Ugo feels that guys like him are leading the way for other males who are scared to be more open to self-expression in their fashion, and I hope it’s true. I remember being so impressed with Ugo’s absolutely carefree explanation of his sequined, Michael Jackson-inspired cardigan and how it came from his mother’s closet. It struck me as especially forward and confident that a “boy who likes girls” thought nothing of digging for female clothes to wear (although I am partly loathe to adhere to any of these stereotypes of who likes whom, because if there is anything I have gotten from these interviews, it is that we are hopefully heading for a time when these labels disappear altogether). Always a “black sheep among the white ones” or “the shepherds,” as he puts it, Ugo and his best friend from high school, Quinn Aston, design a collection that is unisex and they wear it all.
Ugo is a lover of the richness of historical references, like the Egyptians’ passion for jewelry, which can be seen in his chunky metal necklaces, or the classic and romantic – see his signature jodhpurs. However, he also draws from contemporary culture, like the bulletproof-inspired vest and accompanying chest shield that came from his younger brother’s love for Aerosoft guns. What touches me the most is how Ugo’s Nigerian roots have influenced him and his sensitivity to the gifts of his parents’ culture. “It’s like stepping into another world. They mostly value art, family and friendship…they accept you for who you are…they have no money, eat once or twice a day, and are happy. They are very connected.”