By Amira Hasan - 18th September 2020
Olive Hooper: "The more I learn, the more I change."
Olive Hooper — Founder and Visionary behind CYFR WORLD, a brand entwining music with streetwear — is paving the way for a more personal approach to fashion. Collaborating with up-and-coming music artists, each of her collections focus on merging her artistic process with theirs, putting a refreshing spin on artist merchandise.
Having always wanted to be a fashion designer from a young age, Olive studied at London College of Fashion while also interning at Puma in her third year. Once she graduated, her sights were set on building her own brand. She jetted straight into it, calling on the clients and connections she had made while interning and studying.
“My brand is about creating a direct link to music through apparel.”
Giving CYFR WORLD its edge and exclusivity is Olive’s unique approach of including artists in the design process, as well her commitment to sustainability — the carefully curated collections use end-of-roll material and pre-existing clothing. As a member of ‘Sisters in Sustainability,’ a community for women in the fashion industry with sustainability at the forefront of their practice, it’s no surprise that Olive is dedicated to creating a brand that reflects her values.
"I am an artist. My concepts are creations the masses can understand and consume.”
Often being the only black Caribbean woman in her work environments, Olive draws on her experiences to drive the CYFR WORLD brand — relatability and representation is paramount in her practice. Despite working in an industry with little to no opportunity for independent brands — let alone people of colour — to grow, Olive exemplifies the fact that this barrier can be overcome. To date, her designs have been featured in a music video with Kwesi Arthur; highlighted by advertisement agency NUFF SAID; and in Issue 005 of The Floor Magazine.
Her confidence in being seen by the fashion industry, paired with her niche approach to her craft, means that Olive is worth watching. In creating a brand that is not just a label, but also a community for music lovers, her designs will take off on a global scale in no time.
To access her latest drop, go to www.cyfr.world.
Join us for an exclusive Q&A with Olive, where the designer discusses the importance of identity and representation and her commitment to creating a brand with her personal ethos.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
I am an artist. My concepts are creations that the masses can understand and consume.
Looking back over your life, what have been other pivotal moments where, looking back on them now, you understand that they shaped who you are today?
Lockdown changed my view on life. It was/is time to unpack, unlearn, create space to learn new information and become clued up on how I can expand my practice further.
“[The legacy I want to leave behind] is changing the way people approach consumerism and
what they visualise when listening to music.”
“I have always felt seen. Now, I just want to be seen on a global scale.”
Have you noticed an evolution over the course of your work?
I have become more confident in my approach with clients. Coming from a retail background, I was always taught to serve. Now I know that I am here to collaborate and not serve.
How did you become comfortable enough with your own creative eye to be confident in your art?
I have a very strong support system. People believe in me and this is the foundation of my confidence. Besides this, getting to know myself on a deeper level. Looking inwards to find my spirituality and purpose has allowed me to be more experimental with my work. 99% of my creations are happy mistakes.
What is your deeper meaning of the word "identity"?
The position at where you are in your life. Who I identify as today may be different tomorrow due to my awareness of the world and my craft. The more I learn, the more I change and therefore my identity shifts often.
What does feeling seen mean to you?
I have always felt seen. I just want to be seen on a global scale now.
What role does vulnerability play in the way that you exist within the industry, and the way that you operate your brand?
Being honest and open is key. Everybody is a teacher and a pupil. We are all here to learn from each other and I’m glad my clients are happy for me to learn on the job, even if they don’t realise I am.
What does feeling seen mean to you?
Being known. Being understood. Being aware.
What is the legacy that you're trying to build? And what do you hope to leave behind with your work?
A lasting change. Changing the way people approach consumerism and visualising when listening to music be in online or in person.
Any final words? Advice for fellow creatives?
DIRECTION OVER SPEED.