As we gear up to the big day, 3 of the designers due to show talk to use about their passion and their all-important creative process.
Ogounchi Adebola started her fashion career as a tribute to her aunt whose love for crochet was inspiring, "I wanted to give a tribute to my late aunt Francine who was fascinated by crochet. That's even the meaning of my brand name (L'uF stand in French for L'Univers de Francine which means Francine's Universe). Before passing away she bought a lot of yarn threads and crochet books. Unfortunately, she couldn't use them.
So one day I took the threads and the books she left; I learned from the books and start making stuffs which I was given free to my friends. So people were calling me and were asking for the tops or headbands I have made for this or that person. (I couldn't even price them). So this is when I decided to turn it as a business.
One of my closest friend advice to me showcase at a fashion show, SOB fashion week Benin. And I really like the pressure before the event; the stress behind the scenes; and I also develop Love for work well done. This is what led me to embrace fashion as a career”.
On choosing NSFDW, “I saw the potential; the professionalism and the scope of the event, but especially the opportunities that arise for young designers and new people embracing fashion industry. I was on BellaNaija website when i saw an article from Sharon Ojong's Vlog: "The biggest Fashion weeks in Africa. So I took a look and I was captivated by NSFDW because that's what I was looking for”.
For her designs, Adebola gets her materials from different parts of the world like France, Ghana, America and a lot of shops in Africa selling quality yarns. The business of fashion is a big drive for her especially since her family is yet to understand her career choice.
She will be showcasing her “Boldness” collection, a mixed of chic, classy and unique pieces on the NSFDW runway.
Udoh Inimfon Success’s journey into the footwear business started as a solution to ever changing fashion trends, so he decided to make shoes that “complement eclectic fashion style”. He also had an advantage by going into a market that is very operational and not seasonal. Then FWP Collection (Foot with Pearl Collection) was conceived.
On choosing NSFDW, “It provided a platform most fashion shows won’t do for footwear designers like myself”.
Accessing materials for his business isn’t as hard as it might sound, local markets in Lagos already have a lot of materials; although he expresses concern with sometimes working with limited materials due to importation issues.
On his FWPcollection for NSFDW2018, “My collections are staples that creates "fashion statements" such that complements, eclectic fashion style. The following features, thus describes my collections: Simplicity, Aesthetics, Detailed, Variety, Class, and Quality. We thus categorise our collections into the following categories for both male and female folks: Groom collection – weddings, party look, corporate footwear, casual collection, urban/retro(vintage)/rugged”.
Success believes there is need to change the Nigerian perception of products as “knock offs” narrative internationally. This will bring credibility and confidence to Nigerian brands, which is why the NSFDW/AFWH is beneficial to tell the real African fashion stories. It will also offer opportunities for artisans based in America to invest more in the growth of Nigerian fashion industry.
For Helen Osung the Creative Director of Daniella’s Fashion World, her love for fashion came naturally and quite early from her childhood days. As she got older, it became clearer what her career choice would be although her biggest fear when starting was the capital and electricity to meet up with client demands but she sailed through.
She describes the distinctiveness that makes her brand stand out as “my creativity, diligence, quality and durability, because those are the major factors that guide our day to day dealings in the fashion industry”.