•T&K Collections Tell City People
You can’t help but like them. They are 2 beautiful twins who just got married on the same day in Lagos. The Abdullahi twins are two pretty look-alike and down-to-earth ladies who are doing remarkably well with their fashion brand, T&K Collection. They both actually studied Microbiology in the university but soon opted to go into fashion designing. But they are always quick to tell anyone who cares to listen that their fashion line is not for every lady, it is only for the mature lady who desires to look good without going scantily dressed. They cater only for women who love to be fully dressed always.
They were both honoured at the 3rd City People’s Fashion Awards which held in Lagos a few weeks ago. The two warm and charming ladies spoke to City People’s Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL (08037209290) few moments after they were honoured and they opened up on their passion for fashion which started from way back in their younger days.
Congratulations on the award you just picked up?
(Both respond) Thank you.
Can I have your names, please?
Okay. I’m Hajia Husseina Abdullahi and Hajia Hassana Abdullahi.
I thought you ladies were Yoruba because you speak the language so fluently. Where are you from?
My dad is from Katsina and my mum is from Oyo state, Owode precisely. We were born and bred in Lagos then we moved back to Abuja and stayed there for more than fifteen years before moving back to Lagos again.
Tell us, how did you both get into the fashion industry?
We thank our mum for that. She loves to be fashionable at all times. When we were much younger, whenever we dressed up for an outing, our mum would take a look at us and ask us to return to the house, that we were not properly dressed. Now, as grown ups, we just strive to look different and unique anywhere we go to. So, we ended up following what we were taught as young girls. Right now, we sell clothes, shoes, Jalabia and stuffs like that. My sister is into make-up while I am into catering.
What’s the name of your fashion outfit?
T &K Collection.
Before you started fashion, what were you ladies thinking of doing before you went into fashion, how many years ago now?
It’s been like four years now. When were in school, Osun state university to be precise, we both studied Microbiology by the way. What I wanted was to be a nurse, or a midwife. But we didn’t get the chance. Yes, we are proud to be Microbiologists but I have always wanted to work for myself and not for anyone. The stress of getting a job was becoming unbearable. After doing well at interviews, they tell you that you have to do some nonsense to get a job or you’re offered peanuts. So, since then I just lost interest in working for anybody. So I asked my sister, Kenny, what do you want to do? She said she likes make-up. My mum asked me the same question, I said I like catering. I love to cook, I love to bake, I love to do things like that. So, gradually, we evolved into fashion. And what made our passion come out so well is that both of us are twins and so many people love us so much. Actually, without their love and support, Dr. Seye Kehinde would not have seen us in the first place. We met Mr. Seye Kehinde at Mayegun’s coronation in Oyo, though before then he’d known us already but we now had the opportunity to meet him one on one at the event. And when we go on social media, people share our pictures and that’s how the passion began.
So, how has the journey into fashion been so far for you guys, now that you have decided to put your careers as Microbiologists on hold?
It has not been easy. To be a successful babe in Nigeria doesn’t come cheap but we thank God, we are not doing badly. It’s become our passion now.
Do you ladies do ready-to-wear? Take us through what you do basically at T&K Collection.
We do not do ready-to-wear, but our younger sister, our Alaba, does ready-to-wear. In my family, we were all brought up to be self-independent by learning one craft or the other, so my sister is into that line and her outfit is called Amina Fashion House. What we’re wearing right now is from her. That’s how gifted we all are in my family.
So, what does T&K Collection do?
Okay, what we do is we order clothes from Dubai, we sew Jalabias, Abayas, Guinea brocades, Kampala and for men we do materials but for ladies we do lingeries, shoes and bags as well.
Why did you delve into that area of fashion, I mean the Jalabias, Guinea brocades, is it because you’re Muslims or you feel there’s a market for it?
It all actually started with people admiring what we wear. When they see us they say, oh, I like what you’re wearing, where did you get it from? Can I buy it? And we sell it off. That’s how we decided we should start selling since we now know that people love seeing us in these attires, so that is how we started. And from there, we began to get clients. People keep loving what we wear and sell and they started patronizing us and that’s how its been for years now.
Give us an idea of what your clientele base looks like? I know you must have a lot of big babes on your clientele list?
Actually, the truth is that the big babes out there don’t wear all these types of stuff that we wear and sell. We know what they wear. They love the tank tops and stuffs like that. We don’t wear those things, so we can’t sell them. But the clients that we have are the classy Hajias, mature ladies, unique ladies, not just any kind of lady. These are the women who prefer to dress decently and be fully clothed, not the scantily dressed types.
So, you guys juggle catering, make-up and the fashion business together?
Yes, we do and that’s one thing our followers love about us. They say you guys are always together and you’re always wearing same clothes and that we are a blessing to the world of twins. They say they don’t want us to separate at all. We say thank you to them but then remind them that marriage will separate us. They say no, that the men that will marry us should just come together, marry us and put both of us in the same house. They say we don’t want you guys to separate at all and that’s how it has been all these years.
As business partners, do you ladies disagree sometimes and argue over matters?
Sure, we do. But the thing about my twin sister and I is that we both think in the same direction most times. Even before she says a word, I already know what she wants to say. So, we rarely disagree. And when we do, we don’t let it get serious, we explain things to each other properly. We have friends, we have family, we have followers, but we don’t have personal friends, we are each other’s bet friends. We don’t discuss issues about us with anyone. The only person we can discuss our personal issues with is our mum, she’s a blessing to us, just like we are to her. So, that’s what has been keeping us together and helping us run our businesses smoothly without problems. For us, there is no third party, apart from mum.
Are you guys preparing for that moment when both of you would walk down the aisle with your husbands and go on to live separate lives?
Yes, definitely, we’re preparing for it and its going to be very soon.
So, how do you hope to keep the bond between you guys going when that happens?
Don’t worry, we’re working towards that right now. We actually don’t want to separate from each other and things are working our way right now.
Do you guys have plans to return to the microbiology profession at some point?
Yeah, we do. We are planning to study more later and probably go abroad to work as microbiologists. Overseas, microbiologists are much more valued than they are over here. Here in Nigeria, they offer to pay microbiologists 70k and when you take out your transport expenses from home to office and back home every day, the money becomes worthless. So, maybe someday, we might travel abroad to work as Microbiologists. But right now, we want to concentrate on our businesses and also work towards getting married soon.