Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

White House Calling: Please Will You Make a Coat for Mrs Obama

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

White House Calling: Please Will You Make a Coat for Mrs Obama

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Parsons

A YOUNG London fashion designer has been commissioned by US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Bunmi Olaye, 27, who runs Bunmi Koko with her partner Francis Udom, was given the honour after sending a prospectus of her designs to the White House.

Soon after a call came to the couple from Washington asking if a coat could be made for Mrs Obama.

Mr Udom said: "Someone said they were from the First Lady's office and she was interested in a cream coat we had featured and could we make it for her.

"We were stunned but kept calm and said we would make her a coat in September.

I hope she likes it."

Ms Olaye, whose company is based in Plaistow, first gained national exposure when former Spice Girl Melanie Brown asked her to make her a dress for this year's Brit Awards. Pictures of the singer wearing the dress alongside former bandmate Geri Halliwell featured in newspapers the following day.

Ms Olaye said: "It has been a really good relationship. Because of all the exposure we got, we've had a lot of interest from other people in the celebrity world."

Further success followed later in the year when she won in the emerging designer of the year international category of the African Fashion Awards in Johannesburg. …

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