Ogechukwu Ajibe has filled a gap in the industry with her playful plus-sized fashion—but it’s a gap she didn’t even know existed until she moved to Vancouver. “In Nigeria, almost everybody’s body is big. I didn’t know this was an issue,” she says with a laugh. In 2016, Ajibe went to fashion school and started blogging and styling, occasionally sewing her own clothes for shoots. She participated in a fashion show at SFU on a whim, and was surprised when an audience member asked to buy one of her dresses. 

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Oge AjibeHere, the designer wears her Harmony wrap top. Photo: Evaan Kheraj.

“She was a Black girl with hips and boobs, and said they didn’t make clothes like this in her size,” Ajibe remembers. She sold the dress for $55 and decided to try her hand at making custom clothing. She designed and crafted made-to-order dresses for proms, weddings and other events, and when business slowed during the pandemic, she launched her eponymous label, Oge Ajibe.

Oge AjibeHer Liberty dress doubles as a jacket. Photo: Evaan Kheraj.

Since then, the designer has expanded her studio and now employs home sewers across the city, many of them mothers with young children. Fun prints and bright colours make her work stand out from the ultra-blah neutral hues of most plus-sized fashion. “My customers are tired of wearing the same thing all the time,” says Ajibe. Her dresses, jumpsuits and lounge sets (available in XS to 6XL) are versatile, but not basic. “What I am doing is not new—I’m just doing it in a way that can fit everybody,” she says. “That’s the way it should be.” 

Oge AjibeThe gorgeous Glory dress comes in a stunning silk organza. Photo: Evaan Kheraj.

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