•LAGOS Fashion Designer, ZIZI CARDOW
•Talks About Her 19 Year Old Brand
Everyone calls her Zizi. She is a top Lagos fashion designer who has dominated the scene for years. Zizi Cardow is one of the consistent fashion brands in the Nigerian fashion industry. She has been in business for the past 19 years, and she is getting stronger and stronger by the day. What is Zizi Cardow’s sustaining power? What has kept her going? These and many more were the questions that City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE asked Zizi Cardow at her Ikoyi Showroom a few weeks back and she revealed what many don’t know about her ethnic-inspired brand. Below are excerpts of the interview.
You recently had a fashion show, what was it meant to achieve or was it your regular fashion show?
Of course it is my regular show. I always do my shows mostly around May, right after the fashion week. Its just that over the last one year I have not done any. I didn’t do any last year. But its been a regular thing. I do my shows constantly.
What message were you trying to pass across with this last show?
I was trying to present my Spring/Summer Collection 2019 and make some various proposals. I think it was well received. I got quite a lot of feedback, good feedbacks about it. All I was telling them is, this is what I am projecting for the year. This is what I think Fashion should be.
What has kept you going all these years? You have been very consistent, despite all the challenges. You’ve been doing this now for how long?
I have been doing this for the past 19 years. I am looking forward to my 20th, which is next year. I think first and foremost it has been the Grace of God. Two, hard work, Perseverance, believing in what I do. And myself, which is very important. I will say most importantly being truthful to who I am-the Zizi signature. I am not trying to be anybody else. I am not trying to follow whatever anybody is doing. I am just in my lane, doing what I love to do which is creating fashion. It’s even more rewarding for me now when you look back and see how things I have kind of like projected maybe 6, 7, 8 years ago are what is in vogue now. I kind of like feel, I am on the right track. I think most importantly also is I just put it down to Hard work. There is nothing else I want to say than Hard work. I am a firm believer of Integrity being in Labour.
How easy has it been to stay focused?
In your own case, you’ve always been consistently consistent.
It’s by not minding what others are doing that you get derailed. If you are always looking at what others are doing and wanting to be somebody else other than yourself, you will find yourself trying to live somebody else’s life. When you begin to measure yourself with other people and where they stand at a point in time, that is when you will start having issues because first and foremost, everybody is on their own different ways. As the saying goes” whenever somebody wakes up is their own morning. You cannot say because this worked for that person the same thing has to work for me. For me, it is the consistency, it is the fact that I am focused. This is all I know how to do. It is also very easy because from here I pay my bills and from this, I have been able to send my daughter to the best of schools. So this is what puts food on my table. My scissors and my tape is all I know. For me, it is a career. Most importantly it is something I would like to leave as a legacy. It’s not a touch and go thing. It is not a passing phase. This business is not exactly quick money. It is money intensive. I invest a lot in fabrics and accessories. You have to make sure your customer service is up to par. There is a lot more involved in being a celebrity designer.