By Nzeh Frankwhite
The Nigeria fashion industry has come a long way since pre-colonial times. Fashion design has changed from being a trade for the uneducated girl who needed some skill to get by in life. Today, the highly educated are involved in the fashion business and Nigerian fashion brands are being showcased in reputable places around the world.
The federal capital city of Abuja is however, not left out of this fashion revolution, this is where the creative content of fast rising women fashion brand Nel Couture, is produced and substantially consumed.
In this interview with our correspondent, The bold, black and beautiful fashion diva, Nelly Erivwode, Creative Director Nel Couture bared her mind on a whole lot of issues, especially as it concerns the fashion industry in Nigeria, how she intends to make a difference with her positive attitude to her passion, her unique creative impetus, among several others. Enjoy
About Nel Couture
Nel Couture started in Jan 2017. it was born out of Passion for outstanding and very creative designs and a broad need to serve customers within set Timelines/deadlines
The average Nigerian is not comfortable with Tailor/fashion designer’s set dates of deliveries , because of incessant disappointment of the past which has crippled the fashion industry in Nigeria as most people prefer to buy dresses instead of tailor wahala.
Nel couture started in order to fill a need.
Nelcouture in two years of creating sophisticated and outstanding designs ,we built strong relationships on the “Competence of meeting Timelines “.(set date of delivery)
Our collections harmonises fashionable , sophistication , modest and very distinct designs with extra value to our customers.
We address our customers’ needs through three main factors;
Fashion is my Passion
Despite having opportunities to advance in some other lines of craft, fashion has remained my passion. I spend sleepless nights, just to achieve specific unique designs and ensure that customer’s satisfaction is assured.
Though, I have people that are working with me, I ensure that no dress leaves my place without it passing through my finishing touches, as a way of quality control measure, and this has been most helpful because my clients have had cause to appreciate us for our diligence and level of professionalism.
I barely have time to watch television, or engage in some other trivial past time that preoccupies some of my peers, because I believe in my vision and knowing that I can only get better through hard work, I have decided to make hard work my personal past time so as to get to the level where my brand will be Known among the most sought after brands in the fashion industry, both in Nigeria and beyond
I took time out to understudy the fashion industry in Nigeria, in order to bring something new to the table, hence we believe we have come to fill a need in the industry.
This is why some believe that 24 hours is not enough for us at Nel Couture., as the passion for excellence in our creativity has remained our driving point
Opinion on Nigerian fabrics and Fashion Industry
I am a major promoter, style tree, and an unrepentant advocate of the made in Nigeria fashion and fabric. I wear Nigeria, preach Nigeria and grow Nigeria with passion. It is a thing of pride to me and it is the best way to properly showcase the beautiful shape of the African woman, which in most cases, is distorted in some of the western designs that we patronize out of ignorance. The true beauty of the African woman lies in our home grown design that properly projects, and accentuate our true Africaness.
This is why some western celebrities are currently embracing our local fabrics and designs. That is who we are, Africans with pride.
The Nigerian fashion industry has no doubt come of age, growing from an obscure trade, hitherto reserved for the never do wells in society, to a multimillion naira industry of international repute, creating meaningful employment and engagements for the serious minded creative individuals in society
On Her Maiden Runway Urban Collection Launch
I am pleased to inform you about our urban collection launch slated for April 28th, 2019.
The Urban collection is our Ready To Wear (RTW) smart casual collection for the everyday stylish women.
We are in turn promoting made in Nigeria goods as all collection will be neatly styled with Ankara fabric for the everyday and all season urban/street style fashion amongst other collections the runway show is also an opportunity for top brand fashion designers to come together , meet and see how much collaboration we can achieve to take the fashion industry in Abuja to a higher and more visible level.
Lastly, because we love our customers, we can’t wait to see them at the Runway show.
What gives you Fulfillment?
I find fulfillment in my passion, especially after giving my all to achieve a unique creative design, and getting the client to come back to relish their experience at an event or from their Spouses, etc. there was this particular lady that was Chief Brides Maid to her friend, with our special bridal apparel. She came back the following week to share her experience with us, on how she became the cynosure of all eyes at the event, the following week, her pictures were all over major fashion journals, including Bella Naija. She was so happy, and we have got a lot of referrals from her ever .
I think moments like that are things I want to relish, and not necessarily the money. I am just passionate about my creativity
Have you featured in any Fashion Show before now?
I think the product drives the market, hence I am not in a hurry to run around the organizers of these shows; instead, I intend to concentrate that energy on perfecting my skill through retraining, by the time my jobs begin to stand out among the other designs, these shows will search me out and give me my pride of place. For now, it is work! Work!! Work!!!
Thank you for your time
You are welcome