Bayode Oduwole, CEO and founder of Pokit, is our guest this week. And what a guest he is! Our conversation is a fast-moving and eloquent exploration of modern men’s fashion and what it means to be British. Taking us back to the first days of the company, Bayode shares his memories of a British saddle maker near Birmingham that introduced him to bridle leather and all its possibilities. Soon after, Pokit’s first bag was launched and it soon became an iconic Japanese accessory (as Bayode says, “Better Lucky than Good”), fueling the growth the company needed to establish itself as a quirky alternative to Savile Row. We learn of Bayode’s previous career as a chemical engineer, wherein he employed the same exacting standards to pharmaceuticals that we can now find in his bespoke suits. On entrepreneurship, he remains realistic and tells his 40-year-old mates, “Don’t do it!” – there’s no shame in a contented, salaried life. As Bayode reminds us, not all daredevil entrepreneurs succeed: “Richard of York gave battle in vain!” Bayode and Pete agree that Britain loves an underdog, whereas America loves a winner, no matter his pedigree – a subtle, but important, distinction. Bayode educates the men on the origins of the British term “bespoke” versus the American equivalent “custom made” and how each has a particular application. In a flurry of discussion towards the end of the episode, the guys discuss “the myth of the suit”, the reason men buy suits, and how Bayode gives advice and guidance to men who have poor fashion sense. Finally, Paul voices his disapproval of young schoolboys wearing restrictive and formal suits to school when they’re just barely out of the sandbox. The two Brits descend upon him with a barrage of justifications and accusations, and “Esprit de Corps” gets mentioned several times. What an episode! Not to be missed!
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