‘Manpower deficit, lack of raw materials, infrastructure major challenges of entrepreneurs’
Yewande Adijat Hakeem-Habeeb is the creative director at Qubraz designs as well as an instructor at Qubraz fashion academy and HQ events and party services. In this interview with NGOZI OKPALAKUNNE, she talked about how social media has transformed fashion industry. She also spoke on what it takes to excel in the field as well as the need for the Nigeria fashion designers to be more creative. Excerpts:
Can you elaborate on the growth of fashion industry and what has changed, compared to when you started?
Change in the industry is nothing new. There is probably no other line of human endeavour or industry with so much change like the fashion industry and this has kept fashion labels at the forefront of re-inventing, re-strategising, and re-aligning themselves to rapidly evolving business environments and changing consumer needs.
Usually, it used to be direct to consumer marketing, but the internet has made things easier as our brand website is growing, we have recorded increased sales through direct marketing on social networks and with the adoption of social media into our business the future looks promising.
What are the important details that one needs to pay attention to in order to excel in the field of fashion?
Being creative is a major feature of all successful fashion brands, but creativity alone is not enough to succeed in the fashion industry. Aspiring fashion designers should also focus on the business side, having the entrepreneurial spirit, thinking about what they want to be known for, find ways to connect with clients in a timely manner, build lasting networks, pay attention to every detail, deliver quality services, conduct research on a regular to know the trends and build an impactful marketing model.
The industry is churning out a lot of creative designers; what is your view about this growth?
The fashion industry is fast becoming one of the most thriving sectors and the art of making great designs would determine how good a fashion designer would be rated, so with the rate of new designers in the industry we need to keep dishing out the best ideas to stand out.
And to the Individuals who wish to go into fashion designing, it should be considered a ‘’thorough business and never a shift’. Many of the top Nigerian fashion designers doing amazingly well in the fashion designing business have experienced hitches here and there before hitting stardom. However, hard work and consistency paved way for us.
The market is so big to accommodate as many designers as possible.
What makes Qubraz designs unique?
If there’s one thing that’s extremely hard to do in the field of design, it’s trying to stand out. Remember that this is an industry filled to the brim with creative people. Everybody has their own thing. Everyone has their own brand. In any industry you will never be able to stand out if you do what everyone else is doing. I do not bind myself to a fixed set of guidelines to follow. So what if everyone is doing a certain thing or applying a certain trend? I start trends of my own instead of just following trends that someone else has set? Experimentation is the key to our success at Qubraz Designs.
Now, tell us the story behind the name Qubraz Designs?
A name is one of the most important ways a company can set a first impression for its customers. Brand names need to be catchy, memorable, and uncomplicated to make sure they stick.
What inspires your creativity?
Creating anything is empowering, which itself inspires. I have multiple sources of inspiration because different things will inspire at different times and in certain circumstances.
For inspiration, I turn to the following sources; meditation, stillness can calm the mind, and actually massively open up the creative channels; Pinterest and other photo resources.
Looking at inspiring images often evokes great ideas to go with them, and can help awaken creativity; friends and loved ones. Sometimes you have an incomplete idea, and all you need is to bounce it off to someone to complete it. Friends and loved ones can be excellent for this.
To be certain, in some situations a combination of these can be really effective.
What should we expect from your upcoming fashion show this year?
The 5th edition of Qubraz designs, youth skill acquisition and empowerment fashion show will be different this year as we have added unique activities that will make the event memorable.
With the support of our sponsors we will empower and showcase the creation of our promising designers who have been newly introduced to the fashion world.
What are the challenges you have faced so far in running Qubraz designs?
There is no business without its ups and down. Lack of manpower, lack of basic infrastructure, raw materials for production are mostly imported it has been challenging but worth it. However there is money in fashion designing I enjoy designing, it’s my passion, my life and I love it.