•Reveals His Success Secrets
Talk about one leading fashion designer who has become so successful with his brand and the name Bashy Kuti will crop up. He is the CEO of the wave-making fashion label, BKK Ultimo Designs. He built his fashion brand from scratch and today, he designs for all top celebrities in Nigeria. He designs for Governors. He designs for Ministers, Senators and House of Representative members. He designs for royal fathers and successful businessmen. He is the designer of choice for top socialites who dominate parties and events, across Nigeria.
Over the last 2 years or so, Alhaji Bashy has stepped up his game. He has moved from just being a celebrity fashion designer to a Wardrobe Consultant. And he is very good at what he does. Many of his high profile clients have become so comfortable with him that they simply leave him to manage their wardrobe for them. He chooses their fabrics, buttons and designs. And tells them which designs will best go with their fabrics.
He is good at what he does and everyone commends him for that.
A few days back, City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE spoke to the Ibadan-based fashion king on how he stepped up his game. Below are excerpts of the interview.
How was business last year, 2021?
All I want to say is thank you, Lord. It was a great year. For 2021 and the years to come, it’s been no one but God. I also want to thank all my patrons, for their support and love. They know BKK is a brand that strives to do the best in the fashion industry, we walk the extra mile to satisfy our clients and they, in return, appreciate what we do. This is a brand that can never compromise quality and our clients have been wonderful.
The feedback we get is highly encouraging and this pushes us to improve every day.
Talking about 2021. It was just a year that everybody in business, at home and abroad worked hard to gain the grounds we lost to the pandemic in 2020. I think we fared well at BKK because we were able to actualise some phases of our business.
We have our UK outlet which is doing very well. We are not resting on that, as we plan other things which we are going to unveil as the year goes by.
What do we expect from BKK in 2022?
Obviously, there are new things coming. As you know, fashion is not static. We tend to create and not repeat. Our patrons are so familiar with our calendars.
What we do is we draw a calendar that covers each quarter of the year. This simply means we come out with new designs and styles every 4 months.
In 2022, you should expect more designs from us. We are unveiling our designs for 2022 in January, so our clients should watch out for this.
Also in 2022, we should think of having some outlets within Nigeria to ease the challenge of reaching out to our clients.
Like we did in our UK outlet, you can drop clothes and within a week, you will get them back.
Although Ibadan remains the headquarters of our operations, we hope to expand in 2022. We know we are doing well going by the feedback we get.
In some of our feedback, there are also complaints. I won’t lie about that. But the beautiful aspect of criticism is that it brings out the best in us. We work out details, we itemise our client’s suggestions and complaints and we improve on them.
In 2022, I implore all our clients to watch out for an improved version of us.
2022 is going to be a year where we would focus on designs for the social-heeled, the executives, the corporate gentlemen, the stylish youths and all the other people that know what time it is when it comes to fashion.
It’s going to be a defining year as far as fashion is concerned and we are well prepared for that.
You have clientele across Nigeria, from Lagos to Abuja, to PH, all across. How do you cope with the huge demand?
We have different departments handling the business. People don’t understand that fashion has gone beyond ‘lo gbe aso fun tailor’ (Go and give clothes to the tailor) And we thank God we are part of the brands that changed the concept.
We have our Creative department, our Marketing department, we have our PR Unit and also we have a team that handles logistics.
So it’s easier, as we delegate work and our targets are met. That’s why we are expanding our factory in Ibadan and not thinking of having a factory here and there.
As you are aware, with our UK clients, we deliver between 5 to 7 days. As for other places like Port Harcourt and Abuja, it takes 5 days. We have airlines we work with that makes it easier to deliver to our clients in America, the UK and other parts of the world.
This solves our handling the huge demand we have. Unlike before that, we run from pillar to post to meet up demands, now we have different departments handling our job and it’s near-perfect.
How do you see the growth of BKK?
The story of BKK is an inspiring tale that I love to tell, all the time. I grew up having a sister who was a big-time fabric merchant. Interestingly, I got to know about all the quality fabrics and the nitty-gritty of the job. At that time, there were just a few cloth makers/designers in Ibadan. All the big names were in Lagos.
So, I felt this is an opportunity to express myself. Mind you, I dress very nice, so much so that my friends would beg me to help them get the materials I wear to parties. I started, it wasn’t easy, at first. There were challenges and disappointments here and there. Thank God, we are here today and we are saying a big thank you to all of you that identified with the brand and brought us to where we are today.
What has been your staying power?
Three things… (1.) I identify my clients and understand what they want. ( 2). We don’t copy, we define styles and determine what should be in vogue. ( 3.) We have a credo we don’t joke with ‘classy fit that keeps you happy’.
How have you managed to keep BKK at the top?
Keeping BKK at the top doesn’t come easy. As we speak, we have many tailors in Ibadan that are fantastic. Kudos to them. But we manage to keep focused and make sure we are hard to imitate. We don’t joke with our Trade Secret and that is the formula working for us. We dictate styles and we are confident in everything we do here. That’s why we stick to the international fashion calendar and know what time it is in the fashion industry.