(AFWN 2016 Special) Chisom Okoli – ”I Am Excited, Nervous, Anxious, Happy And Elated To Be Showcasing At The AFWN”
In this interview, Chisom talks about her fashion designs and showcasing at this year’s edition of the AFWN.
Read Also: AFWN 2016 TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE FOR SALE!!
Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
Believe me when I say I always wanted and thought I would be a medical doctor. My plan after NYSC was to attend medical school; however, life happened and then what started off as a way to keep busy during my service year and a way to cut cost while wearing my own designs actually became the forerunner of my career as a fashion designer.
How did you start fashion designing?
During my service year, I had a lot of free time to spare and I didn’t want to become the devil’s workshop (lol), so I saved up my little allowee to learn tailoring. After my unfortunate journey with medical school, I decided to take up fashion designing full time and enrolled in a professional fashion school. I did this because I enjoyed seeing my designs on myself and the little circle of friends and family that allowed me use them as experiment.
What do you enjoy most about designing clothes?
I really do love seeing my work on people, especially those designs I know I can only wear in my head (imagination). Fashion design is a way for me to express my inner thoughts without being judged by anyone.
What’s the most challenging part of fashion designing?
Limited resources in Nigeria. I love designs with structure and to achieve that I do a lot of trial and error with different types of materials – when I say materials here, I don’t mean the fabric, I mean those items between the clothes, beyond what the eyes can see from the outside – and quite a number of these materials can only be gotten outside the country.
Which fashion designers inspires you the most?
First, every designer in the industry inspires me, even those names we don’t hear often. Not withstanding, there are still some designers that are always at the tip of my tongue.
Charles James, Zac Posen, Ashi Studio, Krikor jabotian, Ralph and Russo just a few of many, don’t want to bore you with my unending list.
How will you rate the Fashion Industry in Nigeria right now?
The Nigerian fashion industry is growing fast hence, becoming saturated with the good bad and ugly. However, only the good ones with passion for their craft will eventually stand the test of time.
Does your work reflect your personal fashion style? Can you describe your style?
Not at all. My work and my style are two different entities. Like I mentioned earlier, there are some designs I wear only in my head because those designs don’t reflect who Chisom is as an Individual. I design for different individuals with different personality and style, so making my work reflect my style would only confine my imagination. My personal style is glamorous in a conservative way.
Have you showcased at previous editions of The Africa Fashion Week Nigeria? If yes, how will you describe the experience?
No, I have not showcased at a previous AFWN
How excited are you about showcasing at The Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2016?
This would be the first time I’m showcasing my work in Nigeria, so I have mixed feelings. I am excited, nervous, anxious, happy, elated, name it.
What should guests expect from you at The Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2016?
The guests should expect something Igbotic in a modern way, a blend of phoné and oghene you know what I mean.
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