Chikezie Onwuchekwa is the creative director of a Nigerian Menswear brand based in Abuja. He is one of the young and motivated talents gingering us to believe that our Nigerian fashion industry might have hope in the nearest future. He has thrived in this cut throat and competitive sector, which is barely recognized. In an interview with the designer, we learnt more about what fashion really means to him, his passion and how he overcomes the challenges of the industry.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me means defining who you are with help of clothes, it means having the luxury of being able to control (to an extent) people’s idea of who you are.
What inspires your designs/ collections?
I’m inspired by different things, nature, colours, lines and shapes. I believe fashion designers have a rare gift to see and decipher things differently.
What is your philosophy about the art of fashion in Nigeria?
The art of fashion or the fashion industry in Nigeria is something we are beginning to take more seriously. They are several fashion weeks, pop ups, online stores, multi-label boutiques springing forth in Nigeria. And that goes to show that fashion has come to stay.
What do you consider the most important facets of the fashion industry?
I would say the biggest facets and (usually the most ignored) is the production and the business aspect.
What is the best and most challenging thing about being a fashion designer?
The best part is bringing an idea to reality, just like thinking up a design in your head and finally getting to produce/and see it on a client is so thrilling. The most challenging part would have to be setbacks the country automatically places on a designer, however, we must still thrive to bring out the best no matter the situation.
What motivates you to keep persevering in this cut-throat industry?
You have to have a healthy dose of passion and respect for what you do. There are days when I feel like giving in due to minor setbacks , but the love I have for my craft keeps me motivated to keep pushing.
He has shared his inspiration and is still making waves in the sector. With his new collection ready to wear collection tagged #ECLECTIC, if you are feeling uninspired (guys and girls alike) by your wardrobe, you have ready to be worn choices as seen in the images below.
Written by Nkem Ikeh
Images: Chikezie Daniel