Lizzy and Darlene Okpo would have been in nursing school on the path to a reliable living right now if their father had his way. Thankfully, WilliamOkpo, after whom the sisters’ new line is named, didn’t know that his lifelong attention to clothes, a traditional but meticulously ironed wardrobe of button-down shirts and slacks, had inspired his daughters toward a different path. “When we were young he would buy our dresses, not mom,” says Darlene. A paternal approach to womenswear flavors William Okpo’s mature collection of reversible wool overcoats and silk shirts with sheer insets, and after seeing the finished product, its namesake revealed the family’s hidden sartorial roots: Lizzy and Darlene’s paternal grandfather once owned his own textile factory. “During the Nigerian-Biafrin war they lost everything,” says Lizzy. “So, my dad feels like we’re resurrecting what was gone.” Dad’s tacit approval has replanted seeds for future generations.
Styling by Deidre Dyer