Under fair conditions, all OULA garments are Made in the USA, which results in a smaller carbon footprint. Our fabric dresses are hand-cut and sewn and our knits are 3D printed and hand finished. Our goal is to make classic, practical pieces from comfortable, durable fabrics that will last a lifetime and never end up in a landfill. OULA is wearable art that you will cherish forever. We globally source African Wax Fabric, merino wool and vintage dead stock textiles globally for our limited edition and small batch runs. Perfect for travel, OULA is functional, lightweight, packable, and wrinkle-resistant.
OULA focuses on wearability and the perfect fit. We create trans-seasonal contemporary garments that exude simplistic ease and complement busy lifestyles. When you wear OULA the whole year, through each of the seasons, your purchase speaks more to longevity and value than fast fashion. OULA is versatile and, based on your personal style, can be worn to work, dinner, or vacation.
Vibrant colors and patterns are OULA’s signature. Our visual language is inclusive and historically dynamic. We believe style can liberate and empower and our design ethos is particularly influenced by the Black Is Beautiful movement which reached its peak from 1962-1979. Black Joy is our aesthetic and our promise for all to celebrate. OULA inspires iconic natural beauty in numerous manifestations. We offer styles XS-XL and spend a great deal of time fitting our designs on different body types in a range of 5’3-5’10.
OUR FOUNDER AND CEO
Our founder and CEO, Erika Dalya Massaquoi, is a globetrotter and owns a closetful of vintage from around the world; hence, the elevated retro vibe of OULA that reminds us of the fashion feel of the 60s and 70s. A contemporary art curator and former Assistant Dean at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, Massaquoi also worked as a fashion journalist and professor. OULA draws inspiration from the art of foreign and experimental film as Massaquoi also holds a Ph.D. in Cinema.
Oula Founder, Erika Dalya Massaquoi
Visual culture motivates me. I think in pictures, patterns and abstractions. When I dream its very cinematic, everything is wild and dramatic and in technicolor. For me, fashion is storytelling. It’s mood capturing and history making. It’s semiotics—the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. Fashion has changed for me because it’s become centrally autobiographical. OULA is a direct reflection of who I am and the way I live. Of course, it’s wonderful to make beautiful dresses, but for me fashion has become necessary cultural work and with the brand we’re solving for the problem of racial inequity. My career has always dealt with black iconography and reframing the lens through which black culture is seen. Creating clothing and imagery that celebrates the diversity of black joy is really important to me. OULA customers are loyal and they traverse ethnic backgrounds, income level and age groups. When customers wear OULA there are also telling a story of who they are and what they represent.
Fashion for me is service oriented. It’s about restorative and reparative justice. As an artist, it’s important to be present and responsive to the time that you’re living in—and these are transformative times.
A former contemporary art curator and professor, Massaquoi served as assistant dean of the School of Art & Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University and undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago.
Handsewn & Designed
Our social purpose and contribution to community is informed by the practice of having all our garments handcrafted and Made in the USA in an effort to support American-made fashion and design practitioners locally. OULA is committed to art being used as a catalyst for economic development and it also adds visual and cultural diversity to what “American heritage” style means. Domestic manufacturing and using dead stock materials also reduce our environmental impact. All our garments are made in Los Angeles, CA and Denver, CO.
When I wear my Oula dress I feel alive, colorful and vibrant. I have always expressed myself with my clothing and Oula is my personalities fire.