AMBASSADOR OF THE ORIGINAL CHAPTER
Bayode has been chosen as a NEW CHIEFTAIN, simply because of his perseverance in the world of design via Pokit, bringing traditional
bespoke british craftsmanship with his own personal twist to his carefully curated list of clients. His outspoken straight up approach to life is as important as it is refreshing.
I’m Bayode. At Pokit we are an English menswear brand, successful in suits, jeans, and bags- they are beautifully made, avant garde English designs. It’s a very difficult thing to describe- it’s design, it’s process, its product. All these things fuse together in our work where by it never looks ordinary but it looks familiar and it’s quite distorted- refracted through our own particular lens.
What’s in a name?
We started off making bags simply that’s it, within 6 months we rolled out a collection and opened a shop which is 20 years ago so the name kind of stuck; but as we’ve matured and grown our philosophy changed, so even though it still from the House of Pokit we are changing the names of things. So the bags will still be called Pokits because that’s our original product; the suits are going to be called something more suitable for collection suits.
Pokit is producing special items for…
They are just people who are top of their game in whatever they do, but mostly they’re from the arts and creatives, also judges, barristers and anybody who has the eye and who can seize with their hands, who gets it straight away. But we don’t discriminate we are not stush- we have our rules but everyone is welcome. 39 plus one is the age range you’re never 40, you’re always 39 and whatever!
Material of choice
I don’t have one. I tend to go for what I call ‘honest materials’, I get the things that have longevity, high performance, things that are hard wearing, things that give value. Not things that signal that it costs a lot of money, it’s usually the opposite. We always use English fabrics and English materials, they’re tried and tested, they have proved themselves for many centuries.
Room for negotiation.
We often get requests for crazy materials and designs and 99. 9% of the time we say no because we don’t do requests- people think that we’re tailors and I hate it. What you have here is the luxury or privilege of having your suit fitted by a designer. We design them and fit them the way we want, it’s a negotiation but we don’t do requests.
Luxury to me is having someone pick out the pips in your strawberries, it’s time-consuming and it a better experience but luxury toilet paper it’s meaningless. What’s a luxury? I struggle to define what it is… things that have overly laboured, luxury is when you spend a disproportionate amount of the time making a very simple product or a very complicated product, that’s to show that you can afford to pay for someone to do that.
“I am an artist but not a serious one”
Play the ball and not the man.
I can go to a market and find a really really good suit and think ‘that’s a touch’- the accoutrements of the slick shop and the well turned out shop assistants don’t matter to me -you look at the product first. But at the same time there is a whole presentation thing, people are much more savvy about ascetics and service and it’s a bit odd when you get it wrong. I’m demanding if you’re going to be luxury – you serve me my water, it comes iced if that’s what you’re charging for, and that’s the standard of service that you are providing in your establishment, so play the ball not the man.
Proof of life.
Are we truly alive? I don’t know- it can all be an illusion. I don’t know I’m alive- how does anyone know? Well, I feel pain- that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re alive but you feel something. Maybe we are all dead, it’s a great illusion, can’t wait to be over.
Always, every day, but there are more happy moments than there are regrets. But I came up with this theory the other day -if you died, if you took your last breath you had no regrets in your life, then you haven’t had a fulfilled life, you have done very little. Either you’ve done everything amazingly well, you have never experienced life to its fullest by the pain of disappointment.
Before design there was…
I did a degree in science, chemical engineering and then worked in the Department of Health, medicine control regulation. I will always have an interest in that, keep an eye out see who’s doing what drugs, see what’s happening, why it is happening. I wonder if I stayed what would have been.
A material relationship.
My interest with material and my relationship with the material is that anything is usable, everything is usable. With Pokit we use English materials by that I mean is traditional materials, cloth, leather. I suppose materials are interesting from the point of view of a material scientist, where you are developing unusual materials or generally new materials to add to the human experience, but picking materials off a shelf isn’t worthy of comment!
Interests, Everything and nothing
It changes all the time. You are what you are and how you got there is moderately interesting, but nothing interests me, but everything interests me at the same time. Politics interests me- how people behave and how they respond to it.