Friday, July 16, 2010

The Original Bootlings by Ayo Shittu: Creative Designs for the Fashion Urbanista!

Are you asking yourself where did those designs in the pictures above come from? Maybe you are asking who crafted the African inspired designs. There is only 1 answer: Ayo Shittu. I believe every little girl and some little boys have had the desire to make the world beautiful with their creations. Ranging from music and beat manufacturing to jewelry and fashion design, the world deserves to be influenced and fashionable at the hands of creative persons. It is no doubt in my mind that Ayo Shittu was anointed with that same desire. Ayo is a remarkable fashion design and fashion editor with Uzuri Magazine. She is beyond creative, motivating and inspiring. I mean when you look at her fashion design that are inspired by her roots in Africa, it is undeniable that she creates and supplement the beauty that already exists. Ayo fabricates designs exhilarated by african animal prints and fur. Those designs range from faux fur shawls and clothing to the latest production of the boot inspired Bootling. The Bootling was created to go on like a sock up to compliment any pair of shoes and give any outfit a totally different look. Ayo says "Bootlings are about the urbanista, the around the way girl that may only have a dime in her pocket, but can walk out the house looking “vogue”. They make the average t-shirt and jeans look like a totally different outfit put together by Project Runway. They are an upgrade for your whole look." Ayo states that this is the hottest fashion for 2010 and beyond and I must confer, the bootling has ALREADY totally revolutionized the way I think about fashion. Ayo has proven and continues to set trends that will continue to inspire and change the way you look and think about fashion.

The Bootling was first worn by Niva, the Soul Diva around New York. New York to me is a fashion mecca and Ayo, was the FIRST to bless its streets with this HOT clothing and shoe accessory. Niva who considers herself a hiphop soul artist has established relationships with many fashion designers to get what she calls “an edge.” Niva states that "her closest designer associations are with Ayo Shittu's fashions in Houston Texas who designs outfits for niva’s performances and personal appearances. Mrs Shittu referred to her Niva designs as the “urban diva look." It is undeniable that Ayo created the bootling with what she calls the "urbanistas" in mind. Ayo disclosed that "The individual urbanista may not be able to shop at Saks Fith Avenu or walk out of Nordstrom with 6 bags of Prada shoes, but she can sport what ever outfit she wants in “bootlings” and light up the streets of Brooklyn,NY." I say not just NY, but all states where the urban population dwell, especially Texas. I and a few of my collegues will be wearing the bootlings proudly, during the Texas Urban Music Summit 3. Our plan is to showcase Ayo's fashion and present it to the urban cowgirls of this great state! What's so great about the bootling is that its reasonably priced and affordable for the urban teeny bopper to the urban single mom that refuses to compromise her beauty. Ayo describes her fashions best in this statement, "My creations are more than just accessories or a quick fix money maker targeted only for what some consider high society. These shoe accessories are a social movement. They are about being compfortable about where ever you are in life and making the best of it." Whether you live in 5th ward, TX, Compton, CA or Brooklyn, NY high fashion can be represented wearing “bootlings”. They are the boldest fashion statement. I second that motion!

The bootling is so great and buzzworthy its design idea has been copied. Ayo says "Its disappointing that my originals are being copy-catted, but in a way that’s telling me, “hey Ayo, there’s really something to these”. I must have done something right to grab NY, the toughest fashion critic in America’s attention. But, for someone else to attempt to take the full credit in the originality for my work, I just cannot get down with that. This is what is called taking someone else’s idea and not giving credit to the author. Webster’s dictionary defines it as plagarism. College students get expelled for that." The culprit to exhibit the highest form of plagarism is Dekkori. When and where Dekkori stole the idea and begin selling it as their own is unclear. My guess would be when Niva, the Soul Diva first blazed New York streets with them and was swarmed by paparazzi back in late 2009. Of course with any type of piracy, the original is never copied exactly and the intricate details that only lies in the mind of the origniator are missed through and through. Ayo's Bootling is trademarked with animal prints or fur. Dekkori's attempt to make the design their own, left off the one of the greatest assets, Ayo's trademark. Since Dekkori didnt bother to find the originator of this design to give credit where credit is due, they wouldnt know that the name of this fabulous creation is the bootling and as a result they call it the "Ankle Wrap". Yet their version extends well beyond the ankle... Call me crazy but if they went through so much trouble to steal another's design idea, you'd think they went a step further to give it a better name. I like bootling, because I think of cuffling. I've seen men go to great lengths to have their favorite pair of cufflings at their fingertips when they need them most. Because of Ayo, women have one more luxury at their finger tips. What Ayo wants most is credit for the design. I say she deserves way more than that. Ayo's copyright and patend for her design is pending.

I think its critical to know that fashion designs are one of if not the most pirated original. According to Christine Magdo, of Harvard Law School ( "The copying of fashion design originals – “knocking off” or “affordable interpretation,” depending on your point of view – is a practice that designers may have grudgingly accepted in the past, when less expensive copies took some time to reach stores and only those consumers who could afford the designer-label originals could be the first to follow a trend. This practice is now costing designers dearly as more advanced technology makes it possible to see high-quality copies appear in stores before the original has even hit the market. While it has long been the practice of the American fashion industry to knock off European designs, American designers traditionally did not copy one another." Sure you can go to any block of ChinaTown in New York, or down to Harwin in Houston and get your share of imitated labels and designs and for some that just may be the highest form of flattery. For Ayo, its a slap in the face because it wasnt created for high fashion, but for the urbanistas inspired by high fashion designs. Christine Magdo also states that, designers claim that design piracy cuts into their longstanding franchise of exclusivity, lowers their sales volume, and ultimately removes incentives for creativity...Knocking-off is rampant in the fashion industry and even those designers who fume over being copied are not above doing it themselves." The problem with design piracy in the U.S. is that there arent enough laws to protect the designers are their designs. According to , "Design piracy, the blatant copying of another's designs, is akin to counterfeiting without affixing the fake designer label. Sadly, because of a lack of adequate legal protection, design piracy has become a way of life in the fashion industry in the U.S. Design piracy is unfair to designers and is detrimental to competition within the fashion industry. It effectively allows others to plagiarize the original designer's creative ideas and reap the benefits of the creator's labor and assumption of risk. The U.S. legal system plays a key role in maintaining a fair playing field for businesses across a wide range of industries. However, the current intellectual property laws in the United States do not offer effective protections to ensure fair competition within the fashion industry." You can help stop design piracy by signing the petition on

Ayo continues to strive and create designs with the urbanista in mind. Because of the geniusness of her work, Im sure there will be even more designs copied. As the saying goes, often duplicated but never imitated. Artists and designers beware just because they are not yet circulating on the market does not mean that there is no regeristration behind them. Designers and musicians in particular should be extremely cautious about the rights to their work. People are always looking to take credit for ideas that are not their own. With that said, Ayo, I commend you and the work that you do! Please keep on producing designs for divas like myself! Check out Ayo's designs in Niva, the Soul Diva's video "Food Stamps" and hear an exclusive radio interview with Ayo. Just click below. Until next time Divas and Urbanistas alike, Im MsNightLyfe, supporting our independent, up and coming artists, designers, and entrepreneurs! Get Familiar!

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