By Linda Orajekwe
Multi-talented actress, singer and photographer, Gbemi Antonia Adefoye, popularly known as Toni Tones, reveals her fashion secrets and the greatest inspiration in her life.
What’s fashion to you?
Fashion, to me, is a way to express myself. It’s a way for me to show my individuality and it’s fun!
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is very chic; it could be a little daring, a little sexy but always elegant.
Who’s your favourite African designer?
That’s a tough one because we have a lot of great ones. But I love Yemi Shoyemi. I wear her pieces a lot on the red carpet and I love them.
What’s your fashion secret?
My fashion secret is “less is more”; don’t over accessorize. That usually does more harm than good. When in doubt, take out the last piece of item you added.
What’s your fashion must-have?
Sunglasses; they make everything look cool (laughs).
What’s that fashion item you love to add to all your looks?
Rings; I can’t do without them. I am obsessed with them.
Do you exercise?
Yes, I do; a lot actually. I’m very good on fitness. I hit the gym three to four times a week.
How do you relax?
I like to stay at home – under my blanket, watch a TV show or read a book. It’s my favourite way to relax. I also go to the cinema with my mom. I find that very relaxing.
Where’s your favourite vacation spot?
That’s a tough one but my favourite vacation spot in the world would have to be Miami, U.S.A.; while in Africa I’ll go with South Africa. I love the weather; how beautiful it is.
What inspires you?
My mother. I love her so much and her approval means a lot to me. She’s my biggest supporter and fan. She prays for me every time like no other. She cries with me when I’m crying, and she does almost everything with me. So her strength, her drive, her intelligence, her spirituality and everything about her is inspirational to me. Everything that I do, I make sure I show it to my mom. If I can’t show it to my mom, I’m not doing it. That is a rule I keep.
What’s the worst fashion item you’ve bought?
Crocs; I love wearing them because they’re really comfortable but they’re really ugly.
How does fashion improve your personal brand?
I’m into entertainment hence, fashion is a huge part of my brand. I express myself a lot with fashion to show my personality because a lot of times, people see you on TV and they don’t even know you. But with fashion, you can make a statement with what you wear and that gives people insight into who you are and your personality. With fashion, you can tell I’m a bit of a rebel; very bold and daring.
What’s your thought on African fashion?
African fashion is amazing at this point and has completely taken off. The whole world has come to take note, as they should, that we are absolutely amazing. There are so many Nigerian designers, right now, who are just blowing me away! They’re doing amazing work and I’m just so glad to be a witness.
What fashion risk have you ever taken and you pulled it off?
I don’t know what I would call a fashion risk because, almost everything I wear is a risk. I tend to take risks a lot with my style. So, I really can’t pick which tops it.
What are you passionate about in life?
I’m very passionate about my career. My acting, music and photography; those are my passion. They seem like a lot but the price I pay for them is my sleep; I don’t get enough of it (laughs). But placing all these in order, I’ll say God, my career and my family. Those are the three things I’m passionate about in life.
What’s your life rule and your fashion rule?
My fashion rule is: “Less is more”. My life rule is: “Dream big, it’s free”. Then, “Do not ever let anybody who doesn’t have the power to tell you ‘yes’ to tell you ‘no’”.
A lot of people are scared to go after what they want because they are so concerned about what people will think. Well, these people can only think; they do not have the power to stop your dream so why give them the right to talk about it?