
For inquiries on our products, we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
AM: Bukky, thank you so much for taking us inside BKYO. We pray great blessings for you and the brand. Here at AFROPHIRE Magazine, we like to conclude every interview by having you finish the statement “I SHINE because…”
B: “I SHINE because God’s glory is risen all over me!”