The annual Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe is back this year, and we’re happy to report, Nigerian-raised entrepreneur Fisayo Longe, who’s the creative director and founder of fast-rising womenswear brand, Kai Collective has made the list, making her a featured honoree of the “Art & Culture category” for Forbes’ Europe class of 2021.
According to the publication:
The 30 Under 30 Europe class of 2021 includes 300 honorees across each of the 10 categories, all aged under 30 years old. Against the backdrop of turbulent social and economic conditions across the region, the sixth annual Under 30 Europe list celebrates the young visionary leaders and entrepreneurs who have made their mark on business and society in the past year.
The 2021 list features a diverse range of changemakers across the fields of Social Impact, Entertainment, Retail & Ecommerce, Sports & Games, Science & Healthcare, Media & Marketing, Art & Culture, Manufacturing & Industry, Technology and Finance.
In an interview with Forbes Europe, Fisayo spoke about the beginnings of her fashion business, the philosophy behind her fashion brand, the need for her financial independence and much more.
Fisayo took to her Instagram to share the good news:
Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2021. Featured honoree of the Art & Culture category.
I love to give credit for my accomplishments to the people who support me. From family to friends to my team to my online community, it truly takes a village. This would not be happening without them- especially my mum, who was the reason I was able to start Kai when I did.
However, I’ve decided that this one is for me. This is the culmination of events since starting a fashion blog in 2012. We are here because of a fashion blog and taking photos (in some terrible outfits, you can go see for yourself) on the streets of London.
We are here because I carried on despite the fact that my shameless self-promotion looked stupid to many. We are here because I was kicked out of university with only a loss-making brand to show for it. I know who I am and even at my lowest, I believed in myself. We are here because of years of sacrifice and perseverance. We are here because I ignored criticism about showing my body on Instagram in a way that was not compatible with my ‘culture’, and used my love of the female form to create a completely sheer ‘dress of the year’ that shows every curve and crevice on women of every size.
It is so important to me that women, especially Nigerian women, realise that we should not audition for men or build our lives according to their desires. We can choose who we want based on who we truly are. We can also stop setting a deadline for when this needs to happen.
When it’s all said and done, this has happened, because I have done what I want, when I want, how I want. I am finally graduating from uni this summer- at the same time as my little sister who is eight years younger than me. The only timeline that matters for my life is the one I choose.
The only thing that I am scared of is living a life that I did not choose for myself. I’ve listened to my gut even when it didn’t make sense to others. I am okay with looking stupid and making mistakes, knowing that there are none that I cannot learn and bounce back from.
This is a place without fear and shame.
Thank you for this great honour @forbes @iamsternlicht #ForbesUnder30.
Check out the full list on www.forbes.com
Photo Credit: @fisayolonge