Leadership (Abuja)

6 January 2013

Nigeria: I Don't Joke With My Cuts

interview

Vincent Alade is the founder of Alvince Couture, a Lagos-based fashion outfit that is known for its vintage cuts and classy wears for fashion-forward men. He takes Kehinde Ajobiewe through his journey so far in the fashion business.

Who is Vincent Alade?

I used to be a medical student in the Lagos State University (LASU), but did not finish. I am the third child in a family of seven, including my mum and dad. I am a jovial person, but still disciplined.

Why did you go into fashion?

I have always wanted to have something attached to my name. I have done a lot of things like modelling, dancing, and serious hustling.

Have you always been a fashionable person?

I have always been a stylish person, because I have always fallen in love with the old school cut.

What was the reaction of your parents when you first went into fashion?

My mum gave me her full support. She was even with me at my first fashion designing talent hunt by Nigerian born UK-based designer, Adebake Couture.

How has it been so far?

It has not been easy at all; just trying to make it happen, although I have always loved challenges. My major challenge at the beginning was trying to get support.

What was the product you first made?

Can't really remember, but I think it was for Timi Dakolo, the first winner of The Nigerian Idols.

Tell us about your fashion house, what kind of wears do you make?

It is a cool place, where we make couture easy; we make more of vintage cuts. I used to do both men's and women's wears, but now, I design only men's wear. Ladies complain a lot, and besides, men's wears are more preferable to make.

How long have you been in the fashion industry?

Since 2007.

If you were not a fashion designer, what else would you have been?

A footballer.

What other things are you passionate about?

I'm passionate about my cuts and my sketching skills.

Who are your clienteles?

A whole lot; from celebs, politicians to sport personalities.

How do you feel when you see people wear your designs?

I feel good. I feel like I am making progress.

How friendly is the Nigerian market?

It is not friendly like we think, but the industry is so large for everyone. If you have got what it takes, then the Lord would definitely be with you.

Who are your role models?

I don't have any, because I am all alone in my world.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

It's abstract, it comes from above.

What kind of materials do you prefer working with?

Stretching cotton, cashmere wool and so on.

What is your favourite fashion accessory?

My ear rings.

How do you relax?

Playing games, and drinking indoors.

What is fashion to you?

Fashion is being able to be comfortable in whatever one is wearing.

What would you like to say to upcoming designers?

My advice is for every upcoming designer to just keep doing what they love doing and believe in God, because, most times, breakthroughs don't come when we expect. But with prayers, hard work and persistence, you will definitely make it happen.

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