Rose Eleojo Makoji is a certified environmentalist that found pleasure in fashion designing. The award-winning employee of CNDaniels Couture speaks with DEBORAH OCHENI about her fashion philosophy, outfits that will trend in 2020 and sundry issues
Why did you drop your certificate as an environmentalist for fashion designing?
I was smart enough to know that I don’t need only certificate to survive in life but that is not to say the certificate is not useful. I have admired fashion designing right from when I was much younger.
So, while is school, I enrolled into fashion design training and to the glory of God, I am now a proud professional fashion designer. I will go back to my certificate when the time is ripe anyway.
What is your personal style? My style is sleek, simple and mature. I don’t follow trend and I don’t joke with my comfort.
Many times I like what people don’t like provided I am comfortable in it. I believe one is stylish if one is comfortable in what one wears.
What is the gap you hope to breach in the fashion world?
To tell the world that there is an outfit for all body size and that your physique regardless of the size can work to your advantage if only you contact me. How do you source for your fabrics? Are clients sensitive to this? Fabrics are sourced both locally and abroad. Online shopping has made a lot of things easily accessible.
At CN-Daniels, clients are sensitive to the quality of fabrics used in their design such that you will never see anyone else wearing it apart from you. It gives them the feelings that the fabric was specially made for them alone.
Do you have any specific research process when you start new collections? In fashion business, research is inevitable; you need to do research to remain on top of your game. We clothed fashion foreword people so we need to be engaged in research in other to deliver well.
Could you give us a forecast of outfits that will trend in this year?
I don’t see palazzo jumpsuits going out of trend in 2020, though it has been trending yet people should invest more in them because they will remain relevant in 2020. Was there anyone in your family who made you develop interest in fashion designing?
My mother and my eldest brother are into fashion designers and I admire the way they adjust their personal clothes to meet their taste.
Who inspires you the most in fashion industry?
That goes to my favourite fashion couple, Maureen and Nnamdi Daniels, I admire the way they blend happy home with fashion business and the stride they are attaining.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I should own the biggest and most patronised fashion empire in Nigeria in five years to come God helping me.
Are you a fan of Ankara prints?
I am a proud fan of Ankara prints because it’s our heritage. Ankara is one fabric that numerous designs can be born out of. I love the instant mature looks it gives.
What is your take on African traditional wears?
I feel good whenever I am dressed in African traditional wears because it always reminds me of my origin and our rich culture. Do you consider any fashion item indispensable?
I don’t joke with my shoes but they have to be comfortable.
How easily do you get your fashion items in Nigeria?
It’s very easy because I make many of them and thank God for my brothers and sister, they provide most of my fashion accessories. While shopping, which fashion item catches your fancy?
Earrings and shoes Which fashion accessory do you live for? Hair accessories because I keep natural hair Do you conform to trend? Not at all, if it’s trending then, it’s not for me. How comfortable do you feel in jeans and T-shirt?
I am very comfortable in them.
What makes a woman well-dressed?
A woman is well-dressed when she is comfortable in what she wears.
Whose celebrity style do you like most?
I admire many celebrity styles. I love Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Fashion wise, do you have a role model?
I admire Maureen Daniels’ styles but I feel she takes her style a step ahead her comfort.
I love her level of maturity in dealing with issues but her outfits are too clingy.
Is there anything you are unlikely to be caught wearing?
You will not see me wearing anything that shows excess skin.
What is your ready to go outfits?
Trousers, comfortable sandals and tops
When it comes to fashion, would you say your physique works to your advantage?
Yes, it does but I wish my stomach is slimmer.
Which outfits take up most space in your wardrobe?
I have more dresses.
What is your costliest fashion possession?
Shoes. How much did you get it?
Very expensive How do you love your shoes?
Balanced and comfortable What determine what you wear?
The weather and my mood What do you think of modern designers? They are trying but they should try and be more creative. They should avoid copying without giving it a unique touch. When you copy someone else’s dress length, try and change the sleeves style as a way of personalising it at least. Do you have a signature perfume? No, I combine many to have a good smell Do you have any fashion obsession? Eyeglasses lately Fashion market seems saturated; how do you intend to keep afloat?
I am floating already because it takes few privileged fashion designers to attain the height that I am now. Currently, I work with CNDaniels Couture and it’s a fashion company with international standard that clothes people round the globe. It will shock you to know also that I am the only female among many male employees in my department yet I deliver on time.
Would you say fashion business is lucrative enough?
Many people are into fashion designing business to fulfill passion but if you are creative with your design and maintain some etiquette like timely delivery and neat finishing believe me, you will make money while satisfying passion.
That is getting paid for doing what you like. If you satisfy your clients’ need, they will be loyal to you and pay any price you tag on your designs because they are sure you will interpret their imaginations well. Does your background influence who you are now? It does a lot, while growing up I was taught to be discipline in my dealings.
My mother is a tailor and what I learnt from her in my younger days is not to be giving your clients wrong dates for collection.
My mother will tell her clients to come for collection on Tuesday whereas, the clothe will be ready on Monday in other to ensure it’s ready before they come for their dresses.
That principle has kept me going. Are you satisfied with your choice of business? Fashion designing for me is a career and I am satisfied with it.
What inspired you into fashion business?
The desire to clothes myself in designs that accentuate my body size inspired me to become a fashion designer. I am a plus size and so many tailors made it look like it is impossible for plus size to be stylish.
Thanks to my boss too because she encouraged me to improve on my skills. What is the major challenge you face on the job?
Lack of electricity supply when you have so much to deliver makes the job cumbersome
. Would you say government has done enough for creative people in Nigeria?
I don’t think government has done enough for creative people in Nigeria but then they don’t have to continue waiting for government to provide everything for them. It’s good to dream big but it’s better to start small. Leave your comfort zone and try doing something no matter how little.