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…with Oyinlola Benson

Oyinlola Benson

How and when did you get into fashion?
The ASUU 6-month strike in 2013 launched me into the fashion designing world. Prior to that, I was a professional model so it was only a matter of time before the flair for creating exquisite pieces consumed me… I trained for 4months and I went all in after resumption.

Why this line of fashion?
It’s vibrant, unusual, fun … it’s non-conformist. High fashion is a whole vibe that has not really been tapped into in Nigeria.

Do you create only high fashion pieces?
Not at all, My brand does everything fashion. From bridals to ready-to- wear(everyday look) to high fashion and everything in between.

How would you describe your pieces?
Eccentric and pretty unusual.

Do you work solo or with stylists?
I work with stylists to create certain outfits, at times i get a mood board from which I have to create designs. I do collaborations as well, which includes a full team of stylist, photographer, videographer and makeup artiste.

What is your favourite item you have designed/created?
Oh I have many favourites but my all year favourite would be the Coat of Many  Colours 2.0( you’ll understand the name once you see it) It’s a mixture of different patterns and vibrant colours, made from pure leather.

What was the most challenging piece you have created?
I will say every high fashion piece I’ve made is challenging. Each comes with its own level of challenges but I always come through. 

How has covid-19 impacted your life as a designer and the business?
Well, we can’t always dwell on the negative… It was a low period for most businesses as we shut down completely but as Oyinlola, lol… it showed me how much we need each other in time of crisis, it’s a time to reach out, a time to rethink, restrategise and revisit the drawing board. Business wise, it opened my brand to opportunities as I was contacted by churches to handle their nose mask production. As our own way of giving back to the community, we gave out over 150 custom made nose masks to the old and vulnerable in the vicinity.

What should be in every woman’s wardrobe?
An oversized kimono… goes with anything you wear.
A little black/white dress… you can style and restyle till you’re tired of the piece.
A statement belt.
A pair of heels… (decorative, block, stiletto)It accentuates your features always!
And lastly, a pair of Blue Jeans(shredded optional)

Post-covid, what are your plans?
The first on my list is to launch an EMBER COLLECTION Ready to Wear. Featuring bright colours, patterns, a little bit of ankara. It’s going to be a combination of exciting pieces for all, including plus size women.

Focusing a little more on the male aspect of the brand would be the next thing. We’re creating new bespoke pieces for men who want to stand out. It’s time to bring it to limelight and spread.

Future plans and one of the goals of my brand is to have an industry of tailors. It is a huge project but with God, consistency, hard work and support, it will come to pass. No impossibility.

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