Nikki Odu -Khiran is one of the respected names in the fashion industry. Trained in the United Kingdom at the London College of Fashion where she majored in Fashion Design Technology and spent years before returning to Nigeria to set up Nikki Khiran Couture in 1995, she has since created a fashion and lifestyle brand that includes couture, ready-to-wear, jewelry, handbag and home accessories lines cherished beyond the shores of Nigeria.
Known for her sultry flowing print garments, Nikki Khiran has showcased on both local and international platforms and has received accolades and awards for her strong individual African designs.
In this exclusive interview withOnoBello.com, the Kwara state-born entrepreneur tells us how she runs her label of 17 years andtips on how a woman can keep looking good. The ageless beauty equally unveils her forth-coming fashion fair, “Objects of Beauty”, enumerating its benefits to participants.
OB: How hasNikki Khiranevolved over the years?
NK:We started as a fashion brand doing made -to- measure clothing (couture),then added a ready- to wear- line to our range.Now we are doing jewelry and have an ethnic handbag line.We also do home accessories.Ours is a fashion and lifestyle brand.
OB: What stands you out from other fashion and lifestyle brands?
NK:We are not afraid to tread the unconventional path,we provide glamour with ethnic undertones,art meets the real world for the real woman, unusual but always wearable and exquisitely made.
OB: Doing business in Nigeria is quite challenging.How have you been coping in the last 17 years?
NK: Yes, it is only with God’s help. I pray,listen to music and read a lot.It relaxes me.
OB: What do you think the Nigerian Government can do to help the growth of the fashion industry?
NK: Yes, the government can help by providing grants and funding for the creative industry and get the fabric mills working again!
OB: How would you assess the fashion industry in Nigeria at the moment?
NK:The industry is taking baby steps,we still have a long way to go.
OB: Many say there are still lots of prospects in this business. Do you share this view?
NK: Like I said we've only just started,when we have a functional environment then maybe the possibilities would be endless.
OB: What's your relationship with other fashion designers in Nigeria?
NK:I try and maintain a cordial relationship with everyone around me,but a lot of times,the men are much more friendly than the women.
OB: Let's talk about your up and coming fashion fair, “Objects of Beauty”, what is it all about?
NK: Objects of Beauty is a Fashion and Lifestyle Fair promoting, encouraging and showcasing the best of African creativity.
It covers fashion,wellness,beauty,arts,crafts and interior decor.We have well known brands, creative entrepreneurs and several emerging talents; some have fantastic products but don't have the avenue to showcase them.
OB: When is it coming up & where?
NK:Objects of Beauty Fair will be holding atProtea Westwood,Awolowo Road,Ikoyi, Lagos for one day, Saturday and Sunday November 17th and18th, 2012, from 10am to 7pm daily.
OB: What else inspired this fair?
NK:There's a lack of creative events that involve collaboration and I've been to several fairs in Lagos and wasn't impressed with the turnout or quality of participants.
OB: What should we expect at the fair?
NK:Great products,a lot of variety, good discounts and of course networking.
OB: What level of preparation is on ground to ensure the success of Objects of Beauty Fair?
NK: We are partnering with more than 10 media houses,print ,television and radio and we've been working on this for more than six months to ensure the success of this event.
OB: As a fashion guru, when is a woman said to be well dressed or fashionable?
NK: A person who knows how to accentuate his or her best assets and of course is age appropriate without necessarily following trends.
OB: What are necessary fashion items a woman must have?
NK:A pair of good quality shoes,under garments that support your body, a nice hairdo and fragrance. Honestly the list is endless.
OB: What's your fashion fetish?
NK: Obviously clothes but I love perfumes, perfume oils and body scrubs.
OB: You look ageless & beautiful, how do you keep fit?
NK:I walk my dogs from time time. I am extremely energetic and I don't judge myself by anybody's clock and of course good genes.
OB: Where are you headed, what are Nikki Khiran's future plans?
NK:Our plans are in God’s hands,we shall take one day at a time!
For more information, visit: www.nikkikhiran.com
14, Norman Williams Street,
+234 807 290 5971
+234 803 334 8561