Ternenge Fidelis Timothy, popularly known as Pandiss, is the creative director of Pandiss Clothing, the young but highly talented fashion designer has clothed a number of politicians, diplomats and celebrities, he spoke with DEBORAH OCHENI on his passion for fashion design, career and quest to carve a niche for himself in the fashion industry
What is trending in men’s fashion?
Tunic shirt, senator and three pieces’ suite are back in the market and they have come to stay.
What is your sense of style?
My sense of fashion is conservative, calm and contemporary African designs. I love the mature yet simple looks one can achieve with it.
Do you conform to trend?
I am a person of style; I believe that style lives forever, trends is just for a time. So, I like to work with style.
When I meet an individual, the first thing I try to find out is what his/her style is and I look for a way to improve their style and keep it to stand the taste of time. I don’t go for trend because it has a way of going off the market and when that happens, where does that leave you?
What makes a man well dressed?
A man can be said to be well dressed judging from the way he wears his clothes; for example, the colour combination because you can wear a very expensive clothes and they don’t fit. So, the cut, fit and finishing is what make a man well dressed.
Would you say your physique works to your advantage in terms of fashion?
I think it does because I am neither tall nor short. I have got a good physique that whatever I put on fits just right. I am neither slim nor fat and whatever I wear tends to flatter.
Which accessories do you live for?
Lapel pins. They give fresh light into clothes and steal attention to your upper part where the beauty of jacket lies.
How do you love your shoes?
I like to wear different kind of shoes, I move from sneakers to very corporate shoes but I like the trending white sneakers more because it make any outfit look sharp.
What is your ready to go outfits?
Jeans and white T-shirt
What determines what you wear?
The event to be attended determines what I wear.
Is there anything you will never be caught wearing?
I cannot be caught wearing neither skirt nor gown
While shopping, would you go for quality or colour?
I will go for quality because most colourful fabrics fade with time but quality ones stand the taste of time.
Which fabric catches your fancy?
Cashmere because you can make different kinds of outfits with it.
Which celebrity style do you admire most?
I love Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD) style because it is conservative and modern.
Are you labels freak?
Not really, anything good goes. I am modest and I tend to look out for style.
How do you feel seeing celebrities in your designs?
I feel happy, the truth is clothing celebrities is like advertising what you do and it catches more people attention. If you think advertising is expensive, try not advertising.
What do you think of women fashion trends?
I don’t feel jealous. Interestingly, ladies are fashion freak, they want everything new and trendy but trust me ladies don’t spend as much as men on clothes.
What informed the decision of going into fashion designing? I have always had passion for fashion, so I thought of going into it, at first learning wasn’t actually interesting but with time I got to realise there were interesting things to do as a designer.
There is absolutely no regret because I have found joy in what I do. I realised I am excited when I see people in my designs.
What inspires your various creations?
Things I see around and the colours inspire me but I am basically inspired by fabrics. Once I see fabrics what to do with them naturally pump up.
Who are your popular clients?
Most of my popular clients might not be people I want to mention in the media now but I do have a lot of them. I designed for diplomats and a lot of them have embraced and prefer to wear my designs and a lot of politicians that I would love to leave out.
Are you satisfied with places fashion designing has taken you?
Not really. I have been in fashion for close to six years now, I have a long way to go but I am happy where I am now w h i l e wishing to go to a lot of better places. How do
you source for fabrics?
It is very easy to source for fabrics in Nigeria even though most time I find it difficult to source it here in Abuja.
What do you think of modern designers?
Classical designers made way for modern designers, they en-
dured to ensure people were dressed and today with the aid of technology we have been able to modernise and recreate more.
Would you say government has done enough for the creative industry?
No. The truth is that government does not have an idea of what is happening in the creative industry. So, how can you do something when you don’t know what is happening there? The general norm in Nigeria is that everything is imported, nobody believes that anything is done here but funny as it sound, most of our politicians wear made in Nigeria clothes but they don’t pay attention to the fact that those clothes are made in Nigeria.
What is the major challenge young designers like you face in Nigeria?
Poor power supply and a lot of your target clients don’t believe in what you can do until you make some outfits for them most times for free. That is when they get to see what you can actually do.
You have come this far, how do you intend keep the momentum going?
Fashion business is just like every other business, the edge you have in your business is your creative ability to stay afloat. But what I’ve done is separate myself from the regular thing Nigerian tailors do, we have a lot of people who do regular clothing, so I tend to take it a notch further ensuring that we don’t just make clothes but we make clothes with unique touches.
Your service is expensive. Does that encourage patronage?
Price for me is relative, it depends on who is buying and the truth is I cannot satisfy everybody.
Who is your role model?
The first person I always look up to is Isaac Lubem. He made me grow with more experience in fashion designing. He showed me better ways to make work easy and smart.
What is your advice to aspiring young designers?
Dream big but start small, it doesn’t matter how small but start. I started with my aunt in her shop where she was basically known for female designs but here I am now.
What is the highest amount you have spent on outfits?
I create outfits, so what I spend on what I wear is dependent on my mood and the resources available to me. But the truth is I can go extra mile to get what I like especially fashion items.