La Mode AfriWoman Forum and Dinner

La Mode Magazine interview Patricia Onumonu CEO Trish O.Couture.
La Mode: Tell us about your background?

Patricia: Like I already said before, my mom was first and foremost the inspiration. So I learnt the beginning part of my journey from her, noting a lot of things. I saw how she did a lot of things; I gained my first education sort of from there. It was also at that time, that I knew also what I could improve on when I would start my own business. There were lessons learnt and imbibed. There were mistakes noted also so as not to commit too.

La Mode: How did it all start?

Patricia: I picked my interest in fashion from my mom, who was into fashion while we the kids were growing up. So that is how the journey began. I saw a colourful and quite expressive world and fell in love with it and I haven’t looked back since then. We started first doing fashion merchandising and moved on to creation. From a little outlet at home, that grew to a small store and now we have our factory and our big showroom now. But the journey began with a young girl, who took interest in what her mother was involved in and dreamt to take it as far as possible.

La Mode: What is your fashion design focus?

Patricia: We are a proper fashion house in all ramifications. We do the haute couture, we are into ready to wear and we are also in to the training of future fashion designers. So we are into the whole creative process of fashion design.

How do you select Fabrics?

Patricia: This is an aspect of the fashion design process that you have to be a natural at. It’s like a skill that you have developed over the years. You would have the eye for the fabrics you know can come out well with designs. A lot of the times, particular fabrics inspire some types of designs. So the minute you see such you just know what to do with them. It’s a gruelling process, but it’s what you would get used to along the way. Also for particular seasons too, there are the fabrics in vogue that you just have to use too. Not only that client can come having specific fabrics in mind, so you just have to make use of them. So a whole of things go into what fabric should be used.

La Mode Magazine: How long in the fashion design business.

Patricia: It’s been about 7 to 8 years now.

La Mode: What are the Challenges faced?

Patria: The challenges we face are just like the ones other normal businesses too are faced with, infrastructure! Power is not stable, so to generate that all by yourself adds to the cost of production. Availability of honest, skilled workers. Customers want the best, but do not want to pay the best for that best. The whole production process is quite expensive.

La Mode: What are your Accomplishments?

Patria: Truth be said we have done so much in what some people would call a short time. We have gotten recognitions from far and wide and not just in Nigeria too. We have shown in London, Paris and Dubai to very rave reviews. We have won awards too for our showing. A few years back Africa Fashion Week Nigeria and London, recognized us the best young designing brand. Before and after that, other awards have come in too. So we are very grateful for all of it and we are happy to say it’s just a tip of the iceberg. Much more are still coming.

La Mode: What inspires you?

Patricia: Who and what inspires me can be many.
Sources of inspiration are diverse. So many things can spark the creative energy into life. The client could inspire styles or designs. Some thing around me could spark and inspiration. The fabrics too does. Also, I am always thinking on what to do and can improve on. My environment inspires me. My elder sisters who are fashionistas in their own right could come in wearing something and it can spark my energy. So sources of inspirations are not limited. We were created by God to be creative in the 1st place and so, many things can spark that juice to life.

La Mode: What is your fashion statement?

Patricia: Dress the way you want to be addressed. And we help to make that happen. We cater to the very confident, very stylish women, who wouldn’t mind going the extra mile to stand out.

La Mode: What is your Favourite Local and international magazines.

Patricia: We read them all. As they are all sources of inspiration and information. We go through all of them as we come across them. Be it Vogue, Tattler, Harpers Bazaar, OK, Hello, Grazia, La Mode etc.

La Mode: What is your Advise to young aspiring fashion designers?

Patricia: Stay focused. Hone your skills. Understand the business aspect of Fashion designing. Educate yourself as much as possible. Take it to the next level. Don’t just be about the glamor aspect alone, know the business part too. Never limit yourself.


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