Iyanu’s love for fashion emerged during her career in visual merchandising and she discovered she had an excellent eye for detail and a creative flair that had all passers-by captured by her window displays.
Her dream was to bring a Western and eclectic twist to the Nigerian fashion landscape, and she headed back to Nigeria to throw herself head-first into the industry and gain some much-needed hands-on experience. Doo By Iyanu, led Iyanu once again down the path of education as she learnt to sew, sketch and pattern cut, perfecting her craft.
Since then, she has developed her knowledge base and skill set and works hard to build the same capacity in her team.
We sat down with the emerging designers to find out what inspires her and get a glimpse into her design process
1. How would you describe your brand?
Doo By Iyanu (DBI) is a distinctive high quality clothing brand catering to both the male and female audience. However our primary focus is women, from the working class to the women of leisure. The brand services cover custom made garments (Bridal trains, evening gowns, traditional, office and causals). Launching of the limited edition line (ready to wear) is in full swing for the near future. We celebrate our “made in Nigeria” production.
2. Where does the company name come from?
The meaning of Doo is love and it also can be referred to as beautiful in the native language Tiv. Tiv Land is located in Benue State where the word originates from.
3. What was the driving force behind starting the brand?
The many disappointments from local tailors, their lack of time management, attention to detail and poor finishing. Another problem we noticed was the irregularity/inconsistency in the sizing in the Nigerian Market… Whilst it is important to offer custom made pieces, the ability to crack the “ready to wear” market presents a huge opportunity for any fashion house in Nigeria. On the plus side many professional tailoring services are now popping up all over Nigeria, offering a better experience for their customers, so we are in good company. We join these professional game changers but with a twist offering high quality unique products but for much less than our competitors.
4. Who are your style influences?
Doo By Iyanu styles are influenced by many things, but 3 women were instrumental in influencing the message of the brand
Marilyin Monroe – Sexy for the shapely woman… Her style covers the sexiness of the DBI woman, the fear not to show off her shapely body with confidence and grace.
Audrey Hepburn – Classic …Her style represents the classic DBI woman, as less is more she wears each garment and it never wears her.
Rihanna - Bold &Edgy -Her style represents miss unique, each piece shouts out loud her current mood for each particular day.
5. What are some of the significant challenges the brand has faced?
For us right now is finding our identity in a fashion consumed industry. The other would have to be building the right team. As without these two key areas the brand is lost.
6. What makes Doo By Iyanu unique?
Unique is who Doo By Iyanu is. Her custom made garments showcases this every time! Our cutting edge quality designs adapted to appeal every woman’s unique sense of style. Quality designs with price in mind.
7. What’s next for the label?
Our next steps for the company is mainly around promotion, building the awareness of the brand which translates into a healthy client base for us. We believe a strong foundation is key, so we plan to take our time in this area.
8. Who are your design inspirations?
Versace, Alexander McQueen, Zara, Iconic Invanity, Deola by Deola Sagoe
9. Is there a market for the custom made/ready to wear industry in Nigeria?
There is a market for both. The company’s aim initially was to focus only on ready to wear until we entered the market and realised the custom made industry cannot be ignored, we all know the number of events taking place each week.
What feeds this parallel market is the African Woman’s love for fabrics, she doesn’t just want a good fit, she wants to choose her fabrics too!
10. What advice do you have for clothing brands and those looking to explore the fashion terrain?
A lot of research is needed. Do not rush or feel pressured, take as much time as you need but move. How you enter the market is the true birthing of the brand.
11. What is your take-home advice for clients looking for the best tailoring services?
To find the best tailoring service for you, look at their style of making clothing it will really help you understand their abilities and strengths. You could have one tailor for making gowns and another for casuals etc.