If you have been recently anywhere close to your computer, you have probably heard about or seen pictures of the dynamic duo, Dynasty and Soull Ogun. These twins run their own clothes and jewelry lines, BRZÉ and Alkhemi9, bringing a spectacular and thoughtful approach to fashion design. Mirroring their tastes for blurred lines of gender, they have now merged their individual lines to create L’Enchanteur, a new lifestyle brand. As these twins have the potential to be household names in design, we thought we would give our readers a peek into the minds of Dynasty and Soull. Here, dapperQ discusses with the twins about their process of designing and styling their clothes.
DQ: With your feature on Stylelikeu, cameo in Jesse Boykins III “Before the Night is Through,” another cameo with Jesse and Melo-X in “Black Orpheus,” and a collaboration with Tresse Agoche and Delphine Diallo on the HIGHNESS project, the two of you and your designs have enthralled the denizens of cyberspace. Can you give an introduction? Who are Dynasty and Soull Ogun?
Soull: I’m Soull Ogun—actually, Soull Ogunmoyin. “Ogun” for short. I am a student of this world, learning my path, as well as transforming into a teacher to teach myself along the journey. I am a metalsmith specializing in jewelry. I am an artist. I’m a brain. I’m an architect. I also work with Dynasty Ogun, who is my identical twin sister and together we make the lifestyle brand, L’Enchanteur. That means the Enchanted Ones.
Dynasty: I am an artist—student of life and wonder. Scientist. I am an expression. A vessel. I’m just someone who wants to create worlds, universes and dimensions through my work and then destroy it all. I am a point of view.
DQ: So, how did you start designing? Was there an “aha” moment or something of that sort?
Soull: There kind of was an “aha” moment, but I’m starting to know all moments are kinda of like aha…if you get what that moment is for you. It’s like a revelation of something that obviously was always there…. There was simply an unveiling that gives the “aha…now I see.”
Dynasty: There was never really a start. It was more of something that was waiting to happen. I come from a very creative, artistic family. So, it was basically something to be rediscovered.
DQ: How would you describe your journey as designers so far? Are there any events that have stuck out for you?
Soull: The journey as a designer is the same as journeying through life. It’s thrilling and it teaches patience. Like watching a beautiful Amaryllis, which is an amazing plant. Get one or two. There are periods when you want the process to speed up and go faster but you know deeply that there is a natural process, whether it is fast or slow—it is just about flowing and creating steadiness. There is a form of patience that I’ve learned to adopt, like letting a beautiful moment happen. If you’re patient enough to witness it, you receive a reward larger than anything you can possess. I read a line in a book that I have adopted as one of the words that flash in my mind when I’m heading toward a goal: “It’s not only about being a millionaire, it’s WHO you have the opportunity of becoming during the journey of getting there.”
Dynasty: The journey so far is exciting and intriguing. It’s always a great realization of self through these experiences. You don’t really know what you’ve created until after the fact. The design process is major and honestly it’s a product of my spiritual journey. Every event sticks out for me. Nothing is more special than the other. Everything is synchronized. Everything is part of the pattern.
DQ: Both of your designs tend to reflect a range of themes, such as spirituality and hybridity. Do you see these themes? And, if they are intentional, is there a story behind this?
Soull: I see what I imagine and I imagine what I see. Themes are always in our lives regardless of whether they’re intentional or subliminal; creative work or noncreative work. I think the themes I reflect are stories that seem hidden, but I don’t think anything is hidden. I just believe once you take the time to see or have a vision, as opposed to just looking, you can unfold all the themes and create more. I use themes as simple as shapes, math, etc… and add layers on them, as well as strip the layers, creating new forms by using ancient ones. And, there is always a story behind a theme. Sometimes the story is there isn’t a story.
Dynasty: Yes. Well like I said before, my work, craft, art, or whatever you’d to call it, is an extension of a higher order. It’s like magic. It lives through me. There is always a level of intent when doing magic. As I grow and change and reach higher realms of spirit and thought, my work reflects that.
DQ: For the sake of curiosity, could you explain if there are more themes—hidden or obvious?
Soull: Both hidden and obvious.
Dynasty: Well, the obvious is what people automatically get when they look at the work on the surface and that’s the beauty of the world. It’s really up to the observer, if you are curious enough to dig deeper and pierce the veil to find what’s hidden. I can’t do the work. It’s for the observer to figure out.
DQ: Would you say being twins has influenced your designs? Do your designs complement each other or are they separate?
Soull: Being a twin has influenced my design because my twin is my reflection, as I am hers. I won’t stop a design because she doesn’t like it, but I will think twice because it’s a part of me that is giving advice on it. Our lines compliment because they are both part of a larger picture…what’s a tree without a bark.
Dynasty: Yes, it influences and inspires constantly. We are all reflections of each other, but to have an identical reflection, it always reminder of the divine to me. So, yes, I have a living, walking, talking mirror. The best thing about our work, to me, is that they do both. They complement each other AND they are separate; like us.
DQ: Some artists have rituals or contingencies that must be in place for them to create, for instance, painting barefoot. Do either of you have any? Is there a reason why or why not?
Soull: I don’t really know if I have something specific. I just know I space out. One, you want to be careful when using a torch that is about 1500degreesF, but also, it’s where I like to go into—deep space, within self. I just use my hands, as they are tools.
