Greetings Fashion community of Fashion Avenue News Magazine Washington DC Creating, collaborating, and, highlighting the areas designer talent we move to Clyopatra Couture, the creation of Ifeoma Onyia CEO/Designer . Continental African fashion with European and American influences. Below her responses, and please visit her social media page Clyopatra Couture .
FAN-DC: Please Describe your personal style.
My personal style is best put as: Elegant, classy yet different. Different in the sense that I do not follow fashion trends, I dress to please me.
FAN-DC: Please describe your brand or line of products.
Clyopatra Couture is the offspring of a unique intercontinental marital bliss: it’s the harmonious marriage of Continental African fashion with European and American influences. It captures a new world where Motherland meets the West, delivering a visual infusion of elegance, sophistication, beauty and authenticity. Clyopatra Couture brings you the opportunity to combine season defiant African prints from various parts of Africa from Aso-oke, George from Nigeria to Kente, Mud-cloth from Ghana to Tie-Die from Sierra Leone transforming them into Lycra, Chiffon, Cotton Jersey, Polyester, silk mix etc. Our collection offers a range of Ready to Wear plus custom designs ranging from Denim to swimwear to eveningwear for both men and women. Our culture inspired Swimwear and accessories line showcases richness in the beautiful African prints with the soles of all our shoes in deep purple color symbolizing Royalty.
FAN-DC: what sparked your interest in fashion?
My Mother! Watching her create these magnificent designs with fabulous African prints had me mesmerized as a kid.
FAN-DC: are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?
Predominantly self-taught but took some classes here and there in London England.
FAN-DC: How long have you been a professional designer? And what is your earliest design memory?
I pretty much started designing in round about 1995. My earliest design memory was my very first complete outfit which I had stitched for my little niece, I was about 10 years old.
FAN-DC: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve heard? And do you follow it?
Hmmm that will be the advice from my late brother Oby when I opened up my very first Studios in London. He said “Baby sis, it is better to make £1 out of 100 people than trying to make £100 out of one person, so remember that when pricing your items. I follow that advice to date and it works.
FAN-DC: What is your favorite place to shop, anywhere in the world, and why?
Italy. I love the free creative minds that they have which shows in the elegantly cut designs that they have plus the fact that their Gold is to die for!
FAN-DC: What music, movie, book or magazine gets you ready to sketch or brainstorm?
R &B, Afro beats and Reggae. Something in their lyrics wakes up my soul.
FAN-DC: how has your work evolved since you began your own label?
When I first went back into designing after taking a sabbatical, I started with designing Gowns to correct one of my pet peeves which is seeing women wearing these gowns that just steps above the ankles! Like the Designers were saving fabrics! From there I went into Menswear and now accessories such as Bags, Shoes (Purple bottoms), wallets to now manufacturing for other Designers that don’t have the capacity to produce high MOQs.
FAN-DC: have your pieces become more appealing to people as a result?
FAN-DC: are there any types of clothing that you avoid wearing?
I can’t wear the plastic stuff.
FAN-DC: does your approach differ when designing menswear compared to womenswear?
I honestly think about these few things: How the individual will look in that design, how comfortable they will be in them and how it will show their best body qualities.
FAN-DC: how is your work received internationally?
Very well I must say hence I got invited to become a Board Member of West African Fashion Council and have also become partners with Paris City Fashion Week.
FAN-DC: how do influences from outside of USA find their way into your work?
I grew up in Nigeria and London England, my work represents all my homelands.
FAN-DC: what are you fascinated by now and how does it feed into your work?
I am fascinated with textures, images, patterns which is why I design a lot of my own textiles that I use.
FAN-DC: what is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
Trust people but verify them.
FAN-DC: what advice would you give to young designer?
Stay focused and be true to your creative self. Never quit on your talent.
FAN-DC: what would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
Adding more Strategic Partnerships.
FAN-DC: are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?
I am not superstitious, I live by Faith with very strong principles.
FAN-DC: If you can have one photographer shoot an advertising campaign for you, who would that be and why?
Tyler Mitchell! First Black photographer to be featured on the cover of Vogue. Talented to no end.
FAN-DC: what is your motto?
Do all in life with reverence to God.