How to apply basic entrepreneurial skills in building a fashion brand – AnwuliLagos
Let’s get to meet you. Please tell us about yourself and your background
My name is Chineze Odetoyinbo. A VLISCO award winning fashion designer (anwuliLAGOS) a YouTuber (Neztelly) and an artist (explorative painter)
My background is in Fine and applied art which covers painting, graphics, textile, sculpture, photography and ceramics. I have also spent time at the VLISCO factory in Helmond, Holland to study and participate in print creation, fabric appreciation and PR for the company.
What inspired you into fashion business? Did you face any obstacles in the beginning and did you overcome them?
I’ll say they are many things that inspired me into the fashion business. Art and fashion has been a part of my life. As a kid though fashion wasn’t looked at as a suitable business so it took a while before I decided to take it on. However the elements of fashion has always lived with me.
No, I didn’t face any obstacles in the beginning. I was really lucky like that. The thing that came close to being an obstacle was my then finance who didn’t want me to start fashion school.
How do fashion designers keep up with the latest trends?
When it comes to trends, fashion design is quite tricky with this because most we are the creators of trends. There are several elements to it though. Like colours, shapes, textures and style. I thrive to be my best authentic self while working with these elements. However if you keep an eye on the world fashion scene, it is easy to catch where the trend is going. It could be the colour. So I’ll use similar or complimentary colours to create my collection.
What would you say is the most challenging part of being a fashion entrepreneur?
The most challenging part of being a fashion entrepreneur is the business side. There are lots of amazing designers and fashion creatives that might never be seen because of the business side of fashion. If the business side isn’t taken care of, the fashion sinks. So the balance is mind shifting. That explains why the really passionate designers stand the test of time
Can you think of any examples of how working as a fashion entrepreneur has been personally rewarding for you? If you could work with a popular figure in Nigeria, who would that be?
Working as a fashion entrepreneur has made me for aware of my money habits. I have also learnt how to be really creative with my time and energy. Something about doing well in fashion has made me believe in my ability to pursue more things like my YouTube channel (it’s about books)
There are several popular figures in Nigerian on my wish list. Nimi Akinkugbe, Mo Abudu, Dimma Ume, Udo Okonjo and Tara Durotoye. It’s a long list. Funmi Iyanda used to be there but I did work with her a while back and I besides myself.
We are in a dispensation where skills have become of great value for career growth, What kind of training or education do fashion entrepreneurs need to excel?
Hmm training? Before I list the ones I always find helpful, I have to say that as a fashion entrepreneur, you have to keep getting trained. Whatever you do though, learn to follow the money. Any training that teaches you about money, that is where you need to be. Other can include delegation strategy, marketing and sales.
What are the key influences on your fashion brand style?
A key influence of my fashion brand is multiplicity. Everything created by AnwuliLAGOS Lagos, MUST be multi-functional. The pieces can’t be boxed to an event. The look worn to brunch with friends can also worn for a speaking engagement and also a day for errands. Another major influence is state of my immediate environment. AnwuliLAGOS was created in 2016 because of the general disappointments i noticed around me. Anwuli means joy so it was an attempt at bring joy to Lagos. Lastly I listen to my clients. For every collection created there is another look waiting to happen. I have to just keep my ears down
What should Nigerians and the world expect from you in the nearest future?
The best in quality and consistent drive for excellence.