With every new season comes new styles and trends, different fabrics, and more and more frocks on racks. It is apparent to note that the globe is focusing on a more conservative, simple and easy to wear clothing. This has allowed a new direction that is ushering new opportunities for trendsetters and millennials and opening doors for a fashion conscious youthful African entrepreneurs. Fashion to Africans is a statement, it serves as your first real definition.
“Fashion is no longer seen only as a conglomerate of companies but can now also be viewed as a start-up, flooded with millennials trying to make a difference even when the big players continue to churn out new designs.
Lagos is a dream city of many young designers, there is no fashion statement in Africa without the mention of Lagos Nigeria, from the street of Yaba, Abule Egba, Agege, Adeniran Ogunsanya to Lagos Island you can feel the presence of fashion and the mavericks behind it. An average Nigerian knows a fashion designer or a tailor than any other profession, they know the ones doing well and the ones that are fast, slow, cheap, expensive and also the superstars.
When you speak about fashion in Nigeria it holds no boundary. Nigerian fashion industry has been a major player in the proliferation of African culture around the globe. Her fashion style has remained focused on its tribes and their cultures and commands a language that spirals down over every inhabitant in the country. “Naija”, as widely called, has over the years produced successful fashion lines from entrepreneurs that have been able to make impact in the world, few to mention among these entrepreneurs are Mai Atafo, Deola Sagoe, Folake Folarin Coker, Duro Olowu, Frank Oshodi, Ade Bakare, Lisa Folawiyo and Soares Anthony
By default, there is an impact of fashion in every Nigerian. From the fashion street on Adeniran Ogunsanya to Bode Thomas, to Allen Avenue to Opebi, you will discover a wide and long stream of designers and fashion enthusiasts working harder to carve their names on the Nigerian fashion map. Some got there and some still struggling.
Our journey into the streets of Lagos led us to a young man in his early twenties by the street name “SIMI“. Founder to Teds Bespokes clothing and a student of Babcock university trying to change the course of Nigeria fashion, what he does is simple and well organized, he takes the stress of tailors away from you, just think it and you would wear it; that’s his caption
“Think It, Wear It”.
You won’t get a no for a fashion answer from him. He understands the way of the tailors. The business is changing he said,
“People are no longer interested in going through stress over tailors persistent disappointment”.
The task is now being contracted to us. We will get your wears delivered on the day we promised. Be 100% assured”, he boldly said.
Ayo –“SIMI”– is presently working on setting up his own shop, apart from the factory he is planning to set up, but currently sells via his social media platform. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. His Instagram account commands close to 7,000 followers most of which are between the ages of 20-30yrs. He has a very loyal fan base who always do everything possible to get their clothing from him, they respect his self-motivation in an industry that is known to favor the favorable.
On starting out his business- Ted Bespoke Fashion -, he explained,
“aside from the fact that fashion is something I am passionate about, I started designing and making clothes because I simply needed unique outfits for myself.”
His quest for fashion dexterity always means he wants to look different always. He said, “I made a few personal unique stuff and people got to like them. Before I knew it, orders started rolling in. The fashion industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors in Nigeria, so I can boldly say the market is as big as the country in her entirety.”
He excitedly explained, “I started acting on the idea fully in 2012”. So it’s actually four years and still counting since he made it a full-time work . Ayo got his family support right from the beginning, and his friends have also been his most loyal customers right from the start up till now.
His background shows that from a humble beginning. Ayo was born into a middle-income family in Igbara-Oke, Ondo State. Growing up in Akure, he enrolled into primary and secondary school in Akure before proceeding to Babcock university to study law. A self-determined, dogged and resolute young man that has earlier pursued a career in professional football and priesthood before finally focusing on fashion at a tender age. Ayo intends to learn more on fashion probably outside Nigeria and be a force to reckon with in the fashion industry across Africa. Ayo declined to talk about his revenue till date but instead laid emphasis on his focus on having more experience and learning for now.
His fashion line, Teds Bespokes Clothing, can deliver any designs depending on the complexity of the designs each customer request. That alone allows for different processing time for each quantity of cloth customers are willing to make. Teds Bespokes clothing designs for both sexes which can either be traditional attire or English wears. His fashion line primary focuses on casual wears for any age group. Social media has been the force through which Ayo gained his popularity and follower base till date. His clothing lines sell worldwide and its open to buyers from different parts of the world. Over time it has become a realistic fact that a lot of people want to experience African fashion making the doors open to global shipment for fashion entrepreneurs. He is spending more time learning how to break into the global fashion market to compete with brands like Zara, Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste e.t.c
Speaking about the challenges he faced, he said ,”The most challenging phase is meeting up with demands, most especially meeting up with challenges you set for your self as a dream chaser.” “You have to be dogged and determined. Its was never a tale of grace to grace for me. It is a tale of grass, grass to grass”, he expressed.
“As an entrepreneur, the most important thing is to be creative and when those new ideas are not coming in, do what has already been done, but in a different way.
He asserted, “Well, I will like to conclude by saying, “In all you do, trust God and believe in yourself and don’t let anyone look down on you””
Brand Name: Teds Bespokes
Motto: Think it, Wear It
Phone Number: +2348068300115
Biz address: 5/7 Oladogba Street. Ikosi Lagos Nigeria
Social Media: Instagram (Simi_Teds), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/simiteds)
Awards & Recognitions
Faculty of Law, Babcock University, Most Enterprising Inductee. 2014
Nigerian Achievers Awards, Most
Enterprising Youth in Nigeria. 2015Law Students Association of Nigeria, Babcock University chapter, Most Enterprising Student. 2016 Campus Heat Awards, Nominated as Most Enterprising Male Student. 2016
Nigerian Private University Awards, Nominated as Most Fashionable Male and Best Outstanding Stylist. 2016