Lisa Folawiyo, is considered a giant of the Nigerian fashion industry. She launched Jewel By Lisa, back in 2005 and she hasn’t slowed down since. Pulse got to chat with the creative pioneer.
Lisa Folawiyo, is considered a giant of the Nigerian fashion industry. She launched her brand, Jewel By Lisa, back in 2005 and she hasn’t slowed down since. Pulse got to chat with the creative pioneer.
Folawiyo is highly regarded for her vibrant collections that mix traditional West African fabrics with modern tailoring and beaded embellishments. Over the years she has garnered international recognition for their work, including joining the Business of Fashion 500 (BoF) List for 2015.
The former lawyer, wife and mother of two has mastered the art of making traditional African prints appealing to not just Nigerians and Africans but the rest of the world. She has been present in the UK, the US, South Africa and Nigeria itself.
For Lisa, it starts with an inspiration, “which could come from anything.” Lisa disclosed that she once designed a collection inspired by a guy on Kingsway wearing a T-shirt. She also mentioned it could be culture or her childhood days.
Then it’s on to sketching on paper and muses, as she often wonders how they would wear and style the pieces. The designer then passes the initial sketches to the illustrator and from one design, they could come up with three to five designs before the calico pieces.
Also, seeing as JBL designs prints, they design fresh prints to go with the inspiration behind the collection. In addition, the brand goes through form and silhouette and are very strong on detail as that’s what appeals to the JBL woman.
The designer also disclosed that “embellishment is here to stay but in different forms for each collection.” Finally, they rework the Ankara fabric into modern design and then execute all the previous steps.
In speaking on what sets her apart from other Ankara modern wear designers, Folawiyo says, “For me because I have my brain, I have my mind...i’m inspired by what I am inspired by...no one can do it the way I do it...I am different and it’s just us.” Instead, she focuses on the brand and the growth of her brand, as well as new designs and new ways of talking the jewel by Lisa talk because it has to be different.
For more of her process for the brand, check out the snippet below.