Estella Ogbonna…Curves, Colors and Captivations

by Taiwo Obude

Estella Ogbonna is a woman with brains and intelligence and all you need to do is listen to her speak. She has earned the education many dream of acquiring but her pet dream of becoming a fashion designer seems to be consuming her and with the opportunity to live and work in the United States of America, Estella is fulfilling her long life dream of becoming a fashion guru. Recently Taiwo Obude caught up with her to conduct this interview.

OBUDE: So can you introduce yourself to us?

ESTELLA: My name is Estella Ogbonna. I am the first in a family of 3. My younger siblings live in Nigeria and are doing pretty well.

I graduated from the University of Jos, Nigeria with a Diploma in Special Education, and a Bachelors in Psychology. In addition to a Diploma in Computer Applications from University of Port Harcourt.

And here in the USA, I have a Bachelors in Information Technology (Network Administration) and currently reading for my MPA in IT/Non Profit organizations.

Estella Ogbonna

OBUDE: What brings you into fashion?

ESTELLA: Hmmm… first thing I remember about fashion is when I was about 6 years old, I used to love watching DO-IT-YOURSELF program on NTA Aba then in Aba City, Abia State! And I also remember a little book my mum bought me about crafts and making things. The one thing still ingrained in my memory is this Cloth calendar we had on the wall, which expired with the new year, and when it was brought down, I decided to do something with it. And the only thing I could think of was making a skirt for myself! Imagine at that little age! Well, I did, I threaded my needle and got to work. It took me days, but I finally made me a Skirt with dates and months all around it. And I did not forget to accessorize it with a cute pink button from a bead I found lying around. The pink bead was stuck in front to mark the skirt front because I made it with a rubber band waist line! Need I say that it became my favorite skirt?

Well, you know how it is, our parents and education and all that. I continued schooling but still loved fashion! I am blessed with wonderful parents. And at age 11, I already operated my own personal savings account from the money I made off them running errands like Ironing their clothes (I hated washing!) but loved to iron clothes! Those days, while in Junior High School, I could Iron a room full of clothes without blinking! Ha ha ha! And my parents paid good money for that! Maybe, I don’t know, all those ironings and knowing to set the right temperature on the pressing iron so as not to burn the clothes could and may have helped me a lot with knowing a lot about fabric textures, and also about sewing lines, folding lines etc. I can’t really pinpoint the exact time in my life I decided that Fashion it is! No! It just has been there from my childhood! And my mum also was a fashion dresser! Boy! Mum worked in a bank and she could dress! And of course! She dressed me cute too! I can say she spoiled me with clothes as well. It was bad I could go months without repeating any particular outfit!

It was so bad that my first expenditure from my savings account was to buy a lovely pleated yellow chiffon dress! And it was expensive! But, I worked hard for my money!! Truth is, I didn’t really need to buy that dress, but it felt good to once go to the market (then in Kano State), enter a ready-made high class store and buy my own dress all by myself! Without mummy hovering over me and telling me what to buy and what shoes that would go with it etc! And my mum was impressed! And that marked the end of her insisting I pick particular dress(es) each time we went on our shopping sprees! I was that hooked on clothes!

In my mid teenage, after I had blossomed into curves (at the hips) ha ha ha …oyibo ready-made was not cutting it for me anymore! So, I switched to Custom making my own stuff. And I was lucky my aunt lived in Aba (home of fabrics of all textures and great tailors too!), so, I could actually pick out fabrics that looked like the foreign ‘ready-made’ clothes, sketch my designs and had the tailors make them to fit!

Well, the addiction continued so much so that by the time I got to 22, I had like 5 tailors! Each for like Suits, skirt, dress, pants, native wears etc! Just so they don’t disappoint me and most tailors in Aba specialized in particular outfits. I used to order them from out of State. And many a time I was in Aba on vacation, I actually used to sit with them while they cut my clothes and I just watched and learned, and some allowed me help them put pieces together (I still paid them, mind you!), but I learned a lot that way!

Most people that knew me in my University days in Nigeria would remember that I was a Fashion person. I rarely repeated an outfit on campus! I actually contested in Miss Vogue in 1990 (a fashion competition), but the cult guys threw tear gas and messed up the event when they saw that there candidate was not going to win! I had a head start on all of them!! Ha ha ha.

