Nigerian fashion designer David Lewis ’15 is the founder of Lewini, a design-thinking clothing company reinventing the use of colors in everyday unisex clothing. After his second year of studying Global Economics and Management at English-speaking Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, David has entered into cooperation with a Bremen Fashion House.
David grew up in Nigeria in a close-knit family with four brothers. Even as a young boy, he recalls rejecting and arguing about the clothes that were picked out for him. David always had his own sense of style. At around seven or eight years old, David was granted the freedom to choose his own outfits. This opportunity truly ignited his passion for fashion. As is customary in Nigerian culture for special occasions, David and his family had their clothes made by a tailor for special occasions.
Eager to stand out and find his own identity in a family of five boys, David started fabric shopping with his mother and dreaming up his own designs for the tailor to make. However, it was not until David’s second year at ALA that he considered designing for others. On days David was not wearing his ALA uniform, he expressed himself through his attire. At ALA his peers soon began to notice his unique and inspired fashion sense and inquired if David could bring similar pieces back with him from Nigeria for them.
The demand for his clothing increased when David completed the Yale Young Global Scholars Program after his first year at ALA. His peers in the US were also asking if they could purchase his clothes.
The combination of David’s knowledge from his entrepreneurship studies and his keen sense of style enabled him to take his passion to the next level. During his second year at ALA, he completed a pilot of a small clothing company on campus.
This pilot changed everything for David as he witnessed the possibility of his passion turn into a thriving business. This early indication of success pushed David to take a gap year after completing his studies at ALA during which he further developed and piloted his business idea. David’s goals and ideas have evolved today. He is determined to build a product, a brand, and most importantly his own company.
Today, David’s line, Lewini, is found in the Bremen menswear shop called Kontrast Männermode. The owner, Holger Mertins, was exposed to David’s talent through articles he came across in the regional newspaper. David designed his first line for them in March and is in the process of designing further collections as they have been received well by customers. His designs are defined by individuality and the concept that ”everyday is a runway’. David’s pieces enable his customers to stand out and express their own identities.
David Lewis (left), owner of fashion label “Lewini” together with Holger Mertins (right), owner of the Bremen menswear shop “KONTRAST” Männermode
Although he is only 21 years old and still in university, David has plans for creating impactful change on the African continent by building his company with employment and economic empowerment at the forefront of its mission. In the next few months, this young entrepreneur will be launching his own online shop and plans to create further partnerships with clothing stores in Bremen and the surrounding areas.