Dynasty: Um. I don’t have anything specific. I feel life is like a ritual in itself. A realization…something that sets that fire ablaze. I can say, if I’m feeling blocked, I like to get really quiet and still in the dark and let my inner thoughts come to surface. Clearing the mind is very important to me. Letting go of all the extra chatter. Some people think it’s deep and profound. It’s just meditation.
DQ: Your style (in your fashion and design) has a captivating and new energy. Do you have any odd things -good or bad- that happen as a result?
Soull: Bad, I get stared at. Good, I get stared at. I could be in the neighborhood I grew up in and I get looks as if I just landed from outer space. I laugh ‘cause at the end of the day I did. HA!
Dynasty: Not yet. [laughs]. That’s what new energy brings; something unexplainable. So many odd things happen. It becomes kinda normative. Good or bad is really in the eye of the beholder…like Beauty.
DQ: From a viewer’s point of view, it is hard to place down your style as one thing—sometimes you look casual, other times you look majestically formal — are there some influences you could explain to us that will make us more familiar with your style?
Soull: Seriously, I can be inspired by a homeless bum. I can be inspired by a caterpillar. ANYTHING. It’s all about delivery and how I can utilize the inspiration. I’m inspired by queens, kings, servants, court jesters…I don’t have a clue, but whatever it is, it’s about the essence of what it can be transformed into.
Dynasty: A lot of ancient peoples and places of the world or universe; the Moors; the Caribbean to name a few. There are so many levels of inspiration that it’s drawn from. I was heavily inspired by the reggae dancehall culture at a period. It was crazy. …Dreams of the old world. Every culture is a part of me so it’s easy to pull from things and make it my own. I like putting a twist on things.
DQ: Big question: Do “labels” influence your design, style, or life?
Soull: NOPE. I shop at the 99c store and Target (pronounced TAR-JEY).
Dynasty: Labels don’t influence my design at all. I am inspired by brands that have built lifestyle houses and have expanded their work in other fields of design. I aspire to accomplish that as well. The homeless inspire my style, design, and life more than a label does.
DQ: What are your “essentials”?
Soull: HAT, glasses, Alkhemi9, BRZÉ, great shoes, greater bag…I think everything is an essential.
Dynasty: A long beak hat, a backpack, BRZÉ bottoms and top. A necklace from Alkhemi9; some comfy shoes (I walk a lot); a good book… I am very minimal. You gotta ask Soull. [laughs].
DQ: Do you have any designers you admire? Also, do you have any economic or ethical philosophy on buying clothes?
Soull: I do admire Cartier—amazing quality, amazing craftsmanship—and Alexander McQueen, who brought the art back into the art of design.
Dynasty: Honestly, I’m really feeling what Alexander McQueen was doing and has done and the way in which he showcased his craft—the details, the craftsmanship, and the stories… It worked for him and I admire his talent. I have no philosophy really on purchasing clothes. It really depends the person, and people change. Economics and ethics change constantly. Philosophies change as well.
DQ: What’s your world like at the moment? Do you have any current projects you are working on?
Soull: At the moment, Dynasty and I are working on our first collection for L’Enchanteur, our lifestyle brand. We are also working with amazing talents such as Tresse Agoche and Delphine Diallo, on the HIGHNESS project, aiming to debut in early 2013. And whatever comes before and after. I’m open to receive the platform to unveil beautiful work with stories that connect the universe.
Dynasty: Fun, chaotic, creative, so many things to say about it, but it’s exactly what it should be. We are currently working on releasing our first collection together as a lifestyle brand, L’Enchanteur, in February during Fashion Week. We have also been invited to present our work in Berlin, which we are really excited about. We have a collaborative project with Tressé Agoche and Delphine Diallo called “Highness.” BRZÉ will be featured in a short film, which will begin shooting in December. We are also made a cameo in Jesse Boykins III and Melo X’s new video “Black Orpheus” from their new album Zulu Guru. Plenty more to come.
DQ: Where do you see yourself and your clothing lines about 3 years from now? (You get my no jinx guarantee.)
Soull: I see myself as one of the creators of the top lifestyle brand in the world. I’m no longer concerned with what someone else is doing but what we are doing to bring forth a refreshing breath of air that creates palettes for people to be inspired from. I see it everywhere across the planet—still exclusive to those who accept it, but definitely around the world. We work in the form of luxury adornments, which in a lovely world everyone can experience. Until then, we will have a lifestyle brand that will change the view of lifestyle brands and pioneer to create work that beautifies as well as it connects.
Dynasty: I see making a major impact on the world with works and artistry. Our brand(s) will expand to countries I’ve read and dreamed about. I see my work in boutiques as well as galleries and museums… Just taking it a day at a time. The journey of the unknown is exciting as well.
DQ: Advice or final words?
Soull: May the force be with you. True story.
Dynasty: Read. Study. Research. Work to know thyself.
Please support Soull and Dynasty’s campaign for fashion week on Indiegogo and check them out on Youtube.
EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE!!!. It’s amazing to see queer women who know they are women and love their femininity while expressing masculinity just as equally and beautifully. Fearless, I love seeing someone pull off any look they want and not being limited. Its not about wearing mens clothes. Hell, men clothing sucks anyway (thank GOD for unisex brands) its about expressing both halves of a divine whole. We are male AND female. We are God and Goddess. I hope that more young queer ppl will see this and understand that you dont have to conform to gender norm in society or within the LGBTQ community! You dont have to choose, and if you do choose, choose freedom like these ladies!!!!