Bukola Bashorun is the creative Director of Bookiebash; she speaks with DEBORAH OCHENI about her style philosophy, plans to take her brand international and more.
Who inspires you the most in the fashion industry?
I draw great inspiration from Toyin Lawani of Tiannah styling. She is not only a fashionista but a passionate entrepreneur.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I see myself having greater influence in the world fashion trends. I look to having my brand stores in major cities of the world like Paris, New York, Italy and the likes. My burning passion is to take fashion art from Africa to the rest of the world. The world hasn’t experienced the best from Africa yet. Bookiebash will make this happen.
Are you a fan of ankara prints?
Yes! I am a big fan of ankara. My work wear line DWTF by Bookiebash is basically wax print inspired. I love wax print.
What is your take on African traditional wears?
I think it’s very lovely and everyone tends to be very creative when it comes to traditional wears. Especially with the trend of aso-ebi in Nigeria, It has become a huge part of our culture and I think it’s beautiful.
Do you consider any fashion item indispensable?
No fashion item is indispensable because fashion is dynamic and changes from time to time.
How easily do you get your fashion items in Nigeria?
They are not so difficult it’s just getting to know the right place to go and get what one needs. The market for fashion items in Nigeria is growing and it’s growing very fast and trying to keep up with the pace and demand of clients, so it gets easier every day.
While shopping, which fashion item catches your fancy?
I love fashion accessories. It just makes all the difference in the design process of a piece of garment.
Which fashion accessory do you live for?
Do you conform to trends? Which fashion trends do you love most?
I consider trends when creating designs but I really don’t like to follow trends I would rather do designs that are timeless.
How comfortable do you feel in jeans and T-shirt?
I feel very comfortable. Most times when I work, I usually wear my top on jeans
What makes a woman well dressed?
I consider a woman well dressed when she is dressed in colours that complement her skin, fits well enough to decently reveal body curves and covers up nicely, topping the whole look with matching accessories appropriate for each event which could be either work or play.
Whose celebrity style do you like most?
I won’t say I have a favourite celebrity style. I just love anything that looks good and is creative.
Is there anything you are unlikely to be caught wearing?
Nothing I can think of at the moment.
What is your ready to go outfits?
I love dresses. With short and simple dresses I am always ready to go.
When it comes to fashion, would you say your physique works to your advantage?
Yes I believe it does. As a matter of fact it is meant to work for ones advantage especially in the creative world.
Which outfits take up most space in your wardrobe?
What is your costliest fashion possession?
My red bottom black shoes
How much did you get it?
What determines what you wear?
The occasion and type of people I would meet at an event mostly determines my choice of clothing
What do you think of modern designers?
I think there is an outburst of creativity among modern designers and it’s really beautiful.
Who is your best designer?
I don’t have a best designer.
Do you have a signature perfume?
I don’t have any in particular because I always like to mix perfumes from different brands.
How did you come up with your brand name and what is the message behind it?
The brand name Bookiebash is basically an arrangement of my name. Lots of my friends like to call me Bukkybash so I changed the spelling and adopted it as a brand name.
Fashion market seems saturated, how do you intend to keep afloat?
The world is a very large place with billions of people that have clothing needs. With the new age of the Internet the world has become a global village and there is room for every star to shine. For me, it’s not a competition with others in the market it’s more about what I can create to improve the way we live and dress.
Would you say fashion designing is lucrative enough?
Fashion designing is very lucrative. A lot of people want to look good in a unique way every single day, so by default we are needed just like food.
Does your background influence who you are now?
Yes it does. As a child I always loved creativity and visual arts and so I took a passion in clothing. I went further to obtain a bachelor’s degree in clothing and textile and I have been in the industry ever since.
Are you satisfied with your choice of business?
Absolutely! Being able to create designs that communicates one’s personality is very fulfilling. It’s something I am passionate about and it gives me joy and satisfaction.
What inspires your various creations?
The major part of my inspiration comes from the people and the Nigerian community. We are very special people. We love colour, life and beauty; that is all inspiring.
What is the major challenge young fashion designers face in Nigeria?
Apart from the lack of constant power supply which is a major challenge to almost everyone in business, I think young creative people don’t have access to industry education and improved technologies that help boost ones creativity.
Would you say government has done enough for creative people in Nigeria?
May be not enough, I think they can still do more even though they have done quite well in engaging young minds in different areas.
How do you balance creativity with commerce?
Creativity is passion. Commerce is profit. Creativity and passion can sure be mixed together but there are rules that make it work and as long as one abides by these rules profit and passion will work well.
What is your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as simple and classic. As a designer I believe very much in simplicity so it does influence my personal style.
Do you have any specific research process when you start new collections?
Oh yes! Firstly I always like to find out from my clients what they would like to wear and the type of clothing they consider functional, then I go ahead and create designs along that line so I am always in line with my customer’s needs and a touch of my creativity.