•Popular LAGOS Designer, BUNMI AYUBA
She is the CEO of Tailor made Fashion House. She is one of the popular designers rocking the Lagos social scene. Bunmi Ayuba has got this unique way of getting attention at parties on account of her bold and daring outfits. You can’t help but take a 2nd and 3rd look at Bunmi Ayuba’s fashion statement.
There is no way she will be at a party and you will not notice either her Gele or outfit. Her switch gele and style is always different from the regular call her the queen of switch Gele if you want to, but one thing that is sure that she is a show stealer.
Last week, she was sighted at the wedding of Yeye Bewaji Ayo Julius son in Lagos and there she granted an interview with City People’s Society Reporter TITILOPE OGUNLEYE where she disclosed why she left advertising and public relation for fashion designers among many other things. She talked about her fashion statement and why her style is loud. Below are excerpts.
What do you do for a living?
I am a fashion designer. I run Trailor made fashion outfit.
For how long have you been into fashion designing?
I have been in it for almost 30 years.It has been a long time. Twenty-six years to be precised.
How did you start the journey into fashion designing?
I started small. I started because my children were very young and I wanted to give them more care and attention. So, I stopped work and I began to think about what I can do at home that would not take my time and I decided to follow my passion which is fashion and that was how Tailor made fashion house started. When I got that idea, I started making clothes for some people and we got a shop at Adeniji Jones opposite my house and later moved to Alade Market. When we moved to Surulere I got a shop around Adeniran Ogunsanya. I found myself in the market because of customers.
I had more customers and my target are women. So I thought of where I could get them and it was in the market, and shops were also cheaper in the market. I started to run it gradually in Iponrin market and we are still there till today.
Fashion designing is a populated business and you have been able to run it for close to thirty years. What is your staying power?
My staying power is persistency. Fashion Designing is what I love doing and that is not to say we have not gone through a lot of challenges, but God and persistency has kept us. There were times I had wanted to quit and try something much more easier. Even the tailors are not helping matters as well as power holding company. Most of the time, we burn petrol all through the day, so we can fix customers clothes as to not to disappoint them. Sometimes customers would give us tough time but since it is what I love, I have to continue. Right now, I am not doing it at the scale I was doing, when I was young but I am still in it. I am not going to give up. Every year, I say I am starting afresh, so I put in the energy and effort if someone just starting a business. So I started a fresh every year and next year. I will start afresh as well. Sometime we need to change tailors and put more effort and creativity. We must confess that God has really been faithful.
What are those major challenges in the fashion business?
The major challenge for me especially is the tailors. I creativity design some outfit and I have some in my head as well as the fabrics but to translate those ideas to the tailors is a big challenge. You explain several times but they don’t just understand. You might have the ideas in your head but they are the ones that would sew and bring it out. At times they make mistakes and when they make mistakes, time and money is wasted. It power holding decides not to supply power, one can always a switch on the generator for power supply. You can always get tailors too when the fund is there but the challenges are translating your innovation and ideas. So they can understand. Sometimes impossible and can’t be done. Sometimes it is frustrating and at the end of the day.
When you do it or call people that can do it and they see that it can be done, but instead of them to be humble and admits there ego comes to play. Some of them can even leave and that is a big challenge.
Can you please mention the top celebrities you have styled?
They are countless but I can’t remember their names as we speak. The ones that I think are my top customers are the quiet ones. People hardly know them and those are the real paying customers. Those who pay are those consider as top customers and not the big names. I have customers even outside the country who are not popular but pays well. Sometimes the popular one don’t pay as much as those that are not popular.
Do you make outfit for women alone?
I majorly style women but if customers want male wears. I have someone who give it to.
Have you styled any weddings?
Yes, I have styled several bridal trains in the past but I don’t do weddings any more. Now we observed that young people have their own designers in mind already for their weddings. We now have those that are specialised in making wedding gowns and that is not to say we want
What were you doing before you decided into fashion?
I work briefly in Advertising and Public Relations.
Who and what inspired you into doing fashion?
My parent are not into fashion, but I just observed that it is something, I love to do naturally and stresslessly. I love to look good and I was dressing myself up, when people asked me to make some of my designs for them.
Tell us a little about your background?
I grew up in Shomolu I studied Mass Communication in Ogun State Polytechnic.
You have a beautiful natural hair. For how long have you been wearing this waist length dred lock?
I have nurtured it for like 15 years.
Does it not bore you?
Actually I started the lock because I had three daughters who make their hair and I didn’t have time and resources to do for four people. So I said let me go natural and that was how I cut my hair and left it, then later I thought of doing a dred lock because I wanted to go natural and be close to God.
I started it with JATO which is close to Adeniran Ogunsanya. JATO was the hair stylist that started the hair from scratch. The cost is not much and if I was not doing this, I would probably be buying wigs that would cost 200,000 and above. It only cost me like 5k to wash and style. It is very long and full out because it is natural, I don’t feel any weight. In fact, I can boldly say that I have not for once regretted that decision.
Tell us some personal information about yourself and spouse. Who is your husband and what was his reaction when you left Advertising for Fashion?
I am married to Ladi Ayuba. He is retired now and he is cool with my lifestyle. In fact, when I started doing the fashion thing, I worked late and most of the time I am out of the house working with my children and I don’t neglect my duty at home as well. He is a very understanding and private person.
For how long have you been married?
We would be 30 years in marriage next December.
You have been rocking the social scene for a while. Is it your love for fashion that made you a socialite?
I started rocking the social scene when my children were all grown. Let’s say like about 5 years ago. My work made me a socialite. My client invites me to their parties and may be I styled most of what they are wearing, so I attend to appreciate them and that was how I started. Some of them would even introduced me to their friends. So I decided to become more social to meet more clients and get more jobs.