Slashed by Tia x Heroine
Inspired by the garments found in 16th-century Spanish court paintings, Slashed by Tia's structural ruffled designs combine a sense of classical royalty with the designer's nostalgic Nigerian roots. At just 20 years old, Adeola has lots going on—she's a full-time student at Parsons and runs her brand in her spare time, drafting new designs and planning incredible editorial shoots for every launch. Her blouses and ruffle sets have been worn by a handful of notable female artists from SZA to Kali Uchis and have been featured in a range of influential publications—and her career's only just begun.
In honor of her latest collection, we opened up the Heroine archive to supplement Adeola's newest pieces in an exclusive editorial shot by Lumia Nocito. Check out our favorite looks ahead and learn more about the young designer's inspirations, motivations, and her rapid rise to success.
Kate Marin: I’ve known you for just about six months now and in that short amount of time your clothing has been featured in notable publications like Highsnob, Paper, Wonderland, iD, Bullet, Nylon, Fader, and many more. It all seems very surreal—how do you feel?
It feels really good! It’s overwhelming sometimes, sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough but I always try to stay grateful and motivated.
KM: For those who aren’t familiar, when did you first launch your brand and where do you seek inspiration for the clothing you create?
I first launched my brand in March 2016. I was making tops that revealed my back but hid my chest and my friends started asking for them and it just grew from there. The first “ruffle“ item was the red ruffle dress first seen in November 2016. It got the most attention I had ever received. I was overwhelmed with emails and direct messages. The inspiration behind the ruffles is the renaissance era.
KM: I’ve been meeting more and more influential women who at one point worked for VFiles. How did working with the NYC-based retailer help jumpstart your career?
I learned a lot working at VFiles. I was lucky enough to shuttle between the showroom, working with the director of merchandising and just dipping my head wherever I could. Fashion business-wise, I learned things I feel I couldn’t have learned anywhere else. I also learned to be patient and to be a team player (when necessary).
KM: Who are the most notable people you have worked with thus far?
Lorde, SZA, Kali Uchis, Karley Sciortino, Azealia Banks, Leigh Anne (Little Mix), and Serayah.
KM: Tell us about the relationship between your clothing and classical art?
I studied art history for many years in high school. I wrote my dissertation on 16th century Italian garments in paintings. The clothing was the only thing that kept my interest. When artists such as Sofonisba Anguissola painted the royals, details such as ruffled collars, silk and fur were unreal to me. I just had to incorporate it into modern day dress.
KM: What artists inspire you most?
I don’t have an artist I seek inspiration from off the top of my head. I have artists I love but in terms of inspiration, mine would have to be my mum and dad. They’re just the coolest, smartest, kindest and most loving people I’ve ever met. They’re also both extremely hard workers, they’re the best at what they do and they do everything with such grace and integrity. So I guess my parents inspire me the most.
KM: Many people associate a pastel color palette and ruffles with femininity, but there is a unique toughness in your designs. What does femininity mean to you?
Femininity to me means continuing to break the framework of society and I say continuing because, believe it or not, people still believe today that women must behave and look a certain way. I believe women should be bold, resilient and confident. Women should be allowed to wear mesh clothes without receiving unacceptable messages from men over DM. Where I step in is giving this power in a classy way.
KM: You work with a diverse group of women (both established models and regular girls) in each campaign and across your social platforms. What do you look for when you cast models?
I just go by who I imagine will look best in that particular outfit and I’ve been lucky so far as most of them have turned out great, diversity is also very important to me!
KM: Do these women represent the ideal Slashed by Tia girl? Who is she in your eyes?
The ideal Slashed by Tia girl is the girl that arrives and is not afraid to be the center of attention without any effort.
KM: What is your favorite part of running your own brand?
Feeling like I have something to take care of, it’s like my kid!
KM: How are you managing school work with the rapid growth of Slashed by Tia?
I’m barely managing! I really don’t know, I just kind of bulldoze through and check off each thing at a time. But I love what I do—school is pretty cool and I understand the importance of it so I’m happy to take everything on board.
KM: What do you attribute most to your success thus far?
Showing my most recent collection at the Grand Intercontinental in Paris with most of my loved ones present.
KM: What motivates you to continue producing new collections?
The few girls I interact with every day who tell me they’re battling school and also want to work on what they’re passionate about and that it’s inspiring to see me do it. I can never let them down so I’ll never stop!