Born in Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria, the ninth generation of a traditional weaving family, Bayo [pronounced Bio] learned his trade at an early age from generations of cloth artisans. He learned to weave and dye from his mother, and to sew from his father who made traditional clothing for Nigerian royalty.
Bayo began sewing at age five and remembers sitting on his dad’s lap at the sewing machine before his leg could reach the pedal. Growing up, he also learned to sell cotton, dye yarn, iron and fold, do beading and hand-embroidery. Bayo attended the Niké Center for Art and Culture in Osogbo, Nigeria where he studied batik cloth dying, quilt making, reverse appliqué, and clothing design. Niké is considered a national treasure in Nigeria for her artwork, and her school is dedicated to preserving traditional Yoruba art forms.
In 1995, Bayo joined a group of artists from the center known as, The Children of Osun, for a U.S. tour. He designed and sewed their costumes and was composer, drummer and lead singer. They performed ancestral dance dramas and exhibited their artwork at diverse venues across the nation. Bayo adapts his reverse appliqué and quilting techniques to American styled clothing. He combines the hand-woven, hand-dyed, and embroidered fabrics made by his family in Nigeria with other fabrics to create the uniquely designed clothing in his I.B.Bayo line. He also teaches Nigerian Batik and Reverse Appliqué workshops, and gives presentations on his family history showing clothing that spans from past generations to modern creations.