Wednesday, December 22, 2010

There's a new Nigerian Fashion Label in town, and its called MEENA, get familiar.

Uju Offiah is a barrister with an Llb from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and a Bachelor of law from the Lagos law school. From her childhood days, her mum would always ask her to style her to events and fondly referred to her as the "lady of the wardrobe", which she still does till date.

She always knew she never wanted to go into legal practice but her mum insisted she garnered some legal experience. Whilst on the job and with little or no satisfaction, she had her mind set on going into the fashion designing industry. She subsequently quit her job to the annoyance of her mom and did a 6 month internship program with Ituen Basi, the rest is history.

One Nigerian Boy gets an exclusive chat with her

Finally your debut collection is done and is in store, how does this make you feel?
I'm glad to finally have my debut collection out titled 'Silver Shadow'. Being the first collection, it came with a lot of anxiety and hard work. I always had the issue of acceptability in mind because I believe local / global acceptability is a key factor in the fashion industry. Your designs must appeal to the masses and constantly get them thrilled.  
What inspired this first collection?

I will define my first collection as neoclassicism - new classics in its entirety. The collection is inspired by the minimalist trend, and the classical era all with a modern twist. They are timeless, simple pieces but with a graceful and glamorous appeal. 
Why this particular choice of fabrication?

My collection is a spring/summer collection so I opted for light, easy fabrics. It consists of jersey, lycra, chiffon and silk. I like the COMPATIBILITY of chiffon; DRAPERIES of silk and BREATHABILITY of jersey.
Braiding (amongst the key signature detail of the collection)

What inspired your color palette?

The colour palette is inspired by the season I designed for (spring/summer). I used cool/ warm colour and also incorporated dark colours. This is due to my love for dark colours. I believe they are sophisticated, mature and flatter every woman's body type.

Finally, what inspired the silhouettes you employed in the collection?
Silhouettes incorporated are draperies and blousons. The silhouettes are loose and easy yet giving flattering, stylish fits; you are comfortable in the garment and still exhume elegance. The silhouettes also tend to fit all / most body types.

Verdict: Excellent use of fabrication and interesting shapes and silhouettes that should be worn by only FIT girls. You have been warned. I would have loved to see a few more pieces but hopefully the next collection would be more voluminous. Not a bad attempt for a newbie and loads of time to grow.

The designer behind the label, Uju Offiah, flanked by models.

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