February is on the horizon, meaning all the vogue-centric magazines and journalists are abuzz with trend spotting. But, before the fashion circuit fully ignites with the women’s wear parade, and the lid is lifted on what is verifiably “in” for 2024, GLITCH sought out the brains of design duo Tia Adeola and Toni Dathe. Hot off the launch of their Q-T heel at the end of December, GLITCH consulted the forward-thinking duo about their projections for the months ahead.
Tia, the acclaimed visionary behind TIA ADEOLA, and Toni, a Berlin-based footwear designer, are amongst creatives actively trawling through fashion heritage and the cultural riches of the past, to inform the shapes and structures of tomorrow.
Their Q-T heel is a homage to the styles of the late Fela Kuti, a beloved Nigerian artist and a pioneering force in the Afro beat music scene. Yet, with its sculptural squared aesthetic, and use of grape leather and skins, this new product is challenging the traditional view of footwear as secondary and practical, and encouraging experimentation across all modes of fashion design.
Tia and Toni seemed to be the perfect pair to tap into for a speculative conversation, and as a duo sitting at the frontier of new design, GLITCH listened eagerly to their insights and forecasting.
GLITCH: What do you hope will become consumers’ main buying focus for February?
Tia: Buying black-owned products!
Toni: I think AWARENESS should become a main buying focus. I hope that sustainability in every direction will be one of the main influences in buying decisions. I also hope that people buy things that they adore rather than chasing a trend — taste is subjective and that’s good!
GLITCH: What innovative products do you think consumers will be ready for next month?
Tia: I think it is clear that people are getting bored with what’s on the market right now, and they need newness. I am confident we will start to see a lean towards more wearable art.
Toni: I think there is a growing acceptance for alternatives to animal materials – especially in the more luxe product ranges. I think alternative leathers will soon have a marked moment.
GLITCH: What will make its stamp on social media in February?
Tia: Of course, I hope the Q-T heel!
Toni: Yes! Also, speaking of the runways, I think with lots of turnover within creative director roles, think first collections under newly appointed names will cause a stir.
GLITCH: What or who is your current style inspiration?
Tia: I’ve spent a lot of time in Lagos recently, where I was born, and I’m evermore inspired by my mum. Watching her get dressed in traditional Nigerian outfits made with laces, brocades and traditional Ankara, really captivates me. It’s just so rich and regal! I suppose style inspirations can be from those closest to you too.
Toni: I wouldn’t say I have a specific style inspiration – in terms of a person. I have a certain vision and picture in my head that is an accumulation of my taste – based on that mood board, I dress!
GLITCH: What colour palettes, patterns, and materials do you predict for the next fashion season?
Tia: So, I think we will be seeing blues, pinks, and pistachios all take centre stage. In terms of materials, lots of knits contrasted with chiffons, and also of course vegan leathers.
Toni: For me, I certainly envision there being a big focus on sustainable materials. I think the grape leather we used in our designs will become more established, such as the grape leather, but also cactus leather and mushroom leather. I predict mushroom-based materials in general will develop.
Written by Hebe Street from GLITCH Magazine
Words by Toni Dathe and Tia Adeola