So, to how I got into Fashion, God always had my life planned to come back this way after all my education and everything. And I thank HIM!

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21 comments February 1, 2012 - 2:51 pm

Thank you Estella, i know right from time that there was something diffrent about you and that you were destined for success, and it’s my pleasure to have been part of that success.

Reply January 30, 2012 - 5:48 am

This Interview. I remember.

Thanks Again Taiwo Obude!


ify ekwempu January 31, 2007 - 7:27 am

luvly interview,now i am convinced that all things are achieveable through determination, thanks for inspiring me.Estelle u go gurl!!!!!!!!!!

buda atum November 14, 2006 - 7:34 am

Very interesting stuff, nice clothes, beautiful clothes wonderful person!

Now I know where my next wardrobe is coming from – soon as I find meself a well to do man!

Go Estella!

Estella Ogbonna November 1, 2006 - 7:37 pm

Jyoti! I remember….Savoy! How can I forget when I met the most wonderful women on earth!! From all corners of the world, all with the dream to make a change in the lives of women.

Jyoti, this is still my way of contributing to womanhood….I have plans for that. I am still a Community Developer and Non-Profit Organizations manager anyday!

My dear, I NEVER knew or dreamt, or even thought I would end up in the fashion world. But…..,I am LOVIIIIING IT gurl!!

How is Kuwait? I plan to vist you someday…..;)

Jyoti Nair October 28, 2006 - 9:34 am

Estella, this is just the begining for you… now on there will be no looking behind. I do not know if you remember long time ago when I had met you as only a brainy woman (not knowing this side of you) I had said you are very special and you have a lot in you.. remember in Savoy Washington DC. I am so proud of you… What many do not know of her is her extremely sensitiveness to human kind… Love you!

REGGY AND BECKY October 3, 2006 - 12:38 am


jules July 13, 2006 - 9:46 am

great interview, strong personality.

see her gallery on and you will agree with me she's a high flyer in the fashion world.

oluchi July 13, 2006 - 5:56 am

You have always had a passion for high fashion and i knew sooner than later you were going to face it. i am overwhelmed and I'm sure you'll grow from strength to strength because it's inborn. Thanks for making us proud. GOD is your strength.

Qute4reva June 6, 2006 - 10:31 am

I wish you the very best Estella, the sky is the limit. God bless.


Justus Emeka Ogbonna June 2, 2006 - 10:25 am

great interview,the sky is your starting point not your limit.You are destined for greatness……….

ayo April 15, 2006 - 4:48 am

Hey Estella call me … lol ..just kidding no mind me .. keep up the good work , do stay focused and spend time reading ur bible ..your best is yet to come ..stay blessed girl ..

Anonymous April 10, 2006 - 1:24 pm

You go girl!! I knew all those ya fashion craze from Childhood was a sign of great things in your future! God Bless you! And the works of you hands! Keep Strong and TRUST HIM ALWAYS!

Olu Adewole April 5, 2006 - 10:43 am

Beautiful designs!

Wonderful disposition!

Remain focused, steadfast and God-driven. And of course your Haggai Business Network family is behind you all the way!!

Anonymous April 5, 2006 - 10:36 am

I am excited about your progress and encouraged about the fact that you know this is just the beginning for you. The great God that resides in the heavenly places will continue to take you places as long as you glorify his name in your endeavours!! Best wishes from your Haggai Oga- Olu

Anonymous April 4, 2006 - 2:46 pm

All d way Estella aka 4satat

paul Nzeribe April 4, 2006 - 11:59 am

When God is with you, there is nothing that can stop you. Estalla i wish you the best, an waiting to watch your designs on the big screen.

Anonymous April 4, 2006 - 10:59 am

Congratulations on your achievements. We would like to see more of your designs. i like the ones shown so far. never stop trying.

God bless


easy April 3, 2006 - 3:36 pm

may the good lord continue to bless you and make your dreams come true.

Anonymous April 3, 2006 - 8:06 am

The interview is great! I know for sure that she (ESTELLA) will rule the fashion world in a very near future.

Anonymous April 3, 2006 - 7:32 am

Great Interview…Loved reading it…May the fruits of your labour never be in vain…Thy sky is no longer your limit, you can go above that. Austy!


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