Dayo Abubakar is the Creative Director of DAIO Fashion and Apparel. He is one of the best fashion designers based in Abuja. Due to his ever creative and timeless pieces, City People Fashion reporter, Tobi Ogundeji, had an interview session with him where he discussed his style, fashion, his journey and what he looks to achieve with fashion. Below is the excerpt from the interview. Remember, it’s City People Fashion column, Have a blissful read!
How long have you been in the fashion business?
I’ve been in the fashion industry since 2018, that’s 2 years now.
Have you been able to achieve a lot within the short period you joined the Fashion industry?
I wouldn’t say I’ve achieved a lot really but yes with the little I’ve achieved this short period, I’d say it’s God and referrals. I try to meet a lot of people and make new friends. And when I make an outfit for someone, I ask them to refer me. And I try as much as possible to not disappoint so they always come back and refer people.
At what point did you realize you really wanted to be a part of the Fashion industry?
I think fashion chose me. It all happened late 2017 in my Aunty’s living room. I was trying to sketch a cloth for a tailor to make for me… then she said, don’t you think this is your way? I never looked back since then plus I really love to dress, to look good, to look different so I just decided to start and I’ve never looked back since. It’s been amazing ride!
You’ve become a style icon, making many trends your own. Do you often incorporate your personal style in your design process?
I wouldn’t really say I’m a style icon yet. But I think I’m trying my best to be up there with fashion greats. Yes, I do! Sometimes when I see people’s design that I really love, I try to recreate while adding my own into it.. like what musicians called doing “cover” for another artists music. I believe style is relative…what it means to me might be different to what it means to you.But I think I just want to make clothes that speak for itself.
Speak for itself in what way? What message do you want people to perceive just at a glance of your design?
You know, I used to say in a world where you can be anything, be stylish! When people see my outfits, I want them to see bravery, boldness and style.
How would you describe your style?
Different, exquisite and urban.
How has your brand evolved since its inception?
It’s really hard being a startup in Nigeria but I’d say it’s better than it was a year ago. Gradually it’s evolving, clients are getting bigger and the business is growing little by little.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a designer?
Never stop learning!
From where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
A lot of things really. I’ve once seen a design in my sleep. Sometimes it might be an art. Sometimes it might be some other works I have seen and I’ll be like “this can be better”. Other times I just wanna be okay with colors.
How did you create the name ‘DAIO”
I just removed the “Y” in Dayo and replace it with “I” I no too get the strength to define the name
What stands DAIO out from other fashion brands?
I think it’s the enthusiasm I put into the work. When you are excited doing a particular thing, it comes out different. There’s just something special about the Daio brand that makes it unique from every other brand.
Where do you see your brand in five years?
Better than where it is right now. I’m excited about the future, I can’t wait!
What do you look forward to achieving with DAIO?
Everything there’s to achieve in the fashion industry. I want it to be a name on everybody’s lips.
How do you want your brand to be perceived globally?
As one of the best in Africa. I’d love my brand to be the Wizkid of fashion. Putting AFRICA on the map.
Is your brand gender restricted?
No. I make clothes for both genders and all ages. I recently fell in love with female clothings.
Are there great Men and Women who you would love to see in your timeless designs?
Yes!! Wizkid, Ebuka if possible, John Boyega, Lupita Nyogo, Genevieve Nnaji etc.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
In fashion, Mai Atafo, Ugo Monye.
What advice do you have for people who are aspiring to join the Fashion industry?
The sky is big enough for everyone to fly. But for you to be noticed, you have to be different. So, create a niche for yourself and build on it. It’s not going to be easy at first, but at the end, it’s going to be worth it.
What’s the most important aspect of your creative process?
The Finishing! I love paying attention to every detail therein.
Are you on any social media platform?
Yes, I’m on Instagram @daioabubakar.