Most stylish New Yorkers: Lizzy and Darlene Okpo

The designer sisters model their eclectic, comfortable style.

0

Comments

Add +

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters1

    "I am half girly, half tomboy: I like to be very feminine but also comfortable," says Darlene, who wears a gray, reversible William Okpo coat from the fall-winter 2010 collection. "My sister will roll out of bed and put on whatever she finds on the floor, which I love because we always end up looking fantastic and feeling comfortable."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters2

    Underneath her coat, Darlene wears a Libertine button-down shirt with an unexpected detail. "I love the skull print on the back of the shirt," she says. "It makes it so different from any other collared shirt." She tucks her top into H&M pants and cinches them with an H&M belt that she wears "with absolutely everything."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters3

    Darlene stacks bracelets she bought at a market in Nigeria around a Forever 21 watch. "It doesn't work, but that doesn't stop me from wearing it every single day," she laughs. She also purchased her knuckle ring from the fast-fashion chain.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters4

    "These H&M booties were $40," boasts Darlene. "I really love these shoes because they are not too high."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters5

    "I've always wanted to be six feet tall," admits Lizzy. "After I turned 18, I realized I had no chance in hell. To compensate, I like wearing long pieces that cover my feet with tall platforms." To wit, she pairs wide-leg Zucca pants from Opening Ceremony with a Mickey Mouse sweater from Darlene's closet. "I guess my inspiration here is a clown on stilts."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters6

    "I love stacked jewelry," gushes Lizzy. "I find it to be so beautiful. And I love how gold looks on brown skin; it adds a great glow to people." Most of her bracelets come from Africa, including this copper piece, which came from Nigeria. The watch, meanwhile, was a gift from her boyfriend. "One day, I dropped it and it broke, so I taped it to bring it back to life," she says.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters7

    Lizzy wears a link necklace she stole from her boyfriend with a Giles & Brothers ring necklace he gave to her as a gift. She bought the gold beaded necklace at an African boutique in Harlem and received the quartz crystal "from a lovely Opening Ceremony customer years ago. I consider it to be a good luck charm; I believe it's really powerful and I never take it off."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters8

    "I have more of a shaggy, unorganized, 'anything goes' approach to clothing coordination," says Lizzy. "Darlene enjoys matching and is very coordinated." The sisters complement each other here, with their floral garments and neutral jackets. Darlene customized her vintage Burberry coat from Canal Jeans by adding an H&M fur shrug to the collar.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters9

    Darlene scored this floral dress at Canal Jeans. "It was below my knees, so I took it to the cleaners and had it cut," she notes.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters10

    "I stole this sweater from my sister, and I wear it almost every day," says Darlene. "I call it my granny sweater." Along with solid gray tights from H&M, it winterizes an otherwise springy floral dress.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters11

    Lizzy pairs a gossamer vintage floral skirt with a Veda leather jacket. "It's amazing because the sleeves are chiffon," she points out. "According to Darlene, I wear it too much."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters12

    These funky blue shoes are part of the Tron Legacy--Opening Ceremony collaboration. "Only Opening Ceremony can collaborate with Disney and make a collection so unique," reflects Lizzy.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters13

    Lizzy's wool jacket fastened with buckles is from the sisters' William Okpo fall-winter 2010 collection. "It's our favorite!" exclaims Lizzy.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters14

    "My whole outfit is under $100," boasts Darlene. "I bought the skirt from Canal Jeans for $5, the top from H&M for $10 and the boots from Urban Outfitters for $20. I love bargains."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters15

    "This mermaid skirt is another article of clothing that makes me feel infinitely tall," says Lizzy of her Opening Ceremony find.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters16

    "I usually show the Beyonc side of me because I wear a lot of high heels and platforms, and I enjoy running and jumping in them," says Lizzy. "Darlene almost never wears elevated shoes." Darlene gets some height from her H&M men's trapper hat instead.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters17

    "This is another outfit that's under $100," notes Darlene of her shearling-lined bomber jacket and olive tank from H&M, flowing skirt from Canal Jeans and boots from Urban Outfitters. "I call this my bohemian-girly look; I'm super-comfortable here."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters18

