“It was the first time somebody ever told me that,” he recalled, “and it broke the shell. The neighborhood I came from, kids weren’t really told that you could become something. People don’t say that kind of stuff. So to have a friend of mine tell me, ‘If you made this, I’d buy it,’ really sat well with me.
“And now that I’m looking back, I realize how far it took me. The moment was really special.”
Nigerian-born and an immigrant to the United States at age 9, Okoro – Davy to his friends – had always been the creative, messier, left-handed twin to his more straight-laced sister Destiny, now a pre-med student at Cornell University. He loved to draw, sing and write, and was fascinated by the clothes he saw on television – especially those worn by Michael Jackson, Jeffrey L. Williams (Young Thug), Symere Woods (Lil Uzi Vert), Jordan Carter (Playboi Carti) and Virgil Abloh, creative director of Kayne West’s clothing line Off-White and artistic director for Louis Vuitton.
When the COVID-19 quarantine hit in early 2020, Okoro convinced his parents to let him remain in Charlottesville – “New York felt more dangerous” at that point, he said – where he holed up in a hotel room with his nursing books, laptop, sketch pads, a direct-to-garment heat press and some T-shirts. Alone for two months, save his interaction with faculty and fellow nursing students online, Okoro took a deep breath, and began.