Bisola Edun is the creative director of the Nigerian fashion label Tae. She has just released a brand new collection – Emotan.
The collection boasts mostly of African Ankara prints with shiny embellishments, which is a signature of Tae. Emotan consists of pieces in dresses, skirts, tops and jackets. Edun says she came up with this collection for the strong Nigerian woman out there.
Emotan will be showing at an exhibition in Abuja on Saturday the 7th of May at the Summerset Hotel, Usuma Street, Maitama from 10am – 6pm.
On the break of Emotan, Edun chats with Onobello.com on fashion, the new collection and plans for the future.
OB: How long have you been designing?
BE: Formally, as Creative Director of Taé? It will be 8 years on the first of June. Otherwise, for as long as I can remember! Since my high school days.
OB: Who or what is the inspiration behind your label and the Emotan collection?
BE: All the collections I've got lined up this year are in celebration of strong Nigerian women. I've repeatedly been inspired by women who have stood tall in the face of adversity, never giving up, ever graceful, ever composed, ever smiling. It's a remarkable thing.
OB:What influences your creativity?
BE: I like the idea of tweaking stuff, which is what I do. I see something that appeals to me and I immediately think of a thousand different things I could do with it. For me, it's a fun process watching it work (or, more often than not, NOT work!) and then I tweak it some more until I'm either satisfied or I throw my hands up in the air and say “what the heck!”
OB: How would you describe the upcoming Lagos fashion scene and your place in it? What is the reason for you not showing at the recently concluded Arise Magazine Fashion Week, Lagos 2011 (AMFW)?
BE: Chaotic!! There's just so much going on and there's no structure, no cohesion. It's definitely an exciting time to be in the fashion industry, but for a lot of people, it's also terribly frustrating because you almost have to do everything yourself. It's hard to get information on anything! I'm fortunate that I started when I did, I certainly don't think I would have the patience to endure now (and mind you, I thought things were as tough as they could ever get back then!). I'm lucky, I've been able to carve a niche for myself in providing fast and affordable fashion, to the extent that my greatest challenges are on the supply end of the business, not demand. I know people who struggle with both and it's not pleasant. I didn't show at AMFW because I wasn't invited to.
OB: Do you feel there is such a thing as a Nigerian point of view? If so explain that of your label?
BE: No, at least not one that is clearly defined. As I said earlier, it's pretty chaotic. There's still a lot of experimentation and a lot of just moving with the crowd. The market can be very restrictive and it is hard for a creative person to adequately express him/herself. Pockets of designers have clearly defined philosophies, but it's so diverse, so fragmented. What I'd like to see is a movement, where we're all telling the same story, but in our individual, eclectic ways.
OB: Who is the Taé Woman?
BE: She's strong. Confident, full of life, intelligent. I believe all these things combine to make a very sexy woman.
OB: Where do you see your label in the next decade?
BE:We'll have an expanded product line for sure and international presence, starting with the US.
OB: Greatest challenge?
BE: Gosh, running Taé! Everyday's a challenge!
OB: Sweetest moment?
BE:There are loads of sweet moments. Someone walked into the store today to take a look at the Emotan collection and she told me it was my best so far. That's always gratifying to hear.
OB: Do you think of fashion, is it just the clothes alone?
BE:Without a doubt. It's a complete package. The styling, the attitude, the whole story that's woven around it.
For more information, visit the showroom:
Address: 15b, Oduduwa Way, off Isaac John street, GRA Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria.
Tel: +234 (0) 803 3080 392, +234 (0) 706 3883 454