Tomilola Adewoye, Creative Director at Estomi Clothing thinks of fashion as one really strong means of expressing one’s self. That’s not all; she said so much more on the subject and I’m as excited to share with you.
Tomilola has designed for a number of exciting personalities including Ariyike Akinbobola of Spice TV and the designer’s path to bigger things is just started.
Enjoy the interview below and also see the FAB photos from Estomi Clothing Fashion Teaser and watch this space for her lookbook which we will be featuring soon.
Now tell me about designing, did you always know you were going to be a designer?
I didn’t but I was interested in clothes from a young age but I didn’t take it seriously then.
Tell me more
Designing was inevitable because my whole life, I never really knew what I wanted to do until I started taking my love for clothes seriously.
So you used to cut out clothes when you were younger – following your love for fashion from a young age?
When I was in Primary (Elementary) school, I used to sew newspaper clothes and then I made a monostrap dress for my teddy bear. By Secondary (College) school, I was re-designing clothes I already had. Mom had to warn me off her machine then she tried looking for somewhere for me to learn tailoring.
You made a monostrap dress for your teddy? That’s some passion!
I even bought a necklace for it. (Laughs)
I knew my granny was a seamstress but recently, my mom told me my great grandmom was a seamstress too. My mom knows some sewing too.
So it runs in the blood
Yeah, we could say that.
That’s interesting; who do you design for?
For the upwardly mobile females; women of power and confidence who know what they want and go for it. I intend to add something for men eventually but it will be shirts and basically accessories and I think the best word for the Estomi man is “Dapper”. Most of my pieces are uncluttered, though.
Wow, that’s powerful. Have you worked with any other designers?
Yes; Bomo and I think her label is called Wanemi.
And by ‘uncluttered’ in this sense, you mean?
The dress gives you all the beauty and sensuality a woman deserves but because it doesn’t hamper her from being who she wants to be and doing what she wants to.
So what’s your style like?
Style means different things to different people.
What does style mean to you?
Style to me is the way any individual wears their fashion. The sum total of your personality influences on your fashion sense.
Now the business of fashion, as we all know, is highly competitive. How does Estomi hope to stand out? What edge does the label have over others?
Estomi’s design is aesthetic in beauty and function. We don’t compromise beauty for function and vice versa. We believe every outfit you wear should give you enough comfort to do your job but still keep you as beautiful as possible. Many outfits these days are nice to wear but beyond that, they don’t feel comfortable or the fabric won’t holdup for your everyday activities.
What are the things you take into consideration when designing for clients?
We haven’t started that yet – bespoke (designing for clients). We just do ready to wear for now and offer pieces from our collections with advice on what fits your body type.
And your lookbook is out soon?
Do you at any point think of picking up another line of career?
Not yet but I regularly think of getting another source of finance for the business cos you can’t do everything you think of if you’re limited by cash.
Tell me about the challenges you’ve had as a designer
Basically man power, sourcing fabrics, equipment. I can’t do everything by myself, I need delivery people and professional tailors. As an upcoming designer, when you create a design, you purchase enough fabric to meet orders. But when you don’t have sufficient fabric because you couldn’t afford it, you sometimes have to go searching for the fabric when you run out and most times, it’s out of stock.
What plans do you have to stay above that limitation to make sure your customers/clients leave satisfied?
Make the best of what is available now; we’ll get better. God has been good. We’ve had only a few complaints.
Great to hear; where do you see Estomi years from now?
At a higher production capacity in as many retail stores as possible and going outside the shores of great Nigeria.
Don’t forget to watch out for her lookbook we’ll be bringing you soon.