Right now, everyone is talking about beautiful Kiki Okewale, one of the leading fashion designers in Nigeria. She presides over the fast-growing Hope By Kiki Okewale fashion empire. It is an empire that is fast evolving and she churns out extremely creative pieces from her stable.
When it comes to unabashed Glam it’s hard to get a more high octane than Hope by Kiki Okewale brand, the fashion haven has been a Mecca of sorts for royals, high-powered female celebrities, top female politicians, Nollywood divas, discerning female captains of industry, All of them are now awe-struck of Kiki Okewale called the Queen of Blings the delectable disarmingly beautiful owner of the one-stop fashion outlet known as Kiki Okewale Fashion Brand, what sets her store apart is because it is a one-stop store where you can get all your fashion needs from head to Toe from beautiful fabrics (amazing Aso-Ebi deals) to jewellery, shoes and bag and the unique sewing techniques bedazzled and intricately embellished outfits to stand her clients out.
She now plays big in Aso-Ebi business. She was the one who packaged the Aso-Ebi that about 1,000 celebrity women wore at the recent wedding of Kehinde, the beautiful daughter of Otunba Gbenga Daniel and his stylish wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel.
How did she pull it through? How did she handle that brief from the Yeye of Style, herself?
Last week, Kiki, who is the adorable wife of Dr. Tunde Okewale of St. Ives Hospital, in Lagos, told City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE the story and how she has become a big brand today in fashion. Below are excerpts.
I noticed that you have stepped up your game. You are now into the provision of Aso-Ebi for events. And you have grown so big. How did you develop that aspect of your business?
When I started my business about 5 to 6 years ago, it was because a few years ago when I was planning my wedding everything was so difficult for me to move, from one place to another. You cannot be looking for where to buy Aso-Ebi without going to a Lagos merchant, looking for where to buy your shoes, bags, jewellery. Looking for wear to make your outfit. It was just so tiring, especially for a bride. So, after my wedding, I decided to start my own one-stop store, for all fashionistas and all their fashion needs. When we started we were selling fabrics. We had access to do Aso-Ebi. We have been doing Aso-Ebi ever since then, but of course not as much as now, because now people are getting to know us more, and they are trusting us more with their Aso-Ebi deals and over the years the business has grown. Thanks to a lot of people who have trusted us over the years and we have been able to develop different arms of our business and it has been really good.
Tell us all the services you render. I think you design, style and supply fabrics. Am I right?
We are known for styling people from head to toe. We basically do everything that has to do with your fashion needs, from selling fabrics to designing and styling.
We also do Aso-Ebi. Our Aso-Ebi packages are really affordable. And we have different Grades and different levels. The beauty of our Aso-Ebi is that we can actually customise to your needs, meaning that, we can make a fabric that won’t be in the market. You won’t find it.
It will be in your colour, it will be specific to your wedding day colours or party day colours.
We would change the designs and make it unique for your own needs. We also have our own shoe and brand, known as the K.O. shoes and brand. We sell bridal shoes. We sell shoes for mums. We also have our Jewelry section where we sell Brazilian Gold, Beaded Jewelry and all kinds of beautiful jewellery. As to our fabrics, we have different grades of fabrics. We have the very high end fabrics, we have H.O.H laces.
We have fully beaded fabrics. We have hand-beaded luxury fabrics. These luxury fabrics are known as Designers fabrics. They are fabrics made by International designers, beaded and fully studded fabrics. These kinds of fabrics are so unique that they only make them in one piece or a maximum of 2 pieces. So, if you are one of those who like to stand out, who like to be heavily beaded or studded, we have a whole section for that. And we have a lot of people who actually patronise us for our high-end fabrics. But we try to cater for all sorts of fabrics, so that our store is opened to everybody, depending on what type of fabric you are looking for. We also make dresses.
We make evening dresses, red carpet dresses, owambe outfits, so once you come to our store, you can get everything you need to go to a party, everything you need to wear for a party. We also stock male fabrics and we make lovely male caps for our kings, so they are not left out. We have swiss laces and different kinds of high-end fabrics for our men, and caps as well. We do Aso-Oke, we do Gele. So, like I said, its a one-stop store for all your fashion needs, everything that you need basically, you can get from us, like your bangles, earrings, jewellery, shoes, fabrics and dresses. So, we have a lot of people who just come into the store and we sort them out from Head-To-Toe.
So, there is no need to be going to different places. That is one of the things that has helped us grow over the years when people know that when you get to Hope By Kiki Okewale you can get anything that you need.
Everyone is commending you on your successful packaging of the Aso-Ebi for the Daniel wedding. How did you accomplish that?
Oh! Packaging the Aso-Ebi for Adebola and Kehinde Daniel’s wedding was so amazing. It’s one experience that has really, really helped my business as well. I remember that day when mummy called me. I mean Mrs. Daniel. She called me and said I want to do Aso-Ebi for 1,000 people and I said I don’t understand. I laughed because that was huge.
So, being a part of the process of planning the wedding was so good. Of course, we had meetings, we had to decide on colour, we had to decide on the kind of outfit they wanted and the Aso-Oke to match it with. They decided on everything. It was just so seamless. And we did a lot. We did 3 different kinds of fabrics. And mummy was just so wonderful. Everything came on time, as she wanted it and she was really pleased.
And then, it was so nice watching people wear those outfits on the wedding day, all the colours blended. Everything was just so beautiful and I am so grateful to be a part of that process. It was really amazing and I am glad that they chose our brand out of so many brands out there. It is such a honour that I will not take for granted..
What advice will you give anyone who needs to choose Aso-Ebi? How can they go about it?
Oh well. When you are choosing your Aso-Ebi, one thing you need to consider is your target, what is the price range that you are looking for? What kind of colour do you want? What kind of colours and fabrics will work for your guests, once you choose your colour wheel?
There are different kinds of fabrics. Make sure you choose something suitable for people. We always advise that you choose different kinds of fabrics for friends of the bride and different kinds of fabrics for friends of the parents because some fabrics are suitable for older people
Some fabrics are suitable for older people and some are better for younger people.
So basically, the 1st thing is to figure out a price range that you want to stay within, then your colours and then we would give you options. You have various options to pick from and then we settle for whatever it is you want. Of course, I always also tell people that you can also customise your Aso-Ebi to your own specific needs so that everybody wearing it on that day will stand out and you won’t find it in the market.