Have you noticed that many people in the corridors of power and in the business community now wear well-sewn corporate outfits from BKK Couture?
We can tell you that for free, that the wears are the handiwork of Ibadan-based fashion designer, Alhaji Bashiru Kuti, popularly called Bashy. That is the result of the rebranding Bashy Kuti embarked on 2 years ago.
What the hardworking designer did then was to go back to the drawing board to identify his core patrons and worked towards catering to their taste. It has worked. Bashy no longer needs to run helter-skelter looking for every dick and harry to patronise him. Now, he has a few high-networth individuals he designs for. And he does it so well that many of them could not dream of going elsewhere. He gives them what is missing in other designers personal touch.
He does not only design well for them, the high quality and the uniqueness of his fabrics stand him out. And he hand delivers their clothes to them: whether they are in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Ilorin, Imo or Enugu.
Not many people know that this ebony complexioned and ruggedly handsome guy has put over 15 years into fashion business. He started off years ago by simply playing with Fabrics.
When asked to grant interview about his success story, he smiled. “What’s there to talk about again”. He declined to have a formal interview, but gave an informal insight into how it all started. “I give God the glory,” he said in an interview. “It’s all about God because I didn’t know the whole thing will turn out this way. It all started with my love for Fabrics. I am a fabric person. I love fabrics,” he explained. “I have stayed on the job for a long time to know what the industry dictates and know what to do. I usually come up with different designs from time to time. Sometimes ago, I came up with the Sai Baba Style and everybody fell in love with it.
“We later introduced a handful of designs that people also love. We will keep working on new designs that have our trademark. I am proud to come up with designs that many people have copied. It shows that I am doing the right thing. So, for me, the job is to concentrate on my area of strength and make sure nobody beats me to my game.
“Though, I am based in Ibadan, I deliver to every part of the country and I am abreast of happenings in Lagos and other parts of the country, I am more comfortable in Ibadan. The truth is that your patrons will locate you, no matter where you operate from, as long as they know you would give them the value for their money.
How has he been able to survive this long in business he was asked.
“Passion and Focus. Those are the 2-key words. When you set up a business, you must always know why you are going into the business. For me, I didn’t just wake up and say the next thing to do is to be a fashion designer. I have always known much about fabrics business because I was privileged to have learnt it from my late sister. She taught me many things about fabrics and I fell in love with it since then. I didn’t start the business in Ibadan, I actually started in Lagos, but I relocated to Ibadan in the 90’s because I wanted to have a fresh breathe.
I wanted to focus more on unique fabrics designing, so I moved to Ibadan. Surviving has not been easy, but thank God, we are still standing tall. We have grown over the years and the city is now getting bigger as more people have continued to come into the city to establish their businesses as a result of government’s efforts to help small and large-scale businesses to grow. I owe my success in Ibadan to God and my very loyal clients, who have stood by me through thick and thin. We have survived for more than 15 years, but the truth is that we are still struggling to catch up with our colleagues outside Ibadan.
He is always seen at parties and outside Ibadan, how does he manage to monitor his boys in the factory?
“Yes, I attend many parties, but it is to enhance my business, because the people I sew for usually invite me to their parties and I can’t turn them down. It does not affect my business in anyway. I am very much involved in what goes on at BKK. Nothing comes in or goes out without my consent. I have capable hands working for me, but that does not mean I don’t pay attention to my work. My input is very important at BKK”.