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February 13, 2019

Grooming Tips with Fashion Designer Wal Oyjid

It would be an understatement to say multihyphenate Wal Oyjid is a man of many talents. Oyjid quit his job as a lawyer when he felt the pull to embrace his creativity instead of running from it. Fast-forward to 2014 when he launched his menswear brand, Ikir Jones, which quickly garnered attention when his designs were featured on the big screen (most recently in box-office blockbuster, Black Panther). Inspired by his Nigerian heritage, Oyjid works to create functional but stylish clothes and accessories that connect his pieces to his background. Designs are only part of the appeal, though. Everything produced by Ikir Jones is made with fair labor practices in the USA. At this point youre probably thinking, is there anything this lawyer-musician-writer-designer can't do? We sat down with him to find out.

Birchbox: Whats the most essential part of your morning routine?

Oyjid: The quick gaze in the mirror that says: Be easy on yourself. Youre doing alright.

Birchbox: How do you see the role of grooming in your day-to-day life?

Oyjid: Its a great way to get ones head on straight for the day. Youre beginning to present your best physical self. But in the process, youre allowing yourself mental space to ease into the cockpit for the maelstrom of the oncoming day.

Birchbox: So, what prompted you to take the extra step and spend more time on grooming?

Oyjid: Men, in general, are becoming more aware of the importance of taking care of themselves. All of us are on a slow, gentle spiral toward being washed up. But theres no reason our skin shouldnt look great on the way there.

Birchbox: Is there any particular product you cant live without?

Oyjid: I pity the survivalist group that ends up stuck with me when the world ends and I have no contact lens solution left.

Birchbox: Whats your go-to treat yourself or self-care activity?

Oyjid: Without a doubt: a good, long soak in a bathtub is highly underrated. If one doesnt come out wrinkly and half-forgotten by his closest loved ones, he has done it wrong.

Birchbox: All time favorite thing youve ever read, watched, or listened to?

Oyjid: Impossible to answer succinctly. But, here are some selections for all three: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid. In the Mood For Love by Wong Kar Wai. Made in the Manor by Kano.

Birchbox: What is the first thing you would do if you had unlimited free time?

Oyjid: Read more, so I could write better.

Birchbox: If you had to pick one game to play, what would you pick?

Oyjid: Resident Evil 4. While being cheered on by a daughter who warns you when an army of zombies is lurking behind the cornerits good parenting.

Looking for more Wal? Check out his menswear line, Ikir Jones, and the video we did with him where we seriously put his wits to the test in a game of, er, Connect Four.