In my recent quest to promote African and more specifically Nigerian fashion brands, I recently got the chance to visit and shop at one of my favorite Nigerian designer’s showroom. It was an absolute pleasure to finally see some pieces I’ve been dying for up close and also, meet the creative head of the brand, Wana Sambo. She was so pleasant, so helpful and she generously opened up to me about the inspiration behind her latest collection and also gave her two cents on breaking into the fashion industry which you can read on below.
The showroom was absolutely gorgeous and I sure did have fun trying on some gorgeous dresses. The WS studio would definitely be having me as a visitor soon enough again. Below are the fun moments captured at the studio. Enjoy!
BROWSING THE RACKS
MEET THE DESIGNER
Who is the Wana Sambo woman?
Typically, we always say the WS woman is strong, sexy and exotic but a WS woman is that, and then a woman who is confident. A woman who likes to wear her clothes and not the other way around because you have people who allow clothes define them but the WS woman is one who says “oh, that works for me, that’s what I am going to wear” not someone who says “I’d wear this dress just because it’s in trend” because they’re not really sure of their body and what suits them.
So, your last collection made me as a person fall deeper in love with your brand and your designs and it just got me thinking, what was your inspiration behind the collection?
I was thinking of what a woman’s wardrobe would be like if she had to travel and she lived in the 50’s or 60’s. So, I took a bit of inspiration from the 50’s and 60’s, the early era and I infused it with what I want my wardrobe to look like if I’m travelling. Sometimes, you go through a phase in your life and you decide, ‘Oh, I’m just going to wear black for a bit’ or ‘Oh, I’m just going to wear pink’. So, because of the colours of the season at that time, I decided to go with white but something that is more minimalist and plain. So, that collection was inspired by a woman’s wardrobe, like a fictional character. She loves to travel. She goes to a lot of places, From work, she’s heading to dinner, she has functions to attend, meetings and all. The collection was inspired by this woman’s wardrobe.
That explains it! Now moving on, there were so many beautiful looks that graced the runway and I’m just curious, if you were to pick a look that you would totally rock , I mean, I know you can wear everything but if you could pick just one, which one would it be?
Oh my God, the slip dress and the anorak. Its very easy to go from day to night with that look. I love all the outfits of course but if I were to pick only one, that would be it. The slip dress and the anorak, I loved the model, she rocked the look.
Oh yes, she did! Finally, we can say the fashion industry is just starting to develop in Nigeria and presently, there are lots of young people looking to break into the industry. So, as an entrepreneur and a designer, what advice would you give to these young creatives?
First of all, I think that they should try to figure out where their strength is because most people think it just designing but there are so many other departments in fashion design so you can be a creative assistant, a business manager, a brand manager, a stylist…there’s too many other things, so they should just figure out what they want because that’s the first hassle every one goes through. They are like “Hmm…what do I want to do? I’m not really sure about this.” So they should just read up on these things and they should never stop because when I officially launched my first collection in 2012, December, I know that things have been different between then and now. It’s been amazing, It’s been a different reception but what matters is perseverance. Because if you quit just because you meet obstacles like finding good tailors or because the society doesn’t accept what you want do…it won’t work. So be sure of what you want, do your research…you know sometimes you have to tap into different things so you can figure out which career is best for you.
That pretty much sums it up. Thank you so much for your time
You’re Welcome Yele
WANA SAMBO CONTACT
Address: No 40, Fola Osibo, Lekki phase I, Lagos Island.