Critically looking at the DNA by Iconic Invanity brand, all its accomplishments and list of phenomenal clients including Osas Ighodaro Ajibade, Bonang Matheba and Seyi Shey – you’d never guess that the sophisticated, adventurous woman behind the brand is a 19-year-old!
While many of us were wanderlust in teenage dreams, Destiny Nwadire already put her foot on the first rung of a highly successful career by debuting the diffusion line at age 16 during Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2015.
Although she is under the mentorship of her mother Nancy Nwadire who founded the hugely successful parent brand Iconic Invanity, you can tell Destiny has a peculiar mind of her own with the vibrant and youthful route DNA by Iconic Invanity is taking. Destiny designs for young women who want to feel graceful and at the same time powerful.
My mission is to empower and inspire young girls and young women through the clothing I design
Alongside studying Digital Marketing in London, she directs the ethical fashion brand, constantly in communication with her team on designs, plans for fashion weeks, clients and much more.
Destiny recalls how she fell in love with fashion naturally: I grew up around every aspect of the making of the Iconic Invanity Brand, seeing ideas turn to real life and over time that became part of who I am – she admits that being around her mother has helped her grow as a designer.
In conversation with BellaNaija Style‘s Mary Edoro, Destiny talks about her brand, designing, and her own personal style.
How it All Started
I’ve grown up around my mum’s and Iconic Invanity’s creative energy and therefore it felt like a natural transition to start my own brand as a way of finding my own voice. From an early age, I enjoyed activities like painting, drawing and the interplay of colours which have influenced the aesthetics of my brand. I started working on my first collection in early 2015, at the age of 16. I introduced my first collection to the public at Lagos Fashion and design week in October of that same year.
The DNA Girl
The DNA girl is vibrant, ambitious and adventurous. She presents herself to the world in a powerful and confident way through her style.
Favourite Part of Being a Fashion Designer
My favourite part of being a designer is not only seeing my pieces come to life on the runway but seeing amazing clients all over the world wearing DNA by Iconic Invanity. It’s always amazing when you’ve been looking at something on paper, and working endlessly on every detail then seeing the final beautiful Wakandan women wear your designs- amazing!
Inspiration Behind the Designs
My overall inspiration comes from my mother who is also my mentor. My mother always inspires me with her drive and creativity. Ruth Carter has also recently made an impact on me, with her breathtaking costume designs in the recent Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther – she transported us to another world and made us feel like royalty with her vision of what African attire is and could be. I hope to use my creations to tell my story and make an impact in a way similar to how Iconic Invanity and Ruthe Carter have been able to do.
Favourite Collection So Far
I love all my collections and feel like it has been a great journey of growth for me as a young designer. With each collection, I learn and keep growing. My new collection is a statement collection which came just at the right time. My second collection – “Glitch” was also great with timeless pieces. I was able to incorporate quite rigid shapes and lines (digital aspect) into my pieces which I found exciting and unpredictable. I’m most proud of taking simple elements and fusing them into clean lines.
There are so many amazing designers out there, and it would be silly to ignore what they are doing. So I do take into consideration runway trends, but it’s important for me to maintain my own creative vision. Especially being an African designer, I have to maintain my African perspective while appealing to a global audience.
Must-Have Qualities of a Fashion Designer
There are several qualities that I think a fashion designer needs for a successful fashion career. The first is Passion. then Hard work and more Hard work, innovation, independence of thought, courage, and consistency. You have to constantly bring something fresh to the table, think about your unique point of view, know who your customer is and lastly learn the business aspect of fashion designing.
Running a Fashion Brand in Nigeria
The hardest part is having basics running smoothly without issues; with that I mean things like electricity, finding, building and maintaining a skilled team/staff in addition to difficulties in overhead costs of running a fashion brand.
Top Style Icons
Yara Shahidi(Grown-ish), Justine Skye, Rihanna, Issa Rae (Insecure)
Most Memorable Fashion Moment
My most memorable fashion moment was my first show at Lagos Fashion and Week. I felt really proud of myself for putting my first collection together (it was scary though) and then showing amongst the big fashion names at Nigeria.
Comfortable-Chic. I like to be fairly practical but with some creativity and personality in there too. So I recently wore Vans, mum-fit-jeans with a bright mustard teddy coat. Comfy, with some funky! Haha
When She’s Not Busy Designing
I love walking in the evenings with my mum and sister in Banana Island, Lagos.
Plantain!! I loooooove plantain, too much. I also love Salted Caramel Häagen Dazs ice cream.
“Work hard so you can shop hard” – I like that!
Read more inspiring interviews with other young African designers on the Millennial Designer Spotlight.