Jude Engees Okoye, is the CEO/President of Northside Entertainment Limited that produces and manages Nigeria’s most popular and highflying P-Square. Okoye, who also is their elder brother tells Ifeoma Meze in this interview how his career has transformed what he puts on.
How has your career been?
My career has been so great and blessed. God has been very faithful and generous.
How does your career affect what you wear?
I don’t think it does in any way because I had and have always been myself. I am not what people call a poster face or someone people would see and scream for. I am not a popular person and I wear what I feel comfortable in as long as it fits.
Does it take you up to two hours to dress up or choose what to wear?
I don’t think it takes me more than 20 minutes to dress up. I am not a woman, you know. I don’t even plan on what to wear. I just open my closet and grab anything that looks good and fits the occasion and off I go.
Do you always have problem deciding what to wear for an event?
No, I don’t. I just go for what I feel is suitable for the occasion I am dressing for. The only way I encounter problem is when I am trying to choose what I am going to put on. For instance, if I am to dress formal; I encounter problems of choosing from my numerous suits and formal attires. Sometimes, I wish I had fewer cloths to choose from. It would make it easy for me.
How many suits can someone then find in your wardrobe?
I have about 24 pairs of suits and 13 suit jackets in my wardrobe. My formal shirts are many as well, but I have not really counted them.
Which are you more comfortable in; formal, casual or native wears?
Well, it depends because I wear all of them depending on the event or occasion. But I think I look better in formal wears because I am the boss.
Do you have more of formal, casual or native wears?
I think I have more of casuals because I don’t even know how many of them I have or how they look.
Do you wear natives at all or you don’t like natives?
Of course, I do wear natives. I like natives, but not the way I like formal wears. My native wears are over 20 pairs; I didn’t count them, though I think they are about that number.
Which is your favourite designer?
I like anything made by Versace and Ralph Lauren.
Are you a perfume, shoe, wristwatch freak?
I am a freak to all of them, but I think I am more on the shoe aspect because I have many of them. I have about 80 pairs or so. I don’t count them, though I think they should be over that number.
Can you step out of your house without wearing a perfume?
Of course, I can. To me, I feel it is those that have body odour problem that cannot leave their house without using a perfume. I wear my perfume when I feel like and it’s not a must wear for me.
Has working closely with your twin brothers influenced your taste in fashion?
Yes, working with them has influenced my taste in fashion because when I was just ‘Jude Okoye’, I can wear anything I like as long as it is covering my naked body and off I go. But since I started working with my brothers, P-Square, it’s now a different ball game. I am more and more cautious of my appearance anywhere I go to.
Would you describe wearing expensive things as being fashionable?
No, I don’t think wearing expensive things is being fashionable. That all you wear are very expensive does not make one fashionable. I wear anything I wear because they fit and not because they are expensive. One can wear something that cost a fortune and still look stupid in them, while some cheap things make a lot of sense sometimes.
How often do you shop or upgrade you wardrobe?
I upgrade my wardrobe whenever I get the chance. It doesn’t have to be periodical or have a sequence. When I travel abroad for events and I see what I like, I get them.
How much does it cost you to shop?
It cost a lot. I would not want to mention figures but when you fly all the way to America to shop on a business class ticket, then you should do the calculation yourself.
What is the most expensive thing in your wardrobe and how much is it?
I think it’s my 24-carrat gold necklace. I got it from London. I cannot tell you exactly how much I bought it but it costs thousands of pounds.
For someone that has a 24-carrat gold necklace, you are definitely a freak for jewelry too?
Jewelry does not freak me like that. I like wearing them because it complements what you are putting on. I came across it and I felt that I deserve it. I bought it, but not that it freaks me or I cannot leave the house without wearing jewelry. The gold chain is more like a property to me. I do not wear it all the time, just on few occasions.
What is your favourite colour?
I don’t think I have any favourite colour but I think I love blue. It symbolises peace of mind to me.
I noticed you like hats, can you do without them?
I like wearing it at times, but not always. I have fez caps as well.
What is the name of your perfume?
The names of my perfumes are Hugo boss and Jean Paul Gaulter.