Designer Nathalie Chebou Moth is the founder of women’s fashion label OMÔL. The brand launched in Cameroon in 2020, with the aim of offering culturally-rich, contemporary garments at affordable prices.
“We at the cross roads between traditional and modern,” they state on their site.
OMOL is underpinned by an ethos of eco-consciousness and community upliftment. All of their clothing is made using upcycled material, while they nurture and provide employment to a team of local artisans and craftsmen.
Their latest collection, Le Premier Bureau D’Experimentation, celebrates revolutionary, avant-garde women.
Glamour SA chatted exclusively with Nathalie to find out more about her new collection and vision for the brand.
What is the ethos of OMÔL?
We are a fashion brand that embodies modern, African stories. I believe our continent is rich, and more than anything else, has an irreverent colour, imbued with both tradition and modernity.
We tell these stories through each capsule collection, for instance:
“WARDROBE ESSENTIALS” recalls the rigour and simplicity with which we were educated while keeping in mind the transgression that defines African youth. “LES GRANDES VACANCES” celebrates the joy of all getting-back together while recalling the notion of trans-seasonality in which OMÔL believes. “LE PREMIER BUREAU” that celebrates authentic women and self-love.
How does OMÔL champion sustainability in its production/clothing?
For us, a fabric that pollutes less is one that already exists. We source our fabrics and materials from deadstocks all around the world and in local markets.
OMÔL does not believe in seasons, as they differ from country to country. Instead, we try to capture the mood of a season in garments that can be worn all year round. This concept was in fact the inspiration behind our collection Les Grandes Vacances, which aimed to encapsulate the freedom of summer.
We also believe that sustainability comes from a more human-oriented model. The heart of our brand is our team, and in an effort to create a link between you and us, each of our clothes and accessories is signed by the artisan who crafted it.
Tell us about your latest lookbook, LE PREMIER BUREAU D’EXPERIMENTATION?
The premier bureau is considered as the “main chick” in french-speaking African countries. Although this expression is supposed to be a source of pride and reassurance, it is often seen as derogatory and objectifies women for the male gaze.
Through this collection, we wanted to reclaim that expression and celebrate the woman as not being anyone's “premier bureau.” She is revolutionary woman who loves herself, is ambitious, independent, and confident.
What inspired you to create this collection?
As a woman myself, I wanted to tell a fashion story about celebration. This collection is the complete wardrobe of the fine and free-minded women we all looked up to when we were young. A woman who is charismatic, fearless, and does things solely for herself.
What inspires your designs?
I think women find genuine enjoyment in getting dressed. It’s a way to affirm our personality and tell the world what inspires us. Africa inspires me. We all know the stereotypical Parisian woman, the New-Yorker, the Stokholmer - but have you ever been to Lagos, Dakar, Douala or Bamako? I am inspired by these women, as they don’t need any occasion to be dressed-up, they are the occasion. They are the moment.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
OMÔL is a vibrant and colorful brand. Our aesthetic is modern, edgy, and feminine, with particular care given to textures and prints.
What do you want OMÔL clothing to represent?
I always wanted a feeling of pride and irreverence to be felt in OMÔL. We represent the pride of being African and the pride of being a woman.
Who is the ideal OMÔL woman?
I don’t think that there is an ideal OMÔL but she is certainly bold and is clearly her own inspiration.
What is your ultimate goal for OMÔL as a brand?
I want our brand to be more than just a brand. I want us to personify a sustainable, conscious lifestyle.