Tia Adeola is ready to be one of the greatest female couture designers in the world. Teen Vogue lists her amongst 21 under 21 class of 2018, the Nigerian born designer is the founder of Slashed by Tiato, a clothing brand that defies the norm of fashion. Tia might still be in college but that hasn’t stopped her from styling celebrities such as Gigi Hadid. Tia is heavily influenced by her background, clothes and love for Renaissance painting, all these is replicant in her collection. She tells Teen Vogue
Clothes were something I loved for as long as I can remember. Being a designer wasn’t something I thought was convenient or just decided to do for fun. I used to make dresses for my dolls using my mum’s traditional Nigerian ankara fabric. I studied art history in London and fell in love with garments in Renaissance painting. I wrote my final paper on 16th-century Spanish dress in painting. The royals wore the most amazing clothes: ruffles, pearls, and velvet, which were all very expensive at the time. And I noticed that people of color were never featured wearing anything of that nature; they were often featured as slaves. So for me, it was taking this notion and reversing it.
Tia loves to make clothes but her aim is not just to add beautiful clothing to the word, she hopes to change fashion as a whole.
I feel like in fashion now, particularly in shows, everyone looks like soldiers, the average girl does not look like that. I have friends who are models and I know what they go through to maintain their appearance. People advise me saying, ‘You need tall models on the runway. They need to be skinny; it looks more professional. That’s what the big designers do.’ But if it takes me a little longer to reach my full potential because I won’t conform to that, I’m OK with it.”
The fashion industry has room for change on the runways and in advertisements. The majority of major fashion houses are run by men, which Tia wants to change.
In 21 years, I hope I’ve set up a foundation steady enough to be able to uplift other girls like myself. I imagine having an all-female staff couture house and I’ll train them to be the best of the best design-wise. I want to see the world filled with female bosses, particularly women of colour. I hope to become one of the greatest female couture designers and help pave the way for others like me.
Lead Photo Credit: Teen Vogue