When it comes to womenswear, the industry is quickly becoming saturated with designers looking for different ways to express their creativity. The ones who succeed do so because of their skill and undeniable passion for fashion. The others who simply can’t cope with the tides, give up.
According to Motunrayo Agusto, the founder of contemporary fashion brand MO AGUSTO:
Other than being creative, to be successful in fashion, you need to be extremely hardworking, tenacious, resilient and a good multitasker.
Starting off as an image consultant; recommending and sourcing clothes for clients, she realised soon enough that she had an innate passion for fashion design and decided to formally train herself. “I had always been interested in fashion but had never truly considered garment-making before then. After this realisation, I began doing fashion courses in 2014 ranging from pattern making and couture bridal wear to marketing and so on at the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins and started MO AGUSTO soon after.”
Her fast-rising brand is rooted in femininity, vibrancy and craftsmanship. Together with her team, Mo makes clothes for contemporary women aged 25-40 who appreciate fashion, pay attention to their personal style and are confident, versatile and youthful using an aesthetic that is a fusion of Western and traditional influences.
For this week’s Millennial Designer Spotlight BellaNaija Style‘s Mary Edoro talks with Motunrayo Agusto about her brand and personal style.
Favourite part of being a fashion designer
My favourite part of being a designer is the conception of a new collection. I love being in my studio experimenting and coming up with individual pieces, deciding on a colour scheme and the various colour combinations.
To be honest, I’m currently going through it. I’m actually considering taking a break from creating collections to figure out some things on the business side. I have found running a business in Nigeria to be extremely stressful.
The MO AGUSTO Woman
MO AGUSTO is an evolving brand with a defined aesthetic, therefore, I would say a woman who is willing to explore fashion and style while staying true to herself. One who likes to play with colours, textures and silhouettes; and appreciates interesting construction.
Inspiration behind designs
I would say art, architecture, film, cultural references and more recently street style.
My Spring 2018 RTW collection. It was my Lagos Fashion Week debut collection and was received pretty well!
I have started to, but more as an approach of using trends to find sources of inspiration. I look forward to getting back to designing collections because I plan to take things in a slightly different direction.
Plus Size Inclusivity in Fashion
It’s great but it is one of those moments where I’m reluctant to celebrate a subset of people for doing the right thing. As long as they can afford to, every brand should offer something for all sizes.
As a creative, things usually need to come naturally to me in order for me to excel at them. I don’t design with size in mind. So producing a large range of sizes, definitely; but an entire collection dedicated to just plus size, we’ll just have to see. Anything is possible.
Hardest Part of running a fashion brand in Nigeria
Everything! LOL… ok really, human capital. Production is the bane of my existence.
Top style icons
“Icons” is such a strong word, I don’t have any at the moment. Some women whose styles I admire include Heart Evangelista & Miroslava Duma. I’ve also always loved the styles of Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and Jacqueline Kennedy.
Most memorable fashion moment
My runway debut! I was extremely shy when I came out in front of everyone. I spent all of five seconds before running away and completely missed my amazing fiancé (then boyfriend) who was standing by to give me a bouquet of flowers.
I have a few things I wear by default. An all-black ensemble, a short single-colour dress and more recently, a white top and blue jeans.
Favourite place to de-stress in Nigeria
Epe Resort or Le Meridien in Uyo.
Candy, chocolate and staying up all night on YouTube and Netflix, while stalking fashion on Instagram or Pinterest!
Live your truth! I strongly believe in people being allowed to be their true selves, as long as it doesnt involve harming other people.
Read more inspiring interviews with other young African designers on the Millennial Designer Spotlight.