Shonowo, Gabriel Abiodun, fondly called Gabby by friends and family, is one fashion designer that is on his way to bigger things.
The young designer has come up with bespoke wears that flatter the wearer and sets them in a unique trend zone.
His label, GabbyMadeIt has warmed its way into the hearts of so many people, that even his clients continue to place overseas orders when they travel out of the country.
Gabby says his brand is referred to as a bespoke label because his designs are “customised, specially made to suit the wearer’s needs.”
GabbyMadeIt has been worn by celebrities and the high flies in the society, including Mercy Aigbe, Ramsey Nouah, Daniel K. Daniel, Oando Plc, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, etc.
What many may not know is that this young fashionista is a Mass Communication graduate of a popular private university in Nigeria.
And contrary to popular opinion, Gabby says his education is an important part of his business.
According to him, it is great to follow one’s passion, but education helps you chart a more productive course through your passion.
See all he said:
“I have no regrets following my passion. I studied something entirely different, but it has really helped my craft. I usually tell people that going to school is not a waste of time. It helps you to build yourself and it adds to your craft. I studied mass communication and graduated in 2012.
“I always knew I was not going to work in my university field. I won’t say my parents lured me into studying communication though. But I am not surprised I am into fashion. I have always been a craft person, right from my teenage years. I try to make a difference, put things together and try to make the best out of them.”
Beyond designing, Gabby is working hard at carving a niche for himself and others like him in the fashion industry.
He is planning on putting up shows, fashion industry night and other avenues where the crafts of designers can be showcased and create media hype for people’s creative works.
Here is how Gabby comes up with such respectable craft:
“Sometimes, if you know how to feel good, you will create something good. When I put on a wear, it makes me feel good that I look good. As a creative person, if you don’t feel good, you cannot even create. You must be interested in looking good enough to do your deep research, be in trend with fashion, merge old trends with new ones and create something beautiful, so that you can carve a niche for yourself.
“I have a client that we made a bespoke agbada for and the man was perplexed that we took the outfit to a drycleaner. I was proud to tell him that’s what we do. And he was really impressed that he could just easily wear his outfit without thinking of laundry first. He commented that “Tailor pass tailor oh”. So we always try to push forward something different in order to be special. Also, fashion is in the mind. If you can pull it out, then it’s fashion.”
For those who wish to be like Gabby, pay attention to the advice below:
“My advice to aspiring fashion designers is that the sky is big enough for everyone to shine. But, there’s a downside to it. People just dab into the fashion business like it’s nothing. There are so many tailors out there but they are not properly trained. People think the fashion business is a joke. You don’t just wake up and become a fashion designer. You have to learn the game and pay your dues, otherwise you will fizzle out. Also, it is not about learning how to sew. It’s deeper. Study hard. People will criticise you and your work, but you have to learn to stick by it if that’s what you really want and even learn from your mistakes so that you won’t give up. Try to go the extra mile.”
Gabby is also quite visionary about the industry he is fixed to.
“Before, banking was the in-thing. But right now, music seems to be the in-thing and fashion is fast following. We will get to the level where people will respect fashion designers as successful people. Fashion design is coming to sweep music away too. It is so awesome that in my own company, we already export clothes. People order from US, UK, Canada etc. People literally call from those countries to order and they are happy to wear it. This is a big deal for us,” he said excitedly.
The designer hopes for GabbyMadeIt to be one of the top notch bespoke fashion designers in Nigeria and Africa, with a lot of branches across the continent.
We hope so too.
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