meet the brooklyn twins behind the first luxury durag label
Clothing and accessories brand L’Enchanteur is rethinking what luxury is and should be.
Image courtesy L'Enchanteur.
“It’s really inspired by our upbringing,” says designer Dynasty Ogun, while thumbing through a stack of eye-catching durags stitched of bold, unexpected fabrics, from delicate silk to black velvet to firm, floral-printed denim. The caps are carefully laid atop a wooden table in the center of Dynasty’s sunlit home-showroom, which she shares with her identical twin sister and creative partner Soull, surrounded by tabletops and desks swathed in an array of glittering brass earrings, rings, and bangles. “We’re showing where we come from, being proud of where we’re at and being proud of who we are. We’re telling our own stories, and we’re doing it in so many different types of ways.”
Dynasty and Soull Ogun are the designers behind the idiosyncratic Brooklyn-based clothing and accessories brand L’Enchanteur. Taking its name from the French for “enchanted ones,” the duo draws inspiration from mythology, spirituality, and magic, as well as their own childhood growing up in Brooklyn’s diverse Flatbush neighborhood. The result is a line of expressive, elevated streetwear met with an everyday mysticism: think massive brass statement earrings detailed with a “sun god” mask, quilted coats adorned with a spine of chakra stones, and ball caps embellished with hand-embroidered crystal balls. Blurring gender lines with uber-wearable and well-constructed garments and jewelry, their work has snatched the attention of such style icons as Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill.
The twins were introduced to fashion at a young age by their mother, a talented seamstress who handmade much of their clothing, and late older sister, a designer herself. “Our parents are really fashionable,” Soull explains. “Our mother dressed us up all the time in matching clothes with that Brooklyn feel. Timberlands, Nikes, random sandals with denim suits. She designed our clothes for graduation.” Prior to forming L’Enchanteur in 2013, Dynasty and Soull helmed individual brands BRZÉ and Alkhemi9, respectively, and each approaches fashion design from a different perspective and material background. Where Dynasty primarily handles the brand’s textile work, Soull is interested in metalsmithing, sculpture, and jewelry-making. United by a passion for the hand-making process, Dynasty’s garments and Soull’s metal works seem to effortlessly complement and enhance each other, a physical mirror of their deeply close relationship as identical twin siblings.
A standout within their body of work is L’Enchanteur’s line of durags, an artful, luxury take on an everyday garment Dynasty and Soull see worn by folks in their community. Using high-quality and texture-heavy materials, like silk or denim, and adding prints to the mix, they aim to give the caps—which are typically made from black or white nylon—a longer life. “You can get durags for two to four bucks, explains Dynasty. “But because of the fabric, you have to buy multiple of them. If I bring up the quality of the fabric, it can last longer.” Transforming an ordinary piece into a covetable heirloom meant to be reused and passed down, L’Enchanteur’s durag also becomes an intentional part of one’s wardrobe. “We’re beautifying it,” Soull adds, while tying a denim durag decorated with yellow flowers that, when worn, hangs below her knees. “By making the durag like this, it’s functional, but you can also wear it out with a look.”
“People live by it. The durag hs become something that’s fashionable, but durags were created to create waves or to tie your hair down,” continues Dynasty, noting that the function of the garment is of equal importance to its aesthetic appeal. She is especially excited to see how her fabric decisions affect the formation of the hair waves beneath. “The new kids are tying their durags differently than we tied ours. There are so many different styles. There’s the bunny rabbit. There’s this new style they do where they lay the straps flat and it goes flat over the forehead. There are people that like their wings long. There are people that like their tails short.”
As part of Dynasty and Soull’s ongoing journey for self-expression and self-reflection, the duo continues to tell stories of their community and their own spirituality through new works and collaborations with like-minded artists. Their just-released Fall/Winter 2018 capsule collection was inspired by Jules Verne’s novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and boasts netted bags, ankle-length hooded trench coats, deep emerald green pullovers, and bronze brooches molded to resemble starfishes. Two years in the making, the collection touched down with a corresponding video editorial, featuring an all-black cast of models, music produced my Melo-X, who co-wrote part of Beyonce’s album Lemonade, and brooding photography by Rog and Bee Walker.
When asked if there is anyone for whom they are designing, Soull notes that L’Enchanteur is for everyone from Celine Dion to Angela Bassett. “There’s no specific person, but versions of ourselves,” she says, to which Dynasty adds, “I want to design for my friends, people in the hood. Representation of us can matter in the new kids that are coming up and how they’re seeing themselves. There are so many layers to our being and to who we are as people. We need to represent ourselves in so many multiple layers.”