One Nigerian Boy Speaks to Nigerian Designer Ejiro Amos Tafiri

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Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
  Nigerian designer Ejiro Amos Tafiri realized as early as her SSS1 whilst she was at Queens College that she wanted to be a designer after she joined a clothing and textile vocation class in search on fun. One of the activities of the vocation class was school trips and it was on one to YABATECH School of Arts, Fashion section that finally sealed the deal.
Upon graduation she racked up a few internships, most notably a stint with Tiffany Amber before finally setting up her eponymous label. One Nigerian Boy catches up with her for an exclusive chat.
 
How were the first few months of your entry into the Nigerian fashion industry?
They have been months characterized by a mixture of various emotions above all I’m grateful to God and feel extremely blessed. The first months were filled with uncertainty- will people like and accept my work, will I have customers, hope I hadn’t made a wrong career decision but I was faith my family, best friend Diana and especially my boyfriend Kevwe had in me that spurred me on.

Then came months of excitement when people viewed and loved my work, then came stress from juggling a very full, sometimes nearly impossible task-table. Above all it has being a time of learning, evaluation and appreciation this point in my career.
 
Why did you choose to name your label after yourself?
I thought my name was nice enough to be a brand name. Also my label is an extension of myself and my experiences. People told me it was too long and tongue twisting but I always replied that if we learn to pronounce Dries Van Noten, Salvatore Ferragamo, Yves Saint Laurent without complaining then EJIRO AMOS TAFIRI should be no different.
 
Who is the Ejiro Amos Tafiri Woman?
She is a self assured woman, comfortable in her skin and wants her clothes to celebrate her person.
  Waka Waka Dress ₦15,000
What factors do you take into consideration when you are designing for d Nigerian market?
Our tastes as a people, we are very fashionable, the weather, our fast paced lifestyle. Therefore there should a bit of everything and glam is a huge factor.
 
 You employ a lot of interesting hand detailing in your clothes. Can you explain your love for this and how this has improved sales.
That grew on me while working with Tiffany Amber. Embellishing an outfit can totally transform it and generally makes an outfit more special and I love special and want my pieces to be referred to as special. People are attracted to bling when intricately and beautifully done, they want to possess, so it has driven sales considerably.
 
When are we going to see the first collection, cos I know you design loads of standalone pieces?
We are working on releasing our 1st proper collection with a theme, mood board fabric and colour pallet early next year. We hope to align our collection releases with the international fashion calendar from next year.
  Esmeralda tops ₦12,500
What advice do you have to aspiring designers?

Be true to yourself and don’t be scared of hard work, success will definitely follow through.

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