Welcome to Generation AP, a weekly spotlight on emerging actors, writers and creatives who are on the verge of taking over.

When fashion designer/recording artist Wavy, The Creator moved from Houston, Texas to Nigeria in 2017, she felt like an “alien.” Growing up in America, her sense of style was distinct. “I had discovered myself and gotten comfortable with who I was. I had tattoos and piercings, which was quite normal. But on relocating to Nigeria, I could feel the eyes and there were so many questions concerning my sense of style,” she says. 

However, Wavy’s panache soon fit into what's called “alté” in Nigeria. Alté means alternative and began as a subgenre of music, combining sounds from hip-hop, R&B, electronic, dancehall, and even afrobeat, with artists like Lady Donli, Odunsi the Engine, and Santi being some of the trailblazers of the movement. But throughout the 2010s, alté grew to have a style of its own, ranging from elements of grunge and goth to Y2K, which can be traced back to the looks in Nollywood movies during the 2000s. It's since become an entire subculture revolving around young artists whose personal style and music shifted away from the country's mainstream culture — and now Wavy is an up-and-coming designer among them. 

The creative moved to her parents' home country originally to work as a photographer for Afrobeat star Olamide, but found herself honing her own crafts as a musician and designer, as well. After a life-long interest in art, she decided to pick up sewing skills while briefly attending university in the US, and in 2021 she launched the upcycling, sustainable streetwear brand PIÈCE ET PATCH. Choosing leather and denim as the predominant choice of fabrics, the brand is on the rise to becoming a staple, already worn by the likes of British-Nigerian artist Obongjayar.

AP caught up with the multidisciplinary artist to talk about the budding brand and how it all began.

wavy the creator

[Courtesy of Wavy, The Creator/PIÈCE ET PATCH]

It’s been six years since you moved from Houston to Lagos. How do you feel looking back at your journey as a young creative? 

I think it's been an exciting roller coaster. My decision to [move to Nigeria] was very impromptu and it gave me room to explore different outlets for my creativity. I came back as a photographer for Olamide and being able to transition from that has been a wholesome experience. I have been able to expand myself as a creative, while enjoying every single process. [Within] the first six months, I had the opportunity to travel to London, Ghana, Ukraine, and other places. I got to experience different things and different cultures, which gave me so much insight and made me the creative I am today.

Have you always been a believer in sustainability, or was there an awakening that led to practicing sustainable fashion?

When I was in college, one of my friends introduced me to thrifting. We [would] go to a popular warehouse as early as 6 am to stand in line and be the first to get in so we could get the best things. I did that the first day and I immediately fell in love with it. The fact that you can buy and find unique pieces through thrifting blew me away. I knew that if people saw this piece on me, they’d come and ask me, “Oh my God, where did you get that?” That feeling of uniqueness made me feel good, and from then I fell in love with thrifting and sustainable fashion — which transitioned into PIÈCE ET PATCH. 

Initially, the plans for the brand started about three years ago. I thought to myself, 'I thrift so much and I always have all these excess clothes, what can I do with them?' 'It occurred to me that I can take these clothes and make them into brand-new designs where they are one-of-one pieces, while selling them after carefully and ethically selecting and sourcing them. The pieces from the brand are all taken apart and reconstructed into something new. That's where the idea for PIÈCE ET PATCH came from.

Did your crossover from music to fashion in any way inspire your designs for PIÈCE ET PATCH?

Generally, I don't see it as a crossover because I am still doing music. I dropped my first-ever body of work in 2021 and am currently working on more music this year. In the beginning, I tried weaving through fashion, photography, and music. It became a lot to juggle. But right now, I am at a stage where I am learning to balance everything that I do and do them simultaneously. I am going to push out music, as well as my collection. 

Coming out of 2021 into 2022, I had to push fashion in the way that I did because I needed to let people know what I was bringing to the fashion world. Now that I have been able to do that, I want to be able to do both music and fashion at the same time.


[Courtesy of Wavy, The Creator/PIÈCE ET PATCH]

What has the reception from PIÈCE ET PATCH been like? 

We were able to showcase pieces from the brand at [the annual streetwear convention] Street Souk in December. It was a very exciting and heartwarming experience because it was the brand’s first-ever drop, while also introducing our stuff to people. At Street Souk, when people came to our stall, the way [they] reacted to it, and explaining to them that this is sustainable fashion — I felt like the whole concept of the brand was a fresh idea. Our best attraction of the day was [to] the denim pants bag — people’s reactions towards the bag were amazing, and it made the brand feel like we were on the right track.

What inspired the recent "Reviviscent Uns" collection, which dropped in 2022?

"Reviviscent Uns” means reviving and coming alive. It's like giving strength and giving power to something that was once dead, which explains what the ethos of the brand is all about. We are reusing old items and giving them new lives.

What next can we expect from PIÈCE ET PATCH?

There’s so much coming. We’ve been planning from the beginning of the new year and being intentional with everything we are going to be doing this year, making sure it also represents the brand to the fullest. There is this feeling of not knowing what to expect — and I love it. Because I and the team don't know what to expect with the way we create, we also allow ourselves to be free-thinkers, as well. That’s how we created the [denim] bag. It was something we didn't plan for. The idea sprung up because of the process we were in — and we want to continue creating like that.