Personal style: Gauche chic
James Sherwood: I think it's fair to say that club kids have inspired a generation of London fashion designers and that you were one of them.
Niyi: Yeah, I started a club called Gauche Chic with my friends that's since been written about as a seminal club. Carrie Mundane [designer behind the Cassette Playa fashion label] did the door and made me a lot of stuff before everything took off for her. I was Carrie's muse until she got another one.
JS: What I like about the club-fashion scene is that its stars aren't piss-elegant model types. In the 1970s Studio 54 regular Pat Ast became one of Halston's muses and she looked like Anne Widdecombe. Where did your look come from?
N: I thought it was funny to have a big black guy dressing up in funny clothes and looking like a clown. And I like impractical things; I'm really energetic when I'm performing so I'll wear lots of layers and end up really sweaty.
JS: Who dresses you now Carrie's found a new muse? [Su Pollard, judging by her last collection].
N: Sasha at [Soho independent fashion boutique] Kokon To Zai has become my fashion mentor and introduced me to Material Boy, Marjan Pejoski, Bernhard Willhelm and Walter Van Bierendonck.
JS: What are you wearing today?
N: The "brains" baseball cap is from New Era. The tracksuit is Cassette Playa, the gold lamé parka cost €8 in Belgium, the gold chain is a girl's belt that cost £1, and the wooden beads are from a crazy woman who sits on Brick Lane selling ethnic jewellery.
JS: You are an expert at reverse fashion psychology: converting something excruciatingly uncool into fabulousness.
N: That's the story of my trainers. At school Hi-Tecs were really uncool – if you wore them you'd be bullied. Now they're my favourite trainers ever. I always feel as though I've got some chav bully on my shoulder when I put them on.
Get the club clown look
Kokon To Zai embroidered tracksuit bottoms, £174, www.farfetch.com
Nike 'Air Morgan' trainers, £49.99, www.office.co.uk
'Hypnotic' baseball cap, £30, www.neweracap.co.ukReuse content