Okada Men for Highsnobiety

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 left to right: FRAMES BY Cutler + GROSS, Gucci

left to right: FRAMES BY Cutler + GROSS, Gucci

photos by Stephen Tayo / frames styled by Alexander-Julian

“nigeria's okada bikers could be the freshest people on earth”

— Highsnobiety

It might seem surprising, but some of Nigeria’s sharpest sartorial efforts can be found on the backs of the motorbikes zipping through the streets of Lagos. The bikes are known locally as keke or okada, a play on now-defunct Nigerian airline Okada Air due to their riders’ ability, albeit terrifyingly, to get you from point A to B. Riding the streets of Lagos all day can leave your eyes vulnerable to all kinds of dust and debris in a city of 21 million, and the bikers protect their peepers with pure steez.

As many Nigerians will testify: no matter the situation, style is never worth sacrificing. You’ll frequently find okada riders decked out in the most extravagant eyewear, from large embellished hot pink frames to gold-trimmed cat-eye lenses. If you’re going to hit the Lagos streets, it’s got to be done in style.

I teamed up with local photographer Stephen Tayo to capture the infamous okada bikers of Lagos in the most lavish eyewear of the season.

read the full story on Highsnobiety.com >>

 LEFT TO RIGHT: SUNGLASSES BY OFF-WHITE x WARBY PARKER, CUTLER + GROSS

LEFT TO RIGHT: SUNGLASSES BY OFF-WHITE x WARBY PARKER, CUTLER + GROSS

 LEFT TO RIGHT: GUCCI FRAMES, ADAM SELMAN x LE SPECS SUNGLASSES

LEFT TO RIGHT: GUCCI FRAMES, ADAM SELMAN x LE SPECS SUNGLASSES

 DOLCE & GABBANA EMBELLISHED SUNGLASSES

DOLCE & GABBANA EMBELLISHED SUNGLASSES

With their lack of appropriate headgear and outrageous, sometimes comically overloaded cargo, the okada riders aren’t always popular with government and locals. They are usually depicted as rough and rowdy biker boys, but for okada riders, ferrying people and goods to and fro is a no-fuss way to make a living.
 SUNGLASSES BY GUCCI

SUNGLASSES BY GUCCI

 Left to Right: Vintage Dior Frames, Driver’s Own.

Left to Right: Vintage Dior Frames, Driver’s Own.

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Despite numerous attempts to remove okada from Nigeria’s roads, they have survived time and again, and their drivers are all the more fly for it.
 SUNGLASSES BY LE SPECS

SUNGLASSES BY LE SPECS