By Sarah Oyedo
The Creative Director of Androgynous Menswear clothing brand Orange Culture, Adebayo Oke-Lawal is the cover of Business Day’s The Spark magazine.
On the inside of the magazine themed “Soaring In Fashion”, Oke-Lawal reflects on starting out, keeping head above water in the game and filling the gap as an example to a young generation.
Read excerpts from the interview below:
On challenges on starting out: People had no belief in what I was trying to do. It was different and that didn’t go well with many people that should have supported me or invested in the business. What was normal back then was to own a fashion company that made Suits or Agbada. Casual wasn’t a thing in Nigeria. But I knew what I wanted to do and continued nonetheless. It wasn’t easy but Orange Culture is not only still running but we’ve been featured in magazines and in fashion shows across the world.
On keys to success in the Nigerian fashion industry: Avoid making those mistakes I mentioned earlier. It’s a very difficult industry, so be willing to learn, be passionate and stay focused. Look at the gaps we need to fill and build your business based on those gaps.
On hopes for the Nigerian fashion and style industry: An accredited fashion education system comes to play. It is vital and will help fix a lot of our foundational technical industry issues. I also envision the industry further opening up to a division of labor. We need more than just fashion designers to build sustainable businesses. It is my dream that we become a fashion capital in the world. Thanks to shows like the Lagos fashion week, this is happening already.
On advice for an aspiring entrepreneur in your space: Be diligent and resilient. Celebrate your differences and how you create.
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