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I love Beyonce’s style– Igbobi

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Ifunanya Emmanuella Igbobi is the Chief Executive Officer of Weckx Design International; a two-time ex-beauty queen, she spoke with DEBORAH OCHENI on her style philosophy and sundry issues

How did you come up with Weckx Design International and what is the message behind it?

Creating a brand was all I have ever wanted, as fashion to me is life. My dad fondly calls me EMiWECKX and that is where I got the inspiration for the brand name. Weckx Design International concedes the spirit of love right from the onset.

Fashion designing market seems saturated, how do you keep afloat?

For me, the fashion market is not saturated, I’m a firm believer of achieving one’s goals no matter how little. I stand firm for what I believe in, so it’s visible enough to provide the right strategy. To keep afloat, you need to create a balance sheet of how the commodities and goods inflate and deflate to ensure your expenses are not greater than income.

Would you say the fashion designing business is lucrative enough?

Yes. I believe all businesses are lucrative. It all depends on your networking strength. Fashion designing is a much lucrative business but not for the faint hearted.

Has your background influenced who you today?

My background has a great positive influence on me. Like they say, ‘charity begins at home,’ who I am today, depends greatly on those attributes I’ve learned while growing up.

Are you satisfied with your choice of business?

Yes, I’m very satisfied with my choice of occupation. It gives me great joy to see my clients looking ravishingly beautiful in our designs.

What inspired your choice of fashion design business?

What inspired me into fashion mainly is my love for fashion.

What is the major challenge young entrepreneur faces in Nigeria?

As young entrepreneurs, one of the challenges we face is to be given fair privilege for one to be at their very best without undermining their capacity or potential.

We have so many young talented folks out there but they are afraid of not being appreciated.

So, young entrepreneurs should be given the opportunity to showcase their crafts.

Would you say the government has done enough for creative people in Nigeria?

The government is giving it their very best but I believe more can be done. More funds need to be allocated for the system for all fashion designers to access. We need some machines to be approved to operate openly so that fashion designing can be made easier.

What is your appeal to the government in this regard?

My sincere appeal to the government is to provide better opportunities for its citizens, especially the youths. Also to provide job opportunities so that we can achieve our goals.

What is your personal style?

My personal style is simplicity. I love simplicity.

Are clients sensitive to your choice?

Yes. To know a good fashion designer one should be able to ascertain the best choice of fabric for each client, which is why there is always a fashion consultation between the designer and clients.

It provides the best medium to understand how best to satisfy your client.

Was there anyone in your family who made you develop interest in fashion business?

My family is my best support system.

Who inspires you the most in the industry?

I love the simplicity of the Balmain Collection and its uniqueness catches my fancy a lot. I also admire Valdrin Sahiti Collections as well.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I see myself dominating Africa and the world as a role model inspiring the young ones to be the best at their crafts.

Are you a fan of Ankara prints?

Yes, I love Ankara so much. I am African, I love being creative with those Ankara fabrics.

What is your take on African traditional wear?

I would say that I love how Africans abroad appreciate their culture and how they are always glad to show it as well. The way we put out our identity through what we wear is just so amazing.

Do you consider any fashion item indispensable?

It depends. But at the same it is mostly what we presume to be non-usable that becomes the best materials to give our jobs that secret touch.

How easily do you get your fashion items in Nigeria?

Networking, the internet has made life easier for us. So, most times I order them directly from suppliers.

While shopping, which fashion item catches your fancy?

Hairs, long weaves and very colourful fabrics. Which of the fashion accessories do you live for? Sun shades, I can’t do without my shades.

Do you conform to trends?

Not really. I love simplicity and uniqueness at large. I love to create trends and not wear what is already trending.

How comfortable do you feel in jeans and T-shirt?

I feel greatly comfortable in it, especially the crazy pencil jeans.

What makes a man well dressed?

His confidence and personality. Simply put, his charisma.

Whose celebrity style do you like most?
Chiomagoldhair because she speaks volume when it comes to fashion and style.

Fashion wise, do you have a role model?

Not really. I don’t really have one but I love Beyonce.

Is there anything you are unlikely to be caught wearing?

Baggie shorts. I don’t mean they are not nice but then they are really not my style.

What are your ready to go outfits?

Stylishly, tight skin curvy dresses or jeans and top.

When it comes to fashion, would you say your physique works to your advantage?

Yes, once a model is always a model.

Which outfits take up most space in your wardrobe?

Tight, curvy dresses.

What is your costliest fashion possession and how much did you get it for?

I think I would just keep that private but one of my expensive fashion accessories is my gold carrot Christian Dior watch. I’ve a few but I prefer to keep them private.

How do you love your shoes?

I love boots, really high boots and transparent but yet slightly beaded stiletto heels.

What determines what you wear?

My mood for the day! It sets me for the day and for the week.

What do you think of modern designers?

We are trying so much. I must commend their efforts. I admire their courage and the effort they put in creating perfect styles daily.

Who is your best designer?

I don’t really have any. But I love Balmain.

Do you have a signature perfume?

No, I don’t have.

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