•What She Told City People
On Sunday 28th March 2021, popular actress, Tayo Sobola, otherwise known as “Sotayo Gaga” unveiled her new collection in Lagos. The event was held at Radisson Blu, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos tagged “Fashion & Media Exhibition for her fashion house called Clean Stitches”. It was an event strictly for the media, and a few notable media houses were in attendance.
Clean Stitches, her fashion line is one of the businesses owned by the star actress. She launched it in 2018 and the designs from the stable of Clean Stitches has been the first choice of many notable celebrities considering the top-notch creativities that always speak for all their designs.
During her interaction with the media, the star actress, Sobola revealed her plans to open another branch in Abuja. This was followed by an exclusive interview she granted City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, and his team on why she chose to open another branch in Abuja. Below are the excerpts.
Why is Clean Stitches going to Abuja? Why not Port Harcourt or Ibadan?
I have got a market base in Abuja, and I believe that for you to come to a conclusion that you want to open a branch somewhere, you must have been used to the environment, you must be sure of your market there and you must be comfortable around the place you are setting up the business. So, for me, Abuja is another place I know I can stay if not Lagos and run my business and still not be at a loss.
So, I thought to myself that is a best place for me to go.
We know you have done design specifically for Abuja, can you tell us a bit about that?
At Clean Stitches, we sell ready to wear outfits, most times we sought our materials as well. The new collections we have now is not only for people in Abuja, people outside Abuja too are buying. For the Abayah style, I went all out to design it. Any design you see out there are our own design. I just thought we should do something to cut across that area. It shouldn’t just lace, the Ankaras and all that, at the same time it’s the Abayah design that people wants to wear.
Clean Stitches is how many years now?
We have passed 4 years now, so we are heading to 5.
What stands you out from the other fashion outfits?
I think it’s the fact that I still take out time to design my stuff myself and I create most of my style myself. When you see Tiannahs Cloths you will know this cloth is from Tiannah, you will see some dresses, you will know this is from this so, so designer. There is no way you will see Clean Stitches design and you won’t know this is from Clean Stitches once you are familiar with the brand. It’s just something I have tried to do over the years and I have tried to work on it, that there is no way you will see a particular design and you will not know it’s from me.
How did you come up with the name “Clean Stitches”?
When you want to start something at a time you do test running. I tried to test run when I started and I found out it was Clean, I said, this Stitches is Clean, and since I don’t want to use anything that got to do with my name, so I go for Clean Stitches.
Tell us about your love for iro and buba?
I always feel very comfortable wearing Iro and Buba. Some people will wear Iro and Buba and they can’t even cross their legs, but for me, I can do anything with Iro and Buba. I love it so much. I can go anywhere with it.
If I am allowed I will wear it to club.
What has changed about Sotayo?
Nothing serious, I am still the normal me. Funny enough, I have another brand, coming under Clean Stitches, it’s called TM that’s Tonia Michaels, we do some casual designing at times.
That is going to come under the brand. Those casuals will fall under Tonia Michaels. I am sure people will get used to the brand and we would bring it out. We have started rolling out designs under Tonia Michaels too.
How about the cosmetics business?
There is no customer of Clean Stitches that does not know about our cosmetics.
How easy is it joggling fashion and acting?
I try my best to create time for acting and create time for my fashion business. The truth is I feel comfortable designing my style myself and I try to create time to supervise whatever’s been made under my nose. So, it’s not been easy but I try to joggle it.
What makes your design stand out?
The Clean Stitches. I am always very particular about finishing. There are times I go into the mall, go into the stores abroad to buy stuff and turn it in.
There is this happiness in you removing your dress and you want to see how it looks from the inside. The finishing of clothes is what always thrills me. The finishing and how it fits. So, for what makes us stand out, I would say the fit and the finishing.
Are you working on any movie as well?
This year I have not done any personal production. If I am going to do it, it’s going to be just one for a year. I have plans for producing a movie very soon, just one for the year.