Dunsin Wright on Creating Tems’ Headline-Grabbing Style Moments
The Nigerian stylist has more than kept up with Tems’ rise in global fame, matching the singer’s dazzling ascent with one captivating look after another.
She’s responsible for dressing one of the biggest African artists right now, but Dunsin Wright wasn’t always certain she wanted to work in fashion. You’d never know this by the confident approach she’s taken to making sure Tems stands out whenever she steps out. The stylist and creative director has been working with the global superstar for most of Tems’ time in the limelight – which includes an Oscar nomination for co-writing Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” from the Black Panther 2 soundtrack and a Grammy award for her work with Future and Drake.
Growing in Lagos, Wright had been encouraged to chase a degree that would lead her to a white collar job. But by the time she was at university, she began to realize the passion she had for fashion could help chart her future. After completing a degree in politics and international relations, Wright decided to start working in fashion PR. A few career turns later, she found herself at the designer Lisa Folawiyo, where she met her future star client and close friend, Tems. Today, two years in, the two have a close-knit friendship and working relationship: Wright has been the mastermind behind some of Tems most career-defining fashion moments, from the Oscars to the Met Gala.
OkayAfrica spoke to Wright about the process behind putting together Tems’ red carpet appearances, why Robert Wun is a go-to, and her other creative endeavors.
The interview below has been edited for length and clarity.
How exactly did you make the transition from fashion PR to working as a stylist?
I moved back to Lagos and started working in-house with the brand Lisa Folawiyo which gave me so much experience because it was a very small team. I had the opportunity to be very hands-on with every stage of production. It gave me a better idea of what I was the best at – doing all the shoots, styling the pieces, the production element, getting everybody together, and also coming up with a creative strategy. I realized, as well, that I wasn’t really into designing per se.
How did your working relationship with Tems start?
I was working at Lisa Folawiyo at the time, and I met someone from Tems’ team who said that Tems was trying to have a press shoot and asked if I’d be available to style it. I remember Tems was quite specific about the kinds of looks that she wanted. She sent me a whole document on all the different vibes and ideas that she had. I’d put them together, had my ideas, and got some clothes together. And we’ve had this shot and we just really fell in love. It was just an instant connection. We continued working from then and it has been amazing.