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I learnt handbag making by watching a friend Okagu

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IMAGE: Emily Chioma Okagu »

Given the rise in skilled entrepreneurs, Emily Chioma Okagu is a new designer on the block and is very eager to cut her teeth in the fashion industry.

A graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, who majored in English Language and Literature, she started nurturing her love for fashion accessories into a money-making business, when she could no longer fathom the idea of day dreaming about 9 to 5 job.

She admitted that she chose fashion accessories because ladies can hardly do without them. “Fashion is incomplete without accessories. What I mean is whatever one decides to wear, its never complete without the shoes, bags or a beautiful piece of jewelry. Accessories further brings out the uniqueness in any outfit,” she said

Okagu, who hails from Enugu State while analysing why many people are going into fashion business nowadays for money reason, however, opines that “nothing survives without passion, anything driven by money ends up failing even before it begins, which is why only a few survive.

She also revealed that she has always loved beauty, art, and style. “As a kid, I used to try different clothes in front of a mirror, cut out little pieces and embellish them with buttons and stones. When I grew older, I began to style my friends. My mum noticed the passion in me so she sent me to a fashion school here in Lagos. Since then, I have been making clothes for clients here in Nigeria and for exports to other countries.”

Okagu added making bags and shoes to her fashion line ‘Pretty n’ Chic’ four years ago, while on break in the university. “I always had the zeal to learn something new. So I easily picked that up. I had a friend who made lovely bags as well as shoes, which he learnt while growing up in Italy and working where they were being produced. I eagerly watched his every step, while he was working, till one day I made a handbag. He marvelled at my attempt and started teaching me. I learnt it all within six to seven months. I also did some research to improve what I have learnt and to move along with the modern day trend. I run a training school where I can teach others who are willing to learn fashion designing and accessories making,” she said

Speaking on the uniqueness of her brand, she said she pays more attention to the clothes and accessories to suit the customer’s personality. Each piece is made to express individual style and uniqueness.

“My designs are youthful, colourful and made from the most exotic materials available worldwide. They are edgy and modern and each design is distinct from the others,” she concluded.

Article Credit: Daily Independent Newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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