Few days ago I spoke to Adesina Adewole David and Adeola Adedamola Damocruzz who are members of the orgaanising team for the forthcoming fashion event tagged Runway Rhapsody. We spoke on several issues relating to the event – the fashion, the fabric, the designers, culture, and several others.
IBPulse: What is the event all about?
David: I believe dressing is culture, the way a Hausa man will dress will tell you that yes, he’s Hausa, the way a Yoruba man will dress will also tell you that he is Yoruba. Then I realized that in this modern age, suit is very common among our corporate bodies and we asked what happened to our own Ankara?
Ankara can also be used for corporate wears, people have started it but it is not yet as we want it. This brought the idea of runway. Runway means fashion show, rhapsody is an evolvement of something new – we are trying to bring out the creativity of the fashion designers we are using, we are telling them to give us 5 good creative wears that showcase the modernization of Ankara. We want them to create corporate wears that workers in corporate bodies can use instead of the normal English wears.
They are creating something people can wear to their offices; we are making people to understand we are disciplined in our requirements.
For the designers that have come so far, we’ve confirmed what they have done before they accept.
Ibadan is where we are starting up, we are still going to Osun and Ondo. We are starting in Ibadan because here is where most of our active members are
Level of preparedness
We already have the venue for the model audition, and then our fashion designers will be around on that day to see and take measurements for the models they will be using to showcase their designs. We are still working on the main sponsors – Da Viva and Globacom. For the venue we are planning to use Mauve 21 at Ring Road which is a very lovely venue.
Engagement and partnerships already
We have a lot of people already on the event – BET events, Bureaucracy Events (decorations), Bayo Highflyers, Dammy House of Innova. We also have IBPulse.
Fashion we believe is the best way to preach what we believe in – culture. Once we are able to change your dress sense we can change anything about you.
Why Ankara and why not Ofi, Lace, Damask and others?
Adeola: There is this wrong mentality among Nigerians that Ankara is meant to be won on weekends alone. Students could actually have Ankara blazers they can wear to their lecture rooms. That is why we are starting with Ankara.
We can do Ofi later although Ofi is still much more recognized because most of the weddings you attend you will always see the bride and the parents often wear Ofi. But Ankara is often segmented and restricted to those that don’t really have money to buy lace, Brocade and other more expensive materials.
David: Ankara varies in prices – there is cheap Ankara and there is expensive Ankara. Some are as costly as NGN10,000 and NGN25,000 depending on the quality of what you want in the Ankara. We have Ankara in different grades and quality. People and companies like Ladoja, MP, Da Viva all produce Ankara.
Level of acceptance
I’ve met corporate individuals including lawyers, teachers, bankers who are amazed about the proposal. All I need to do is to get my flyers in their hands.
Coca-Cola, Nigerian Breweries, Da Viva, Globacom. I believe God Almighty is helping us.
January 30th is going to be our auditioning day for models. Our judges include a fashion designer, Bambata, an international model who has done stuffs in South Africa and Nigeria. These are the judges; we will just be acting as spectators because we don’t know anything about the judging. We will also have radio interviews with various stations, newspapers, and magazines.
Concerns and setbacks
I have just one concern – there are more fashion designers from outside Ibadan that are interested in the event than those from within Ibadan. I don’t want to take fashion designers from outside Ibadan. There are lots of designers in Ibadan but some of them are asking why they have to pay to exhibit at the show, they are asking to be brought on board free of charge.
The platform is not free, and it’s not like we are charging NGN50,000 – we are charging NGN10,000. We are giving them models, if we get Da Viva on board the designers will also be getting the clothes for free. They are showcasing 5 times and let’s say they are paying each model NGN5,000 – that’s the least anyone will collect. That is NGN25,000 and we are already taking that off their neck.
We are having interests from Lagos and as far as Port Harcourt but I’m trying to make this a strictly Ibadan thing.