If you are active on Naija social media space and interested in Fashion, chances are you will have heard or seen the Janore Fashion brand.
You can’t miss the work of the Creative Designer and Entrepreneur Oyinda Akinfenwa scrolling through Instagram or Twitter!
She is somewhat known as the “Style Bender” as she can literarily create, sometimes up to 11 styles from a single dress design!
Her work is THAT unique and beautiful, so much that even foreign media and fashion brands are beginning to recognise and pay attention to her work.
Her Styles are unique and we dare say difficult to copy (LOL). She has gone viral on social media severally and even featured on international websites and blogs like: BoredPanda ; MetroUK and several local blogs.
So, we at Millennials of Lagos decided to talk to this creative mind and find out what makes her tick. We wanted to know how her mind works and what her creative process looks like. We are sure you would too…here goes:
M: When and how did you learn how to sew?
Ans : I didn’t particularly learn how to at first , it just seemed like something I could do all of a sudden, then i tried to learn the basics of sewing and cutting from a fashion designer for about a month which further helped me understand my skills better and also helped me improve but for most part, I’m self taught .
M: When did you decide its time to make it a full business?
Ans : It’s not a full business yet , but I decided to start selling now because when I started posting , I had a lot of requests for them ; which motivated the change.
M: What did you actually study in school and did you ever practice what you studied?
Ans: Law, I’m in law school presently
M: How did you come up with the brand name “Janore” and what does it mean or represent?
Ans : well my brand name is a mixture of my two middle names “Janet” and “Oreoluwa” which gives “JANORE” . It Represents Me basically.
M: Your pieces are just unique! Whats the creative process like? How complex is it?
Ans: When I’m trying to create dresses like this , sometimes it takes me weeks to come up with something, other times it takes days . First, I start drawing it out with whatever comes to mind , sometimes I start with the sleeves then draw the body later , or start with the neck or something and complete it when I figure out what I want it to look like , but also I make changes along the way when I start sewing to make it more perfect and sometimes I make mistakes which I actually go along with and at the end , it usually works for the dress .
M: What was your inspiration in creating this kind of pieces? Have you always done this kind of multiple designs in one from the beginning of your journey?
Ans : I get inspired by the beautiful dresses I see ; especially on Pinterest , Instagram etc . I get inspired by every talented fashion designer because they amaze me in so many ways and their works make me want to do better and push myself and create inspired designs . No, I didn’t start with multiple styling, it came along the way .
M: What do you think of the Nigerian fashion industry?
Ans: I think it’s filled with really talented people and also really competitive . Also filled with innovative and amazing minds capable of leading the fashion industry worldwide .
M: What is business like currently? Are you making enough sales to keep the brand going?
Ans : it’s going fine , and yes I make enough sales to keep the brand going at the moment .
M: When a client buys a piece of your wear, do you have to show them the different styling options to wear it or its easy to figure that out?
Ans: there’s YouTube channel and tiktok videos on styling and some dresses comes with style guides in form of cards added to the dresses .
M: Does the pricing of your wears depend on the number of styling options?
Ans: no it doesn’t
M: Have you started having the international community patronise your brand?
Ans: Yes definitely
M: Whats your current biggest need right now to take your brand to the next level?
Ans: To be done with Law school
M: Do you think you need to move abroad for your brand to compete on a global scale?
Ans: I don’t think it’s a “need” but staying abroad has always been my plan personally.
M: Do you have staffs and or trainees working with you?
Ans: not exactly
M: What challenges are you facing as a Nigerian entrepreneur?
Ans: the biggest for me will be delivery because I’ve had more issues with dispatch companies not arriving on time, taking days to deliver, or even ruining my packages which ruins customer experience.
M: Where do you see the Janore brand in say 5 years?
Ans : In next five years , I see my brand as a top worldwide brand and the go-to brand for fashion items because I plan to expand beyond just female wears , I see my business doing really well and much much bigger with over 50 branches in different parts of the world .
M: Have you participated in any fashion show?
Ans: This will be when I was in the University. But under Janore brand; no
M: Whats a typical day like for you?
Ans: I don’t do much at home , except when I’m making dresses which is usually quite stressful ; but other times I just sit around and watch shows.
M: What do you like about this city Lagos?
Ans: I don’t actually live in Lagos atm.
PS: Kindly follow Oyinda Akinfenwa – Twitter : @just_oyinda
Youtube: Oyinda Akinfenwa