With only a little over a week to go to go until the Art and Business of Styling workshop scheduled for Saturday 6 May, we sat down for a chat with the CEO of Fierce and Modish, Damilola Oke.
Damilola, aka Ms Modish told us all about her personal style, the highlights and challenges of the fashion industry and her secret to styling the stars.
To find out more about the art and business of styling, book your place on the workshop now. The Art and Business of Styling will hold on 6 May, 2017 at the Whitespace Creative Agency, 58 Raymond Njoku str, off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi Lagos.
Who is Damilola Oke? Tell us a bit about yourself and your foray into fashion?
Damilola Oke is a style consultant and the CEO of Fierce and Modish Ltd. I am the last of 3 children, Born in Lagos Nigeria.
I graduated from Covenant University with a BSc in Mass Communications, Second Class Upper Division, went on to Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen Scotland and graduated with a Masters’ Degree in Corporate Communications & Public Affairs.
I have a Diploma in Radio Presenting & Production from the London School of Film & TV and I am Associate of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
As for my foray into fashion, I think fashion chose me, I have always been fascinated by good clothes and being interested in wearing them differently. Fashion for me is a lifestyle.
Why Fierce and Modish? What’s behind the name?
Well I got inspired! Fierce because I think that is my personality, (I do not know how not to be intense), even with my work…. It’s never half measure; we go strong all the time. Mod on the other hand is Style in French so Modish is Stylish which adds up to Strong & Stylish so Fierce and Modish.
If you had to describe your style in three words?
Edgy. Alternative. Personal.
What are the things you take into account when dressing a client? Is there a secret formula?
A lot of things are taken into consideration when styling a client, that at least every stylist should know
– What the styling is for to ensure appropriateness
– Time of day
– Client skin tone on the colour of clothes
– Present body type
– Personality: to be sure they can pull certain things off
Initially you were very much behind the scenes. In the last 12-18 months you’ve put yourself forward more as a style inspiration. What were your reasons behind stepping in front of the camera?
I honestly think I’m still very much behind the scenes, I hardly attend events and what not, I just love to do my work. I take pictures to remind people that I have a personal style and I realised a lot of people follow my journey because of my style, not only my work. The aim is to inspire, so why not!
What have been some of your highlights as a stylist?
It’s going to be 4 years of doing this in July, 2017. I have had quite a few highlights since I started. Working with fantastic artists on different projects must be one and being a part of creative campaigns for global brands as well.
What are the main challenges you’ve experienced – or the challenges of being a stylist in Nigeria?
The challenges I experience are those you encounter as an entrepreneur, in summary… ‘Everything that can work against you will work against you’ but you just have to keep your head up and stay passionate, to get through.
Every trade has its peculiar challenges, as a stylist, depending on the type of brief in the system, you may need to come to style conclusions that will sit well with fans, the artiste, his management, the public… it’s a lot of people to satisfy at the same time and still be creative whilst at it. Some clients let you do your work, others micro-manage so much you wonder why you were hired in the first place so, its different things at different times but if you are passionate and know what you’re doing, you stick to your craft and everyone will get used to it.
Tell us about one of your most challenging and/or fun experience on set?
Movie and TV production sets are usually more challenging, long hours and weeks with a lot of detail and people to manage and in usually the most uncomfortable environments.
Fun sets would be photo shoots and music videos, there is pressure but with it comes entertainment so you don’t feel so tense.
Who are some of the Nigerian or African designers whose designs you enjoy working with?
Any designer or designs that are artistic, different and fun will always be my go to. Fashion is so universal and dynamic, we should never limit ourselves.
Who are the people you look up to or are inspired by in your line of work?
I look up to quite a few people in the media & communication and fashion & style industries both of which I have been trained in.
My mentor in this country has run a men’s clothing store for 17 years, made a living from that job and dressed the ‘who is who’ as well. For me that is passion, fulfilment and consistency. I am always around him for advice and to learn the ropes as he is widely travelled and well informed about the true concept of lifestyle.
I look up to Ryan Seacrest as well who has recently even expanded his media empire to clothing and retail which I find outstanding. I read somewhere that ‘a billionaire has at least 7 sources of income’ so for me, Fierce and Modish is only just getting started.
Why the Art and Business of Styling workshop?
Everything around here just seems to focus so much on fashion designers, there is no niche for stylists, and everyone just struggles to be known or recognised. Interestingly, people do not know styling is visionary, most of the time I tell designers what I want even for my clients. Sadly there is no platform for young people to learn or be trained in any form or on any scale on how to get into the Styling industry and be good at it.
For Fierce and Modish the major focus this year is expansion, we will be 5 next year, it is important for me that at this stage we build the capacity to do more in terms of delivery. We have kicked off this goal with training & development as our very first event tagged “The Art & Business of Styling” will hold on the 6th of May, 2017 at the Whitespace Creative Agency, 58 Raymond Njoku str, off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi Lagos.
At this one-day style workshop, attendees will be taught what is expected of a stylist from the perspective of five cardinal clients (facilitated by industry experts) of the trade, for a specific fee. FNM is interested in the reputation of stylists in Nigeria as far as professionalism is concerned, because if we need to reach international standards things must be done properly. Creative jobs are interestingly the hardest; they are relative, unpredictable and never come in the same fashion so people who do these jobs actually need to be ready for the turf. For more information about this event and generally, our craft you can visit www.fierceandmodish.com or check us out on any of our social media pages:
IG: @msmodish @fierceandmodish @themenswearstylist
Facebook : Fierce and Modish
Twitter : @fierceandmodish
Phone Number : 08099082904
What advice would you give those who consider styling as a career?
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