Gloria Ogunyinka was born and raised in Milton Keynes. The designer lived in the same house for 21 years before moving to Norwich to study Fashion Design. The garments picked for this exhibition include photographs taken in Shenley Brook End, an estate in Milton Keynes that she will always consider home.
SPOT THE REAL THUG is a satirical collection focussing on the designer’s Nigerian and Liverpudlian heritage, taking inspiration from the football hooliganism of the 1980s. Ogunyinka describes the collection’s intention: “to provoke conversation about what it means to be mixed race, growing up in a world where they're considered half of something, and never quite enough to be considered truly either.”
The collection’s name derives from a newspaper article published in the 1980s on how to ‘spot’ a football hooligan simply by how they dressed. The article inspired Ogunyinka to look at how black men are statistically more likely to be accused of committing a crime on the basis of racial profiling and dress, while white men are frequently given the benefit of the doubt, regardless of the crime. This is a topic which Ogunyinka feels strongly about, especially after the fatal shooting in 2012 of Trayvon Martin, a teenager in Florida, and the way the case was handled.