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Back You are here: Home Trends Fashion I like to tell the African story with every piece I design —Ejiro Amos Tafiri

I like to tell the African story with every piece I design —Ejiro Amos Tafiri

Ejiro Amos Tafiri.jpgEjiro Amos Tafiri is the creative director of popular Nigerian fashion label, Ejiro Amos-Tafiri and DEAT.

The eponymous label is popular with style lovers and fashion devotes for their ultra-sensual feminine silhouettes and glamorous yet indie inspired piece. E.A.T takes pride in the production of wearable clothing and accessories inspired by the vibrant, fun-loving, 'joie de vive' culture and diversity of its populace which spans the globe. According to Ejiro, who honed her skills as part of the design team at ZiziCardow and Tiffany Amber before creating her label 2010 “We have our vision set on becoming a global brand associated with the creation of beautiful, functional, and affordable”. TheYaba Tech Alumni and Fashion protégée has consistently proved over time, that her talent at creating  ethereal sensational pieces while depicting  Africa  by an ingenious fusion of African prints ,is not a once time affair.  In this Interview with Millicent ImadeArebun, she tells the Oleku staple story, her SS14 collections, Fashion week benefits, Future Projects and more

 

Tell us about your 2014 collection
The collection was inspired by my trip to Brazil for spiritual pilgrimage last year. Prior to my trip, I always though Brazil was a land of fun, beauty, where the woman wear fluid skirts, bright colors, et al. The reality is that they are really into sport; they work out a lot, and are very sport-crazy, so instead of bright colored skirts, I saw beautiful sporty outfits. They are very bright, kind, hospitable and warm; what I thought would be in their outfits was actually in their spirit. So I wanted to interpret the tomboyish sporty nature and merge it with the regular Ejiro Amos Tafiri (EAT) signature look that is fluid, feminine and chic.
I am kind of a tom boy too, so it was a nice way to depict my personal style.For the colors I went for bright orange, lemon green et al, but I still wanted that tell African story,which EAT is normally known. Whatever piece or collection I make or design, I like to tell the African story. My inspiration is usually traditional but this time it was South American. The Brazilians share some similarities with the Yoruba people from Nigeria so it wasn't so difficult to interpret. I used our local fabrics, AsoOke and Tie&Dye but this time in silk, faux leather and infused spot cuts into my designs to create a perfect blend between the sporty and feminine. It is basically, a tomboy wearing a dress, for the first time. “It is like a biker chic wearing a dress”.
Fashion week profitability in Nigeria
I think any forward thinking fashion-prenuer or designer should want to show at the foremost fashion week in their countries, continents and internationally. For instance, the CEO of Browns chain store was present, as wells as buyers, international press, prospective clients and customers. I think if any designer want to play at the global fashion level,showing at fashion week is essential. You shouldn't be thinking of profits in the immediate term, as nobody invests in a business and expect the returns immediately.  There must be gestation period, long and short term goals et al, so you can't calculate what you gain from fashion week the day you showed or immediately. It has a spin-on, ripple effect, which is beneficial in nature.
The olekudrape dress Story
The oleku EAT piece is one that is very dear to my heart. I think I have sold well over two hundred piece and counting. I loved Ero and Buba when growing up; I have pictures of myself wearing it from as early as three years old. It was my favorite church outfit but when by the time I left secondary school, I have stoped wearing it because I felt it was too cumbersome as life has become more fast -paced. One day I thought to myself “how best can I wear the  Ero and Buba staple” I had seen the Tiffany Amber lady Twist dress and Jason Wu twist, so It inspired me to create the oleku drape dress , which I showcased in SS13 collection and it was an instant hit.
Tying the Oleku Twist
Tying the Oleku Knot is very simple, it is Ero and Buba but in a drapery fabric, hold out both ends of the drape, cross and twist over each other.  You can twist once or twice before knotting, it all depend on the individual.  There is more range of the Oleku pieces, for instance the drape dress and drape pants and Jumpsuits.
How to get an original E.A.T pieces:
You can order or buy your favorite E.A.T from our website, or the various stores and portals that carry brand. For instance, Grey, Buyam.com, Fashion Portal et al.

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