Leading Men

Meet Yinka Ilori, the Young Man Whose Nigerian-Inspired Chairs are Telling the Story of Africa, Worldwide

yinka ilori

Yinka Ilori is a London-based furniture designer. At the age of 28, Yinka Ilori designed 60 chairs for Milan Fashion week- he sold out all his work in one year.

Yinka Ilori specializes in upcycling vintage furniture, renewing them and fixing their shaky structures. According to Yinka while talking to WGSN/Insider, “I love that the chairs have flaws, they come with their own character,”

It all started while he was in London Metropolitan University studying   Furniture and Product Design and he found inspiration in Italian designer Martino Gamper.

Martino Gamper had garnered international fame through his project 100 Chairs, where he transformed 100 old and broken chairs, reviving them to new chairs in just 100 days).

manly.ng Yinka Ilori

In the process of Ilori’s work, he had he idea to merge both his British and European heritage.By also gaining inspiration from African parables, Yinka created- magic.

According to Yinka “I tell stories through the chairs. Each product is me trying to breathe all the stories, colors, sounds and languages of Africa through the chair, while celebrating the history and character it had before.”

A description of him on his website tells us more elaborate;

“Ilori is passionately against the unnecessary waste he has seen in European and West African consumer cultures and this drives him to reuse discarded furniture and other found objects. With each custom made piece inspired by a parable, Ilori restores new life and purpose to reclaimed materials. His furniture takes on new meanings depending on how it is used or positioned. Ilori is interested in playing with the relationship between function and form and his work sits between traditional divisions of art and design.”

Image Credit: yinkailori.com

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