    Lizzy balances voluminous Alexandre Herchcovitch harem pants with a body-con leotard she bought from a dance store. "It's part of my everyday wear and just makes my life so easy," she enthuses of the latter.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters19

    "These shoes are my insect stompers," says Lizzy. The booties are part of another Opening Ceremony collaboration with French footwear designer Robert Clergerie.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters20

    The sisters both have a no-fuss approach to cosmetics: Darlene uses only eyeliner and blush from Duane Reade, whereas Lizzy forgoes makeup altogether. "I'm a big fan of redefined African shea butter," she says. "It's the only thing I use from head to toe."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters21

    Darlene tops a Polo Ralph Lauren plaid button-down with a vintage jacket from Beacon's Closet for a collegiate-chic look. The denim cutoffs are yet another Beacon's Closet find.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    okposisters22

    Lizzy transforms a long purple T-shirt dress from Opening Ceremony into a skirt by layering a sweater, which was a hand-me-down from Libertine designer Cindy Greene, on top of it. "Cindy bought it in Japan when she used to travel; I loved it so much that she passed it off to me five years ago," she explains. "I still wear it all the time."

Photograph: Zenith Richards

okposisters1

"I am half girly, half tomboy: I like to be very feminine but also comfortable," says Darlene, who wears a gray, reversible William Okpo coat from the fall-winter 2010 collection. "My sister will roll out of bed and put on whatever she finds on the floor, which I love because we always end up looking fantastic and feeling comfortable."

Lizzy Okpo, 20, designer at William Okpo, Staten Island; and Darlene Okpo, 24, creative director at William Okpo (williamokpo.com), Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Lizzy's personal style: "Hip old lady."
Darlene's personal style: "Simple, bold and comfortable. I love pieces that can be worn on their own without pairing too many items with them."

Lizzy's inspirations: "I'm unsure where my inspiration comes from, but I love things that look effortless and beautiful."
Darlene's inspirations: "Honestly, I respect the older generation: I love observing older people's style, like my dad's. Everything is clean and simple with a little splash of fun."

Lizzy's favorite stores: "Opening Ceremony (locations throughout the city; visit openingceremony.us for more info) is such an innovative company. I like the idea of the Olympics as the seasonal themes—it's a great way to introduce designers from all around the world. Convenience stores are my weekly field trips; Lot Less (locations throughout the city; visit lot-less.com for more info) has everything from office supplies and cozy socks to groceries at amazing prices. Canal Jeans (2236 Nostrand Ave between Aves H and I, Flatbush, Brooklyn; 718-421-7590) has great vintage bargains. I'm talking real bargains, not vintage finds with contemporary pricing."
Darlene's favorite stores: "Canal Jeans is my favorite thrift store in Brooklyn. I can literally buy a brand-new wardrobe for around $50. You can never go wrong with H&M (locations throughout the city; visit hm.com); you can always find a cool, inexpensive piece there. Vice Versa (241 Bedford Ave between North 3rd and 4th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-782-8847, viceversavintage.com) is a cool vintage shop in Williamsburg. And who doesn't love Opening Ceremony, which carries the coolest emerging designers?"

Lizzy's signature accessories: "My quartz crystal, my hair jewelry, my finger jewelry, my wrist blingage and my shell anklet. I wear these items every day."
Darlene's signature garment: "My cargo jacket; I have four different types of army-green cargo jackets. I really don't know why I am so infatuated with this item of clothing, but you can always find me in one."

Lizzy's favorite designer: "Rachel Comey (rachelcomey.com) never seems to disappoint me, with her vintage-inspired collections and her wooden shoes. It's beautiful and made for me. I like Opening Ceremony's women's and men's collections as well. All of my Opening Ceremony pieces are part of my everyday attire."
Darlene's favorite designer: "I don't really have a favorite, but I do admire 3.1 Phillip Lim (31philliplim.com). I think his design aesthetic is very clean and he knows what a girl wants."

How Lizzy's style has evolved through the years: "I was very sporty when I was a kid. My eldest sister was responsible for my clothing, and she would dress me in Gap Kids. Now, I've evolved into dressing like an old lady who has 50 cats."
How Darlene's style has evolved through the years: "I don't concentrate on trends; I go by how I feel. I don't look in the mirror and say to myself, Who do I want to look like today? My style is me, and I love it."

Users say

0 comments