BNS:Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a freelance fashion editor and stylist
BNS:How and when did you get into styling?
Styling just happened through an evolution of working as a freelance editor at different fashion publications in NYC, W Magazine, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar , Interview Magazine, Teen Vogue etc
BNS: How do you meet most of your clients ?
My clients have reached out to me, the fashion industry is quite small so it is very relationship and referral based.
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BNS:How did you end up collaborating with Zerina Akers on Beyoncé’s looks?
Zerina and I had worked together a few years ago at W Magazine. She reached out to me once Beyoncé and Jay-Z were confirmed to perform at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg. As an editor I always keep abreast to what’s happening in all markets and being Nigerian I always review the shows on the continent. The idea to have Beyoncé represent Made in Africa brands felt right.
BNS:How did you connect with the designers chosen for Global Citizen?Were there any challenges sourcing the looks, especially since you are primarily based in New York and Paris?
Since I was already familiar with LFDW and GT Fashion Weekend. It was easy to review the most recent collections from the talented designers. Although Nigeria is getting overdue recognition in the media in regards to arts, fashion and culture I felt it important to represent other regions, including Central Africa and East Africa as well as West. In regards to making contact, with social media as a tool it is hardly an issue. I was just as excited as the designers in the recruitment and sourcing process.
BNS:What was the vetting process like? What was the criteria for each designer, each look. Are there any designers you wanted to work with but couldn’t? Or that didn’t make the cut or fit the theme?
There is no vetting processing in all honesty. It is no different than shopping for yourself or a friend. You choose silhouettes and fabrications that would be flattering.
BNS:The general direction of ‘Mother Africa and female empowerment’ was mentioned about her onstage looks. How did you translate this in the looks you helped style?
Majority of the brands she wore are both women owned and designed. That is something much different than our European or American designer counterparts which are run mostly by men.
BNS: Jenke Ahmed Tailly collaborated with Mary Katrantzou on one of her on stage looks, and you collaborated with Zerina Akers on several of her offstage ones. What role do you think collaboration plays in the future of fashion?
I think collaboration is a wave that isn’t soon going away. The benefits are numerous but of course one major key factor is the unique perspectives which are cultivated from personal cultural experiences and knowledge.
BNS:You’ve worked with both Beyoncé & Solange in the past – honestly, what was working with them like? Does it feel as surreal as it sounds?
They are hard working and talented and you can see the results of their efforts in all the projects they do. Their willingness to experiment and challenge status quo has brought them both to icon status.
BNS:What is your personal aesthetic?
I am maybe what some would consider a boring fashion person because I love classic items. I love twisted basics, interesting cut blazers, deconstructed trousers, etc. I rarely wear prints if ever.
BNS: You’ve mentioned designers like Dries Van Noten, Nicolas Ghesquière, Alexander Wang and Jean-Paul Gaultier as designer favourites in the past, are there any up and coming or more established African designers that you love?
I really love what Meena, Lisa Folawiyo, Thebe Magugu, Loza Maléombho and Tokyo James are doing with their eponymous lines.
They are totally recontextualizing how African fashion is sometimes perceived
BNS:Do you have any African designers in your wardrobe?
Plenty of things from the tailor and recently some from Meena
BNS:What would you change about the global fashion industry and where do you think the African fashion industry can improve?
I think with the globalization brought on with social media and fast fashion,the fashion industry has suffered in terms of uniqueness. The business has become very trend driven due to access and hyper visibility. It’s hard to find that special piece but I think including various perspectives, opening up to new markets will be that breath of fresh air. The benefit of globalizing is that the idea of gate keepers has changed significantly , you can build your own platform and access your own consumer base.
BNS:Who do you look up to in the fashion industry?
I really love the work Camilla Nickerson and Alex White do as stylists and consultants. They also were my first introduction the breadth of work a stylist can do.
Fashion nightmare anecdote
I think most of my anecdotes include finding people to be fashion mules, when those gloves are absolutely necessary for a shoot and I have to enlist my Facebook friends to find someone who can fly last minute.
Accessory you can’t live without
I really hate cold weather and layers so as soon as it warms up, I live in sandals 24/7
Next travel destination and your must pack piece
I have had a very busy year traveling I may just stay put but I would love to visit Egypt or Peru. Must pack item: Sunglasses
Go to look?
My go to look would be vintage Levi’s and a statement top.
Black skinny jeans, vintage Levi’s, mules , & statement top