Bryant Ugonna Iriele: Where Business And Fashion Converge
Bryant Ugonna Irele, Nigerian-born Los Angeles based designer is the founder of Lykos Gonna. The fashion forward brand that gives a whole new meaning to streetwear and identity.
Speaking to the Guardian Life, he talks about his admiration for fashion, connection to his roots, and the role of God in his success.
Who is Bryant Ugonna Iriele?
Bryant Ugonna Iriele is a fashion entrepreneur and businessman. His personality is an appreciation in the fashion industry, and he is also an excellent negotiator.
What was your childhood like?
Childhood was fun, had a lot of learning experiences, growth opportunities, and we traveled a lot.
Did you have an interest in fashion as a kid and who were your early fashion influences?
I have always had an interest in fashion from an early age. Style helps us communicate and express what we want as individuals. It’s part of us; it’s who we are and our heritage.
How did Lykos Gonna come about?
I founded Lykos Gonna during my college days, although I always felt a need to see how creativity could bring people together. So it seemed like a good way to achieve that.
You studied industrial and management system engineering in university, at what point did you realize you would go in a different direction from what you were studying?
Going a different direction was never a thought. I believe in today’s environment; we need anything that can be of great help and I wanted to utilize my Industrial engineering skills with fashion.
Why did you choose fashion designing as a career?
Honestly, I’ve always wanted to be part of the manufacturing industry, and one of the ways I could achieve that was through the fashion industry.
In your opinion, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful fashion designer?
God is a massive influence with my success in fashion. Every other thing comes after. I.e.confidence, patience, and gratitude. All this one can acquire while serving God. God makes everything possible as long as we put him first in anything we desire to accomplish.
How would you describe your personal style?
I believe I have an attractive personality, so my personal style mirrors that by being easy-going, reliable and sustainable.
For you, what are the most important facets of the fashion industry?
The most important thing in the fashion industry is identity. First, understanding where you are coming from, being aware of where you currently are, and where you want to be in the future. You create a plan. Which sometimes changes, but the goal doesn’t.
What milestone achievement do you have in mind to attain with your brand [Lykos Gonna]
I don’t necessarily create milestones because I believe success should be infinite. I want people to be able to recognize the brand and then like it for what it represents.
You’re a Nigerian designer operating outside the country, how do you stay connected with homegrown/local trends or do you overlook those entirely?
There is a saying that the fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Nigeria is a huge chunk of me; I can share my culture because that’s who I’m; being a designer, you can design an enterprise that can operate anywhere on the globe.
Do you believe in collaboration within the fashion industry? If so, which personalities or brands would you like to work with and what would you ideally create with them
That’s a tricky question. There are lots of brands out there that I like both old and new brands. When the time comes, we will know who and when to collaborate.
What’s the difference between fashion and style to you?
Fashion is what companies put together, and style is what an individual creates. Both are God-given gifts.
What do you believe to be the future of Lykos Gonna [say in another five years]?
The future of LykosGonna is to continue to create ways to make fashion unique and easily accessible to everyone.