ALLURE STYLE IQ: OLABISI SAUNDERS
Born to a Nigerian mother and a Sieria Leonean Father, Olabisi Saunders was raised in her Father land. But when it was time to choose a career path, rather than study law as her mother would have wished, she packed her bags and left for Ghana to pursue her love for fashion designing. She accomplished this at the Radford University College.
This creative mind who loves to travel, chose to visit her motherland for the first time to do her internship with the iconic Frank Oshodi whom she had only read and heard about.
That experience totally changed her life. She fell flat in love with Nigeria and the vibrant fashion life here.
On graduation, she set up her brand, O’Saunders and moved back to live permanently in Nigeria.
At the just concluded Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, her label made quite a showing as she sent models down the runway in beautiful pieces that drew inspiration from the Victorian era.
What inspired your collection at the AFWN?
Well, as a person, I’ve always liked vintage things; clothes, accessories etc. Old things seem to have appeal for me and that even applies to the kind of songs I like. I am kind of drawn to the Victorian era.
Is that your style?
Should I say yes? Not exactly. I am a bit quirky. I can’t wear those clothes the way it was worn then. I do vintage, made modern with a hint of youthful flair.
How did you execute this on your collection?
The Victorian sleeves if you look at them are big and puffy. I tried to tone it down to what somebody can wear now. If you look at the skirts, they are flared and full, I tried to tone all that down to something somebody can wear now and not look too extravagant and flamboyant.
You did a lot of art work on your fabrics. Is that what you trained for?
Not really. I read up a lot of things on the Internet. I have my ideas in me then I go there and read up things. My school also helped me to have confidence in whatever I want to do.
What do you like to wear?
I don’t really follow trends. I am a jeans person. I like to wear my jeans trouser and then just throw on a shirt or t shirt. Most of the time, you’d see me in big shirts. My husband calls me a Tom boy. You can see me in dresses but because I put on some weight, I try to be in my comfort zone which is a pair of jeans and a shirt.
What trend won’t you wear in the name of fashion?
I won’t wear heelless ankle strap shoes, as well as too much nail embellishment.
What is your beauty routine?
I didn’t use to do make up at all; some of my friends would say “you can’t just stay in the house without applying something on your face. At least add something”. That was how I started with some gloss. Now I do my make up when I want to go out.
And your hair?
I’ve had my low cut for some years now. I don’t do weaves anymore and I don’t think I want to do weaves again. I am comfortable with my short hair and I am loving it. What I just do is colour it. That is where my beauty routines lies.
Now that you do have some routine, what can’t you do without?
I have a very oily face, so for now, what is important to me, is a little powder and some lip shine.
Which designer do you admire and why?
I love Diane Von Furstenberg and Karl Lagerfeld, it’s a cross between the old and the new. If you look at Daine’s clothes, it’s a cross between the old and new. Then for local designers, I like clothes by my mentor, Frank Osodi because he is different. His designs are very classy and elegant. And you can tell he puts a lot of thoughts into his clothes.
What kind of perfumes do you like?
I like male perfumes. I have several bottles of perfumes. My mood determines which one I use. This week, I might like this one and in the other week, I might like another. Currently, I am in love with Issey Miyake. I am a perfume freak. Sometimes, I mix my perfume. Very soon, I plan to launch my perfume line. I will be choosing the fragrance in October and then by December, my line will be ready.
By Jemi Ekunkunbor