Interview: We All Want A Fairytale Wedding! First Hand Look Into “Dream Wedding II” With Fashion Designer Mai Atafo

Mai Atafo is a well recognized name in the fashion industry for bespoke suits for weddings, as well as bridal outfits. With just one day to go for the extraordinary showcase of the latest wedding collection by renowned Nigerian Fashion Designer Mai Atafo tagged ‘Dream Wedding II’, an exclusive interview into the preparations, team behind Mai Atafo Inspired brand and more have been revealed.

The launch of ‘Dream Wedding 1? which heralded Mai’s wedding label “Weddings By Mai” was tagged an innovative and exciting wedding event and had numerous high points. The second edition of Dream Weddings is guaranteed by Mai Atafo to exceed all expectations.

With such an amazing first edition, the second edition promises to leave no stone unturned. It will entail the launch of ‘The Grandeur Collection’ from the “Weddings By Mai” brand which will also be showcased at a spectacular fashion show in Paris prior to the Dream Wedding II; and be filled with world-class entertainment and theatrics in a luxury wedding setting. It promises to be the most remarkable and memorable wedding event of the year.

The event is to hold tomorrow, June 13 2013 at the Landmark Village Event Centre, Oniru (Off Ligali Ayorinde) Victoria Island, Lagos.

Like the previous event, ‘Dream Wedding II’ will still retain its real-life wedding elements like a wedding ceremony, wedding reception venue, wedding décor, wedding invitations, wedding cake, bouquet toss and a wedding toast just to mention a few and is in collaboration with G.H.MUMM.

Getting To Know Mai Atafo
Mai Atafo was born in Ile-Ife, Osun State. Though an indigene of Edo State, he spent most of his childhood in Benin City, Lagos and London. He holds a 2nd Class Upper degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension from Edo State University, Ekpoma, and then obtained a Post graduate degree in Information Technology, from City University London, England. Before Mai Atafo ventured into the world of fashion, he lived life as a full blown marketer in the corporate world. After almost 7 years in the United Kingdom he returned to Nigeria to a job in British American Tobacco before moving to Guinness Nigeria Plc in 2007. In 2010, almost 4 years later, he took a career break from his role as Senior Brand Manager Guinness to become a full time Fashion Designer.

OB: What Pushed The Idea Of “Dream Wedding”
MA: When I conceptualized “Dream Wedding” It was because I thought instead of doing wedding dresses, and wedding suits and putting it on the runway, why not put the clothes in their normal habitat, which is a wedding environment. So I thought, in that case if we did that, if we did a fashion show we’d be inviting fashionistas’, but if we did a wedding we’d be inviting people that are interested in weddings, and probably prospective clients. That’s why I thought up the idea.

OB: Why The Adding Of Celebrities Into The Program?
MA: Last year we used Uti and Muna, and I think they made it very very exciting and I just took cue from that because the two of them made it very exciting, and I thought that was because we had two, so what would happen this time around if we had 5. They themselves, it takes them from their normal habitat, which is whatever they do normally as actors or singers or rappers or just being TV personalities to being models. For them its different, it’s exciting for them too.

OB: Apart From The Partnership, Do You Have Sponsorship For The Event?
MA: No I don’t actually, all this is actually funded by myself and many of the people that are actually supporting me are not collecting a penny and that’s why I put them there as the dream team. Many of them I’m not paying a dime to, they are just coming because they understand my vision, they like what I do, and it would also be an avenue to also showcase their work.

OB: What Makes The Ideal Wedding Dress?
MA: That’s a good question. For me, what makes an ideal wedding dress is pretty much a wedding dress that suites you, and celebrates you, not one that wears you or takes over you. So like I always tell people, I learnt this from a designer called Roberto Cavali, don’t wear a beautiful dress look beautiful in a dress.

OB: How Many Years Have You Been In This Business?
MA: Oh, Interesting. I’ve been in fashion for 3 years full time, but I was working and also doing fashion so it’s close to 5 years.

OB: Have You Always Wanted To Be In Fashion?
MA: At all no, it’s something I love. I love clothes, I love fashion, and I’m self-taught I learnt everything myself, I have never been to fashion school before or anything like that.

OB: So How Do You Get Your Inspiration, How Do You Get Into Design?
MA: Well, it comes from different places. Like sometimes I sit down and look at some people’s stuff and when I look at people’s stuff that inspires me to do stuff, sometimes I could just be driving or watching a movie and think of how I like a design. It comes from different places.

OB: If You Weren’t Into Fashion, What Would You Be Doing?

MA: What a lot of people don’t know is all the things that I do: So I MC shows, I’m a compere. I worked in marketing for close to 10 years before I started doing fashion as a Brand Manger, I was also fashion editor for Genevieve Magazine, so even till now I do marketing strategy for an advertising agency called The Fire House. So let’s say that I’m doing the other things I would have been doing if I wasn’t doing fashion. I’d have loved to be a singer, but let’s leave that for Waje.

OB: What Are Some Of Your Favourite Fabrics To Work With?
MA: Of late I’ve started loving lace a lot, before then it was chiffon for women and for the guys I like wool, I like corduroy a lot. I love denim.

OB: How Does Mai Atafo Unwind?
MA: That’s a very good question. I like to unwind by actually watching movies and listening to music. I love music a lot, like I really love music but I hardly get to unwind. But music is my first love, like if I had the chance I’d love to be a radio DJ.

Munachi & Uti from Dream Wedding 1         

Event Details
Date: Thursday 13th June 2013
Venue: Landmark Village Event Centre, Oniru (Off Ligali Ayorinde) Victoria Island
Contact: For any information on ‘Dream Wedding II’, please call 07080782307 or 08130524832
Follow @weddingsbymai on twitter for updates.


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