Did you really plan to be a fashion consultant?
Over the years, I‘ve learnt to be persistent in whatever I do. I remember the day I came for an interview and the CEO of Everywoman ordered me to leave her office based on the fact that I was the least qualified for the job. But I refused to leave the office. She was forced to give me a trial and today I‘m proud that I‘ve got the experience and the certificates and most importantly, I did not disappoint her. It is a dream come true to be a fashion consultant.
What are some fashion mistakes predominant among Nigerian women?
The most common one is the mixing trend: you can find a lady with a floral skirt and a striped shirt. You still find people mixing primary colours: they combine navy and black, that is wrong. Moderation should be the key; the greatest mistake Nigerian women make has to do with being too loud. You have to learn day wear and evening wear; if you learn the two, there would be no time that evening wear would become day wear and vice versa, unless you are going to a special location; but otherwise, especially in a work situation, day wear must never become evening wear and evening wear, day wear.
You just moved your business to the north; what informed that?
We have a lot of northerners as customers. Basically, we have a group of women we call Women of Faith; they are women who choose to dress conservatively; they cover their head, wear long skirts, they do not expose themselves and we have been doing a special in-house range for them. So we do trousers with jackets that cover all the way down to the waist so we thought of meeting their needs as well.
Have you thought of the challenges you may have in the north?
No really, because we have a lot of customers that are from the north, we do not sell things are offensive. You are not going to find clothes that would reveal anybody‘s stomach or cleávage. Whatever your belief, is we cater for it. So I don‘t think that makes any difference to us because we have always been conservative.
Where do you get your inspiration?
In fashion, once you learn the basics, it is easy to satisfy customers. Once you identify the kind of clothes allowed at her work place, then help select the ones that would suit her. If you know somebody that dresses well, you cannot see evidences of a big stomach, even though they may have a big stomach. There are ways to hide it: if you see a woman that dresses well, you would never see her underwear from any part of her clothes. Knowing the rules give you all the inspirations in the world.
Do you see fashion consulting as a profession?
It is a profession; it is a profession abroad and in Nigeria. It is not about taste, but sometimes it is knowing the latest trends and how to marry the latest trends into what you have in your wardrobe. That is how it works. At times the right accesories would make people think you have the most expensive wardrobe in the world, meanwhile you do not. It is just the right accessories and body type.
What is your worth as a fashion consultant?
I think my worth is incredible in the sense that I‘m the one my customers would call when they have interviews or other important places to go to.
Do you aspire to take your work internationally?
Of course, it is something I have learnt all this while. I might not want to get involved with buying and selling, but to be in charge of people‘s wardrobes and even make-ups. Stars abroad don’t do it themselves, they employ the services of fashion consultants to keep the dazzle all the way.
Do you think Nigeria is ripe
for fashion consultancy?
I believe we are getting there; it takes time. Before you would not believe that there is a fashion consultancy in Nigeria, but as of now you can get one and there are stylists and wardrobe cordinators too.
What is your drive?
My drive in anything is to be successful at what I do.
What is your take on nudity?
Everybody is different, the fact that I do not agree with something does not mean that anybody else would not do it. I‘m the one that is not comfortable with it. I would not sell something that I am not comfortable with.
As a child, what were your childhood dreams?
I wanted to be a writer, but I adjusted my dreams to reality. I still write, but I do not make it my source of livelihood.
How many of us can have a New York bestseller? I have not given up on the dream, I beleive there is a book inside of me somewhere that is going to be on the New York bestsellers list someday.
Do you have any unfufilled dream?
That should be my book.
How do you judge fashion faux pas?
If you are going to judge a fashion faux pas, look in the mirror first. In fashion there are really no rules. If you can carry of the most outlandish things, it becomes a trend setter. Keep it simple, fashion wise; once you keep it simple you cannot go wrong. Fashion is easy: it is simply covering your nakedness in a pleasant way. A fashion faux pas for me is if you bend and I can see your pants, it is awful. I really do not need to be assaulted by that. A fashion faux pas is that you left your house with your nipples showing through your dress; common sense should tell you that you cannot wear a lacy bra under a transparent fabric; you should know that when it gets cold, extremities would point and I do not think that it is a compliment for a man to be talking to your chest instead of your face. I beleive it is an insult on your part if you are wearing clothes that make you objectified. That is a great fashion faux pas, it shows that you are desperate.
Do you have an embarassing moment?
Yes, I remember having a walk with some of my friends and suddenly I fell down and didn‘t know how I managed to stumble flat on my face. My friends just walked off as if they had never seen me before; everybody laughed. I think that was the most embarassing moment of my life.
How did your parents feel about your choice of profession?
I beleive that they are very proud of me: I have worked consistently fufilling all their dream, while working as a fashion consultant. I think that is a dream of every parent; they did not object to it.
Who is your dream man?
The man that God provides for me; a man that would be Godfearing and would love me and our children.
Have you seen the man?
I‘m beleiving God.