Initially, it was not my intention to become a designer. My elder sister made a mistake in 2002 when she got my Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board form for me. Instead of filling Fine and Applied Art, she filled Fashion Designing. That was how I got myself into fashion. It was not planned at all. I cannot even say I was inspired to become a designer. There was no inspiration from the beginning.
Maybe by now, I would be in one country or the other exhibiting my work. On the other hand, the case could be worse as I could have been under the bridge showing off my painting. However, I believe God never fails. I believe it was God’s plan for me (to be a fashion designer).
The major challenge is still the cost of production, and maintaining a standard fashion house in Lagos State. It is quite expensive. At times, it seems like one is just working for the government. One makes good money and the money goes back to them. In my company, we cannot switch off the generator because we are trying to maintain cost. The diesel generator has to be put on from morning till evening. There is practically no electricity supply these days. You can imagine the amount we spend on diesel weekly.
The first quality is for one to be different, and that works for me. One has to stand out. Don’t try to copy people. One has to be different with one’s designs. When one stands out, people would start asking what one is doing. When people come closer and they see that one has something to offer, that means one is already doing it right.
AY my brother made it so easy for me. Something that was supposed to take me five years to accomplish, took me two years to achieve. He had a platform that he used to showcase my designs. One can be good but not have the platform to showcase it. AY Show was the platform I used to advertise my works. It was really helpful for me at that point.
I have achieved a lot and I cannot really point to one as my biggest achievement. However, my kids are my biggest achievements.
My clients always say we are distinct and unique. I just do what I do and get good feedback.
We make clothes for everybody but, however, it depends on what you call average. Fashion is not easy; at times, it is pain. It can affect one’s pocket.
Some tailors collect jobs they cannot handle. If I am fully booked, I will tell clients so. I will never accept jobs I cannot do. I can confidently ask my clients, “Was there a time you needed your outfits that we could not meet up”? There has never been a time like that. It gives people confidence and makes them advertise one’s business for one.
Everybody fights, including brothers, and married couples. We have had our differences but we are good. They make us stronger. It is often said that if one has never had any issues with one’s friends, there is a problem. While I am a designer, IK and Alex are actors. My work requires them because I use them to model my outfits. We started bonding and we share the same dream. They want to be out there and whatever I do puts them out there. My work with them also puts me out there.
I value Mudiaga Enajemo (Mudi Africa) a lot, he is my biggest cheerleader. He inspires me without even saying a word. I see his lifestyle and tell myself every day that I must be like him. He is one of the fashion designers that don’t say much. He simply allows his lifestyle to speak for him.
There are some things that one cannot control. One just has to move on. I try not to worry about setbacks and things that I cannot control because they will always happen in one’s life once in a while. Things will fall back into place