“I know Kansas City is a town that rallies behind their sports,” says Buddie Oladeinde, co-founder with his brother, Omar K. Denteh, of the cricket-inspired apparel line, Urban Elegance Cricket Club (UECC). “But I think we’re bringing something new and different to the area.”
Since September 2015, Oladeinde has been based in Kansas City, where The Loop KC clothing store at 3955 Broadway, is carrying the line, and Denteh is working in Chicago.
Denteh came up with the idea for a clothing line in 2014, when he coined the term “urban elegance.” Oladeinde explains, “‘Urban’ has the misconception of being described as only the low-income areas, when it is actually a term describing a city as a whole. Showing the beauty of being inner city — that’s what Urban Elegance is about.”
The brothers didn’t know what direction they wanted to take their clothing line until they attended a cricket game on the south quad of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Having long viewed sports and fashion as complementary worlds, they decided to adapt the traditional designs of a cricket jersey for everyday wear, and to add “cricket club” to the name of their brand.
Oladeinde and Denteh aim for Urban Elegance Cricket Club to be culturally aware. Coming from a Nigerian family, they decided that the Nigeria cricket team’s jersey had to be one of the first models. Subsequently, they have been basing their designs on what cricket teams are successful at the time.
“When designing, I always think about what country I want to model it after,” says Oladeinde, “and what countries are doing well. Right now the West Indies are doing very well — they just beat London — so I gathered inspiration from their jerseys.”
The UECC brand has been steadily circulating throughout the music industry with rappers such as Chance The Rapper in Chicago and Dom Chronicles in Kansas City wearing the jerseys. Now the brand is reaching out to sports figures and, in addition to releasing a new wave of jerseys every season, it recently launched cricket caps.
See the full line at their online store, uecricketclub.bigcartel.com.