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Fashion designer Asanat ‘Sana’ Akibu, is the CEO and mastermind behind Sha’Koju Clothing. She is a young, beautiful, talented lady whose resume is not limited to creating designs for her clothing line but also includes modeling, featuring in different blogs, magazine and many fashion shows as a model and as a designer. Sha’ Koju clothing does not only create clothes for the ladies, it also has something for the gentlemen. Visit her clothing line at www.shakojuclothing.com. For contact: email@example.com. And you can follow on twitter: @Sana_ofSKC Instagram: shakojuclothing
- What made you decide you wanted to be a fashion designer?
Hmm…where do I start? I am often asked this question and it’s always a new response every time. I started drawing clothes at a very young age due to my love of modeling and fashion. I didn’t take it seriously until I took an art class in high school where I learned the female form and how to design dresses. The class was only for a graduation credit, but it opened my eyes to creating garments for women. However I still didn’t put what I learned into action until two years ago when I bought a sewing machine and started revamping my old clothes. After great reviews and tons of trials and error, I made my first garment for a friend. Months later after working at a clothing boutique for a while to learn hands-on about fashion merchadising/marketing, I made 20-30 more custom orders of my designs for other peopl. Then in August 2011, I registered my business and began introducing myself as a fashion designer.
- When and how did you start this journey?
In April 2010 I purchased my sewing machine out of curiosity and boredom. I needed a hobby and something to do when I stayed home. I created my first pair of Ankara pants for the 2010 Nigerian Reunion and got lots of compliments. However, I didn’t sew anything again until December 2010 when I created my birthday dress,–by force due to a designer in NY backing out of making it due to his schedule. After that stressful moment and a great birthday dress my journey began…
- The name of your clothing line is Sha’Koju, what inspired that name?
I have always loved the essence of fashion and style, so my clothing has always expressed my creativity and personality. When I thought of my clothing line name, I wanted something to represent me. I am Nigerian (Yoruba to be exact), and I love to capture attention when I am looking my best. After speaking with a few friends I came up with the name Shako Ju; which means “one that is showing off a lot”. However, I changed up the punctuation to give it a creative look, and that is when Sha’ Koju was born.
- What inspires you when you start working on an original Sha’ Koju design?
I get inspired by everything around me. I am a true researcher. Not a scientific one, but when I want to learn something or understand something I begin seeking knowledge about it. Whether its the internet or the library, I have always been one to learn by my own means. So every time I want to start on a new collection or a new piece, I look up trends, blogs, magazines, street styles, and even my social media friends to see what people are wearing and what people like. When I use what I’ve learned to create a design, it must have a touch of “now”, a touch of affordability, and a whole lot of intense thinking (ME)
- What matters the most to you as a designer?
Being different without looking like “what the hell was she thinking?” is what matters most to me as a designer. I love effortless fashion and I try my best to keep my clothing timeless; which means to wear it again season after season. Sometimes I get a bit too creative and make season-sensitive pieces, but most of my garments can be worn again.
- How would you define your personal fashion style?
As stated in the previous answer, I love effortless fashion so I have a classic style. I use to call myself “plain jane” because I was just fine with a blazer, top, jeans, and pumps. Now I try to add colors and bold statements to my personal style, while still maintaining that effortless look.
- Do you make custom order? If yes, how can people contact you for that?
I rarely take custom orders due to my busy schedule, but I still advise people to hit me up if they want a custom outfit just in case I have leisure time to make it. They can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: custom order).
- Are there any projects you are currently working on that we should look forward to?
Just to name a few, I am currently working on getting SKC in local boutiques (as a start), working on a launch event to officially introduce my brand to the fashion world, and lastly I am working on a web-series with an online production company.
- What are some of your accomplishments so far?
Just to be recognized as a fashion designer to my peers, social circle and DC’s fashion scene has been a great accomplishment thus far. It is very hard to go from Model to Designer in an industry that wants you to look a specific way and stay there forever, but now I am the one calling the shots. So I am thankul for that. Also I have been featured in a magazine (www.cavamagazine.com – issue 2), on many blogs, have done countless fashion shows, and have recently been rubbing elbows with celebs that you will soon see in my clothes.
- Lastly, any word(s) of advice for other rising fashion designers and those wanting to get into the fashion business?
This question makes me giggle because I still consider myself a “rising” fashion designer. There is so much to learn about this business and not all that glitters can be sewn (hehehe). I am learning what true rejection is on this journey, and I am also learning that networking goes a long way. This industry is not for the weak-minded individual and you must be confident in your product to handle what criticism you will encounter. I turned a hobby into a business and each day the struggle gets real, but so does the triumphs. My final piece of advice to any rising designer would be to research THEE best, and understand what you are about to embark on so you can one day be THE best. This journey has its ups and downs, but the true reward is seeing your vision come to life.