"I Started Dressing My Friends Up As An Undergrad"
– Lawiza Creations Boss, Bose Adegunwa
Popular Nigerian fashion designer, Bose Adegunwa is the Creative Director and CEO of Lawiza Creations, and also Lawiza School of fashion. The very stylish designer who is a graduate of Sociology from University of Ilorin has been able to train a lot of fashion designers who are now business owners.
Bose Adegunwa whose fashion house, Lawiza Creations happens to be one of the biggest in Lagos,and has established itself as a brand, with pure originality without compromising the standard of fashion accessories, opened up about her fashion label and school, in an interview with QISMAT YINUS, at her Magodo, Lagos, Office.
Can we meet you?
My name is Bose Adegunwa, I am the Creative Director Lawiza Creations in Magodo, I am a graduate of Sociology from University of Ilorin. I am a mother of three. Like I said earlier I have a fashion label called Lawiza. I also run a fashion school.
How did you come about the name? Lawiza for your fashion label
The name “Lawiza” came from merging my name, with my husband and children’s names.
How did you get into fashion?
Well, I didn’t start out as a designer, I started by doing a lot of business. But one day I just thought about how I love to dress people up, and telling them what to wear. So I thought I should do something that has to do with service, that would help a lot of ladies, and empower them. That was what brought about the fashion business, the sewing, and also the school. The school is to train people, especially ladies so they can stand on their own. They don’t have to depend on anyone for their livelihood.
Can you tell us more about Lawiza School of Fashion?
Lawiza School of Fashion does more on training people or pattern drafting, designing, beading, illustration, and everything about fashion. We teach everything about fashion. We teach people and turn them from novices to professionals.
What inspired the establishment of the school?
I went to a fashion school in Nigeria, and thought about empowering more women. Due to the situation in Nigeria, and even globally, a lot of people are being sacked from work. So instead of being idle, you can do something creative, and me money from it. You don’t have to depend on your husband for everything. Also a lot of people just have one means of livelihood, but they need more than one. I read Sociology, and I could have worked as a social worker, but I also have an option of doing my business, being a fashion designer. So even when you go to school to study, you can still have some other talent, that you can develop and make money out of.
How has it been since you set up the school?
Well, it has been very good, because we have trained a lot of people that relocated abroad to star their businesses, and some of them are here. We train men too.
Are you fulfilled with the success of the fashion label and school?
I am fulfilled, but I still feel that the sky is the limit. I need to set up branches. I want to have branches all over Nigeria. That way I will know that I have served a lot of people.
With a background in Sociology, why did you choose to go into fashion designing?
I have always been a very fashionable person, even from my university days. Back then I used to go to my tailor, and sit with them. I used to tell them what I wanted. My colleagues at the university were not surprised when we graduated, and I went into fashion designing.
Apart from being a well-known fashion designer in Lagos, you are also a fashionista with an enviable style, how would you define your style?
My style is trendy and practical. I like to design things that are practical. I like when people stand out, I like when people wear my designs and stand out.
What sets you apart from other fashion designers, and fashion school owners?
As for the school, it is the way we teach our students. We teach them to be able to compete anywhere, and we also teach them the business side of fashion. We teach them how to stand on their own, and become entrepreneurs. We specialize in designs that people can wear on daily basis, and also party wears. We are very dynamic.
Do you have role models in the fashion industry?
Yes. I look up to people like Deola Sagoe, Regalia, and my very good boss, Nobel Afrik.
You seem to love working with African Prints a lot, why the choice of African Prints over other fabrics?
I can say our style is contemporary. It is a fusion of African and Western designing. We do that to make people wear African outfits, in a way that it can be worn everywhere. If you want a baby doll dress, you can have it in African Print, and pull it off well. You can wear it to any occasion.
Can you tell us about your new collection for the year?
Our new collection is coming up pretty soon, and it is called “Be Dazzled”. It is about blings. The collection is basically inspired by blings. When you wear the pieces from this collection, and go out, you are all slimmery and full of blings. People are tired of wearing things that are normal, so we just want to make clothes that can be worn to any event.
What do you think about the fashion industry in Nigeria?
The industry is evolving, and we can compete with other industries across the world. In the whole of Africa, we can say Nigeria is number one.
What does it take to be a great designer?
To be a great designer you have to know a lot about fabrics, and be able to be dynamic with your work. You cannot be static. You have to be on top of your game, and know the trends in vogue.
Any advice to fashion lovers out there?
My advice is for the ladies. Wear something that is comfortable. Don’t wear things that are too tight to the point that it starts ripping. Don’t wear things because you saw someone wearing it, you have to look at your body shape.
I am more particular about wearing clothes that suit you, not wearing something because it is in vogue.