If you have seen top Nollywood stars like Prince Jidekosoko, FunshoAdeolu, Murphy Afolabi, Shola Kosoko, MuyideenOladapo (Lala), and many more in beautiful outfits and you ever imagined if such designs were created in Nigeria, the answer to your imagination is just a call way. The brain behind these beautifully crafted designs is Adewale Dauda, the founder of U&I Innovative Fashion Embassy.
Adewale is young, dynamic and creative fashion designer and an accountant by training who got his certification from the Lagos State Polytechnic. He’s also into entertainment, he is a Nollywood actor-producer who has featured in a couple of movies including Omo Olomo, Ise Orin, and also working on some yet to be released.
This articulate designer started sewing in 2006 and he has taken his trade to another level having added a creative design academy to his trade. He is not just a designer but also a trainer. He does both male and female outfits and that stands him out from the crowd.
He was at the City People corporate head office in Gbagada last week where he had a chat with DAMILARE SALAMI 08155134152. In the brief chat, he opened up on how he was inspired to become a creative fashion designer. Below are excerpts from the brief chat, enjoy.
You’ve been in the business since 2006, why did you pick fashion of all the businesses at your disposal?
Well, my passion for creative designs and seeing people look astonishing made me go into sewing business. Actually, I was once an accountant, I did accountancy at the Lagos State Polytechnic but the passion I had made me start sewing as an apprentice somewhere around Ikotun in Lagos, then later I enrolled at a fashion school.
Tell us more about the training you had and how you started learning about fashion design…
I started training immediately I finished my secondary education, it was pretty difficult then but I had to do it all the same. Then when I started my post-secondary school education, I had every reason to dump sewing and focus on my studies but I didn’t. I had to combine both and it was quite tough but I didn’t allow the two to affect each other. I study when I need to and I sew when it is required. In 2012, I relocated to Ikorodu where I enrolled in a fashion school to sharpen my skills as designer and upgrade my knowledge of the trade. I learnt a lot at cut and stitches fashion academy in Ikorodu and one of the most important skills I picked up was sewing female attires.
What style do you sew particularly?
I do native wears, shirts, trousers and unisex; I do everything fashion.
I know many designers who stick to just one sex. Why did you decide to do unisex?
I actually started with male wears only. But demands started coming in from female customers who liked what we were doing for men and I had to employ female stylists to cater to their needs. But at I point, I felt a need to up my game and I got a push from my wife who encouraged me to be an all-round designer so I took out time to get more training and here we are today. That also prompted me to start a fashion school where we train people and mentor them in this line of business. There was a day I got a lot of jobs from a female politician who gave me many female clothes to sew and one of my employees decided to quit because of the pressure to deliver the job within a short period. I took up the challenge to sew the clothes myself and they came out pretty well. It was an eye-opener and a stepping stone for me because it motivated me to brush myself up in female designs.
Which would you say is the biggest project you have handled so far?
I have done several job for many high-profile politicians who would not want to be mentioned. I also design for many top Nollywood stars like Prince Jidekosoko, FunshoAdeolu, Murphy Afolabi, Shola Kosoko, MuyideenOladapo (Lala), to mention just a few. We also do corporate designs for schools and corporate organisations. We design for Kith and Kin Education centre owned by a top politician, APC Vice Chairman in Lagos State, Asipa Kaoli Olusanya. There are several others that we have handled and are still handling but we do not take any of our projects with levity. For me, every project we handle is big and we treat it as such.
How do you get to meet your clients?
Well, I meet most of my clients via referral. I good job speaks for itself and that is what we are all about at U&I Innovative fashion Embassy. Although I don’t do online as such for the fear of being plagiarized but because we know that it is the trending thing right now, we have taken our business to Instagram. Our clients and prospective clients can reach us on 08129028200 on WhatsApp and @UandI_Innovative on Instagram.
Is that to say that you’re not planning to do social media campaigns any time soon?
That is what most people do now and it’s really working for them. I know it will work for me too and that is why we have made our presence known on Instagram. However, I believe more in referrals but we are not undermining the power of social media. Recently, we started another arm of the business and that is U&I Innovative Fashion Embassy ready-to-wear and bridal outfits. Watch out for us, we are taking over the market space very soon.
What would you like to say to your teeming and prospective customers out there?
I want to tell my customers home and abroad to expect more from us because we can give them what they want. And whoever is sophisticated in fashion and wants to look fabulous should contact us because we are qualified enough to attend to them and give them what they need. We are also hoping that in the near future we can penetrate the international market. And move our tentacles from Nigeria to other countries of the world. We promise to continue to upgrade ourselves and not disappoint them, we are here to meet their desires and cater to their needs. Look out for U&I Innovative fashion Embassy and just continue to patronize us. We thank them for their past patronages and anticipated continued patronage. Thank you all for loving us.