interviewBy Azuka Ogujiuba
His is a phenomenal rise by all standards after coming to public reckoning in Ade Bakare's talent hunt a few years back. But Alade Vincent realized several challenges still lie ahead despite having designed outfits for many Nigerian celebrities in such a short time on the scene. He shared his dreams with Azuka Ogujiuba
Initially you were supposed to be a medical student before you left school to pursue your passion. How did it happen?
I had wanted to be a gynecologist, but at a point, I just thought of being known for something that can be attached to my name. So I started dancing and modeling but I still had that designing thing in my head. Eventually I went in for Ade Bakare's young talent hunt in 2007 where I came fourth. It was after that time I made my final decision.
What were your parents' reactions when you left medical school?
Well, my dad disagreed because he has never loved the idea of me choosing such career. But my mum has always been in support to the extent that she was even with me at the finals of the Ade Bakare talent hunt competition.
As a young man growing up what was your aspiration before you became a fashion designer?
All I had in my head was being a medical doctor specialized in gynecology because in college I was among the best students in chemistry and biology in my class. So all I ever wanted was to be in the theater making sure my patients have a safe delivery.
What does fashion mean to you and how do you describe your personal style?
Fashion to me means the easiest way of expressing how you feel inside of you. My style is more of the vintage looks where I concentrate on precision and cuts because I have always loved the old school patterns.
What are your most memorable fashion moments?
Well, I have had so many but I would love to share just two moments. One was after the Ade Bakare's talent hunt. I was invited for the very first time in my life to exhibit in the Mode Men's Black Night, 2009. So after the exhibition, I never knew the American RnB singer, Lloyd was in the house. So I was told Lloyd wanted to meet me because he fell in love with my collections and he didn't mind ordering some of my piece. So, he came back stage with his whole Atlanta crew just to pick up my exclusive stone embroidery top. Secondly, it was when I met Ade Bakare at the Couture London 2007 before the finals of his talent hunt and told him some day we would both exhibit on the same runway and fortunately for me last year, he called me to be part of the designers that would exhibit with him celebrating his 20 years in the business and it was just so awesome because I felt honored.
Your fashion label is called Alvince; how did you coin the name?
I created the name Alvince from my first name Alade and my surname Vincent.
Which celebrity in the world would you like to design for?
Wow! They are so much but I would love to cloth David Beckham because he has got a strong dress sense and a strong carriage and charisma
Who amongst the world leaders will you like to dine and wine with?
Definitely Barack Obama because he is a strong leader with so much influence and his bullet-proof suits are well cut and wicked.
Who are the world famous celebrities whose phones you'd like to flip through?
P. Diddy and Halle Berry
Which world leader would you like to design for?
How old are you?
In my 20's
Which celebrity in the world do you think has a near complete perfect life style?
I think Will Smith
Which celebrity in the world do you think has the sexiest body?
Which designer do you think has a collection that can stand the test of time?
Giorgio Armani himself.
If a fashion police were to search your wardrobe, would you be arrested for any fashion blunders?
Nope, though I am not perfect!
Who is Vincent Alade?
Vincent Alade is a simple humble young man who doesn't get carried away with the things of the earth because that's always my prayer to God. My looks is a complete opposite of my life style because people judge with what they see which at times is not always right.
Tell us about your background
I am the third child out of five children. My growing up wasn't easy at all because my mum and dad separated. So there were a lot of things I didn't enjoy as a kid, but I have always loved to mingle with rich kids because of my light skin and the talent God had given me. What I went through in life as a kid had strengthened and prepared me for today.
If you are to go on an island for an exotic weekend, what are the five things you would take along?
My Bible, my beach short, cologne, ear rings and my Hennessey because I love to be in my world reminiscing.
What does the word love mean to you?
Love means a spiritual strong connection between two people.
What are your most expensive fashion accessories?
My ear rings.
What is your present BlackBerry ringtone?
Everyday I'm Hustling by Rick Ross
If you were President, what will be the first law you will implement?
I would make sure everybody has the opportunity and right to speak their minds to the President.
From your perspective, what are your sincere views about the Nigerian Fashion industry?
I see greatness in the industry because we have got great designers who are really doing well home and abroad, though we still have a long way to go, we are on point and I believe Rome wasn't built in a day.