Tia Teni Adeola is on her way to taking on the world with her designs.
The Nigerian born designer and founder of Slashed by Tiato, a clothing brand, has been named by Teen Vogue amongst the 21 under 21 class of 2018.
Albeit still in her twenties, Tia has styled big celebrities such as Gigi Hadid. Her background of clothes and love for Renaissance painting heavily influence her designs which can be seen copiously in her collection.
She tells Teen Vogue of her journey and aspirations
“Clothes were something I loved for as long as I can remember. Being a designer wasn’t something I thought was convenient or just decided to do for fun. I used to make dresses for my dolls using my mum’s traditional Nigerian ankara fabric. I studied art history in London and fell in love with garments in Renaissance painting. I wrote my final paper on 16th-century Spanish dress in painting. The royals wore the most amazing clothes: ruffles, pearls, and velvet, which were all very expensive at the time. And I noticed that people of color were never featured wearing anything of that nature; they were often featured as slaves. So for me, it was taking this notion and reversing it.”
She enjoys making clothes but her aim is not just to add beautiful clothing to the word, she also seeks to change fashion as a whole.
“I feel like in fashion now, particularly in shows, everyone looks like soldiers, the average girl does not look like that. I have friends who are models and I know what they go through to maintain their appearance. People advise me saying, ‘You need tall models on the runway. They need to be skinny; it looks more professional. That’s what the big designers do.’ But if it takes me a little longer to reach my full potential because I won’t conform to that, I’m OK with it.”
She’d also like to change the status quo where the majority of major fashion houses are run by men.
“In 21 years, I hope I’ve set up a foundation steady enough to be able to uplift other girls like myself. I imagine having an all-female staff couture house and I’ll train them to be the best of the best design-wise. I want to see the world filled with female bosses, particularly women of colour. I hope to become one of the greatest female couture designers and help pave the way for others like me.”
By Sarah Oyedo
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