Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BOND OFFICIAL, Igee Okafor has redefined the modern man. Moving to New York City in 2013, he has quickly established himself as a personal-style connoisseur and an industry authority in men’s sartorialism. Collaborating with the industry’s most respected brands including Mr. Porter, GQ, Carl F. Buchrer, Manolo Blahnik, and more, Okafor is not only a tastemaker himself, but has paved the way for the new generation of ever-evolving gentlemen.
What is your name? How would you identify as a ‘Creative’? My name is Igee Okafor and I would describe myself as a versatile creative. I fall into the category of a fashion influencer but before that, I am the Editor-In-Chief at BOND OFFICIAL. I see myself as a content creator, a storyteller, a cultural curator, a community builder and an entrepreneur.
What is one of the greatest challenges of working in a creative industry in NYC? Definitely work-life balance, the high cost of living, constant adaptation balancing artistic integrity and commercial viability and of course, overstimulation.
Where or who do you go to when you feel burnt-out? Traveling to new places can bring a wealth of inspiration. I also do my best to contribute to new projects that do not relate to anything I typically work on. Personal reflection helps, as well as collaboration with others.
Where or who do you go to when you feel inspired? My mom. Talking to people. Listening to outside voices.
How are you measuring your own success recently? Personal fulfillment, financial milestones, progress and growth, balance, wellbeing, mental health and impact.
What advice can you give to someone looking to build their own creative community? A variety. I have found the following applies to my journey and most of the other creatives I know. Patience, openness to adaption and feedback, networking in all industries, consistency.
Do you feel that a healthy amount of risk is important to creative growth, or growth in general? I do. Whether or not it is successful, it leads to extensive learning, tests resilience, and expands knowledge for more opportunities.
How does one ‘survive’ as a creative in New York City? Diverse income streams, networking and collaboration, financial planning, time management, staying adaptable, self promotion, continuous learning, a great network of friends, health and well being and constant opportunity.
What was most important to you 10 years ago? What is most important to you now? Ten years ago, the most important thing to me was making sure I could live off my career and build a sustainable business that would make money consistently, propel me to diversify my talent and empower others. It remains the same except these days, I am making it a point to put less pressure on myself and dedicate equal time to my health.
What’s still keeping you in New York?! As much as the overstimulation of information can be overwhelming, the diversity of people, cultural advancements, and work opportunities keep me here. I find so few cities to be as progressive and as inspiring as New York City.
Describe MATTE in one sentence. MATTE Projects is this incredibly innovative creative agency that's all about pushing the boundaries in event production and content creation, focusing on crafting immersive experiences and culturally impactful activations