Sunday, 28 February 2016

Emmanuel Ifegwu on Mr Tourism Nigeria 2015 and his passion for fashion styling

He may not be one of the biggest names in the fashion industry, but he is one talent the fashion industry should expect. He's passionate and he loves what he does. I wouldn't miss out his fine spirit and those smiles he wears always. Emmanuel Ifegwu is a final year student of industrial chemistry and he is a stylist and a designer whose first collection would be out in a few months time. Emmanuel has worked with Okeez footwears; Blogger, Ruth Dulac; Miss Anambra Cultural, Kosiso Nwachuwu and some other people. He contested for Mr. Tourism Nigeria 2015. In this exclusive interview, he opens up on his experiences in the pageant, his plans for his cloth line and his love for fashion styling. Have a nice read through...

What was your experience at Mr. Tourism Nigeria 2015? : It was an interesting contest, a lot went on. We were in camp for six days. We lodged in a hotel in Awka Ibo, we camped in a jungle, we were literally in a bush, rehearsing for the contest, learning things about the state and going out on trips to places.

How did you fare in the contest with no prior background in modelling? : I have always been a fashion person. I love modelling actually, but, I didn't want to go into it full time cos I had something I loved more, fashion styling. I have been researching a lot about modelling, I watch modelling videos. I have a little background in modelling, at least I know some things about modelling, so it was easy for me to blend in.

How were you able to cope with the environment being your first time to the state and how did you cope with your fellow contestants? : It wasn't quite easy, but the contestants, a lot of them were very free people. We got along just fine. I travel a lot, so being in another environment was not new to me. The environment, the jungle part was not easy. I mean, I have to wake by 4am after sleeping by 2am and be active all through the day till 2am when I would sleep again. It was alright, I adjusted just fine. The place was comfortable, the organisers and the contestants made it just fine for every one of us. 

Do you think that your little experience in modelling affected your performance in the contest? : Not quite. It just happened. I wasn't expecting it to happen, but it just happened.

How did you react to it? : It was fine. I didn't feel bad at all, surprisingly. The experience alone was enough for me. I went there for the experience actually.

How would you react to the notion that one has to sleep or pay his way through to succeed in modelling? : When people don't have things to talk about, they just make things out. From my experience, most of the people I met were good models. I don't think any sleeps his way through modelling. If any one does, I can't say for sure, cos I haven't witnessed such before.   

Emmanuel Ifegwu as a fashion stylist : I love styling, I love being creative with clothes. I am obsessed with clothes, I love anything clothes. So, it was quite easy for me to decide to be a stylist. It actually, started when a lot of my friends seek my opinion over what to wear when going out. I thought about it, and felt that it was nice making money doing what I like doing. So, I decided to be a full time stylist. I actually enjoy doing it.

How has styling been for you? : I started officially in 2013. And so far, I have worked with models, a blogger and a designer. It's been going well and I hope to get better.

What do you do in a bid to get better as a stylist?  : Most times I read online. There are no much schools that teach styling in Nigeria. So, I do my research myself. I watch youtube videos, I follow stylist and I do researches.

Most stylists turn designers, what would you say? : (laughs) I actually would be doing the same thing.

When do we expect your designs? : Before the end of this year, I am working on something. I am working on a line of tunics and shirts. They would be prints all over. So, in four or five months time, I should make my launch.

What else do we expect from you? : Apart from styling and designing, I am a student of industrial chemistry, I should be graduating in a few months time. The main thing for this year is the launch of my cloth line.

What would be expected from your designs? : My first collection is going to be about sophistication, I want designs that would speak luxury. I would be working with light materials, and jewellery to make it look sophisticated.

You design and sew yourself? : Actually, I do the drawing, I pick the fabrics and take it to my tailor. I don't sew for now, I am still learning and would be done in the next four months.

Where do you see your self in three years time? : In the next two to three years, my collection should be out fully, I would probably have another one depending on response to sales. I am going to be a big name in the fashion industry in Nigeria.

Role models : I love SwankyJerry (Jerry Ogbodo), he's good with his works. As a designer, I admire Orange Couture and T.I Nathan.

Your view about the Nigeria fashion industry : The Nigeria fashion industry is doing well, we are doing well. I love what the designers are bringing to the runways, I love what the models are doing. Each time, I see new designs online, I see what these designers do and it's quite impressive. I believe that in five or six years, Nigeria fashion industry would be everywhere.