*Please hear this in my best Jay Z voice*
Allow me to re-introduce myself, my name is A, B-to-the-E-O, known to friends and family as Samiat, but here, you can call me ÁBĒÓ. I am the founder and Creative Director of ÓYÁ ÁBĒÓ. And just in case you were wondering how to pronounce the brand's name or what it all means, I'm going to tell you in a just a little minute.
ÓYÁ ÁBĒÓ is pronounced o-yaa a-beh-ow and the name is eponymous, but not in the western sense. I'm Yoruba and as a Yoruba person, I have an Oriki. An Oriki is a praise name that all Yoruba people have. Think of it as a secret poetic name that is uttered at the best times to inspire valiance, beauty and an outpour of love in the bearer of the name. It's also what your lover calls you in private moments.
I share mine with my grandmother, who is also named ÁBĒÓ and this brand was inspired by my her savior faire. I grew up watching my grandmother get glammed up for parties she'd host. Taking delicate care with everything from the lace she wore, to her jewelry, to the silver dishes she used to serve her guests.
My sold fabric in markets in Lagos Island in the 70s, 80s and 90s. During this time, she traveled around markets around the world from Cairo to Rio sourcing unique items and fabrics. She taught me to love color, textiles, high karat gold, Sunny Ade's synchro system (watching her wiggle her behind to this will always be one of my favorite childhood memories), foreign sweets, and delicious food served in impeccable tableware. From a concoction of these nuggets of wisdom and the spirit of saying the word ÓYÁ! (c’mon in Yoruba), Oya Abeo was born.
ps. ÓYÁ is a Yoruba word and Lagosian slang that translates to a very enthusiastic and playful c'mon. C'mon let's go, let's dance, let's get dressed up and get into some good trouble. It’s that kind of spirit and it is 100% what I hope you feel every time you spend time with us.