OBUDE: What are your inspirations?
ESTELLA: My inspiration. Just ONLY one inspiration is GOD! Because HE planned my life all the way round and round back to Fashion! Its like I could run, but I couldn’t get away! Now I am back to fashion full force!
And its amazing that I have never had to take any fashion lesson or sewing classes! I just picked up my scissors one day, got a fabric and bought a sewing machine and started sewing! I cut and sewed all the things I have now in display all by myself! I just got couple of tailors to work for me now. But I would rather do the finally detailing myself before I hand over to a client. I actually sleep and get sketches in my sleep! Being why I have pen and papers all over my house! Kitchen, toilets, office, dining room, car, handbags etc, cos I never know where and when a masterpiece would be dropped into my mind! I just love this.
OBUDE: And how do you intend to market your products?
ESTELLA: As of late, I have been featured in a lot of Fashion Shows. The offers are increasing, but I have had to decline some in order to balance my crazy schedule and maintain exclusivity. We just implemented E-marketing strategies and we will be using direct mailing as well. We will eventually have some key figures in the community to endorse my clothing line. My Marketing and public relations team ,NenyéProductions (nenyeproductions.com) is doing awesome work with that. And of course, word of mouth has really helped a lot.
In the next couple of weeks, I intend to launch a Massive Fashion Exhibition in the Washington DC Metro Area! And we also have lots of other avenues lined up which would all kick-in in the next couple of weeks! Also, Internet of course! Right now, our website is under construction because I have a great Web Designer working on it right now as we speak.
More so, since I have changed my main Fashion Name from TRADISHIONALÉ COUTURE to ESTELLA COLLECTIONS. This was necessitated by the need to make my fashion global! Tradishionalé Couture would be a line of my collections, but my Company is now known as ESTELLA. I did a poll of my friends, partners and associates and all were of the opinion that I got a unique name – Estella. I may as well use it to show what I am all about! Besides my parents did not make a mistake naming me STAR (Stellar, Estella), cos that is where I am heading!
OBUDE: What are your long term goals?
ESTELLA: Its simple! Put African and Asian Fabrics on the runway around the world! I want ESTELLA to be on the same line up as YSL, Gucci, Dior etc. Besides, we have lots of exquisite fabrics and the world is doing nothing about it! I strongly believe in preserving our cultures, but the world is now also a Global Community! Blame it on my IT experience, but if I can know what is happening in another part of the world I have never seen, thanks to technology, how about I also take my wonderful fabrics to that part! The BOHO fashion came out and rocked the world, in the early 70s, dashikis were in the world fashion, I want that era back, after all fashion is simply recycling of ideas over generations!
OBUDE: Is your fashion only for the black population?
ESTELLA: NO! And I don’t want it to be. Like I said earlier, I want my fashion to be for the whole world.
OBUDE: Fashion is unique, how do you intend to make people accept you?
ESTELLA: You know, you really can’t make people accept you. Especially when it comes to fashion. Because people would buy and wear just what they like, sometimes not even minding the cost. So, I will just put my designs out there, and know that people would accept them. Because my designs are shape-friendly. By that I mean, I design for everyone! Tall, Short, thin, big, black, white, etc. Everyone would find their style in ESTELLA.
OBUDE: How is living in America helping your fashion products?
ESTELLA: I won’t say its making any difference at all. Rather, it makes getting the fabrics from African and Asia more difficult and expensive.
Only thing I can say is that living here makes it easier for me to sample and test certain designs and concepts on a wide range of clients before putting them out there for all to see and buy. If I lived in Africa, I would not have that privileged of getting first hand opinions.
OBUDE: Do you do other things apart from fashion?
ESTELLA: Yes, I am still an IT person. I love Computers and can’t just walk away from it, rather, I try to introduce lots of computers to my fashion ideas. And being hard working person that I am, I still have other concepts I am working on alongside my fashion business.