Jeremiah Ogbodo, the youngest celebrity stylist in Nigeria popularly known as Swanky Jerry, recently launched his lounge, Swanky’s Alibi at Lush Mall, Lekki Lagos, and ever since it has been the favourite hangout for some of our celebrities. ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with him and he told us all about how the dream was conceived, the services they offer and how he intends to juggle his career as a celebrity stylist/fashion designer and as a lounge owner.
Thanks a lot. It is a long story but I’ll cut it short. It’s a dream I’ve always had because I love to enjoy the good things of life, and because I am very outgoing, I’ve been able to study the hospitality business. I am very good in marketing as well. So I put one and one together. When people see me partying, they just believe I love to party, not knowing that while I’m partying I’m making money. I’ve been the PRO for five clubs. So, all the while I was just putting together a complete idea for my own project. So, it’s a dream that has been there and I have been working towards.
How long have you been nursing this Idea?
I have been nursing the idea over the years. Like I said, it’s not new to me. I have been in the system even before I became a fashion designer/celebrity stylist. So it’s been a long time.
You are known as a fashion designer and stylist, how do you intend to juggle these jobs as they are totally different?
It’s not an easy task, to be honest. But trust Swanky to always deliver. I am not a lazy kid, I put in my best in every business I do. I have over 35 people working for me. So I use division of labour a lot of times. But running from my workshop to the lounge then to set is not an easy task. God is always on my side. So, I get things done one way or the other.
It’s a 24 hour restaurant, sports bar, lounge and event place that is open for birthday parties, dinner, bachelor’s eve, baby showers, meetings and anything that calls for celebration.
What’s your clientele base like?
I will say I have a huge clientele base, because I’m already in the entertainment business I know a lot of people. My job as a designer and celebrity stylist has given me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Swanky’s Alibi is the newest celebrity hang out spot, and 27 days after the grand opening of the lounge, I have had celebs like D’Banj, 2Face,Tonto Dikeh, David O, Ice Prince, Vector, Ini Edo, Chidinma, Phyno, Ill bliss, Sean Tizzle, Toke Makinwa, Gbemi Phillips, Iyanya, Annie Macaulay, Dj Jimmy Jatt, K-Switch, the list is endless. I always have top Lagos socialites lounging in Swanky’s Alibi every now and then.
The name of your lounge is Swanky’s Alibi how did you come about the name?
I thought about different names but then I still wanted my brand name to stand out and since I have a partner in this business we concluded on what to call the place. So, I’m Swanky and he’s Alibi and in the real sense I believe we know what Alibi means, instead of being in trouble somewhere else you better be here.
No, it won’t. I will make sure that does not happen. I have worked too hard to build Swanky’s Signatures and Swanky’s Signatures styling over the year. So I won’t let my hospitality business disturb my fashion business. The whole point of being an entrepreneur is to have different businesses running and bringing profit all at once. So, I’m growing my brands and I won’t let one stop the other.
And do you see yourself leaving fashion for hospitality business?
I live for fashion and I live to be successful, I will never drop one for the other. I will always be into hospitality and the fashion business. The name Swanky has come to stay.
I see Swanky’s Alibi where God wants it to be but I hope that we grow so big and have Swanky’s Alibi scattered all over the world !
What’s new about Swanky’s Signatures?
Swanky’s Signatures has a lot coming your way soon, the Swanky Signature house coat is trending amongst the A-list celebrities right now. It’s the most comfortable luxurious house coat ever created in Africa. It would be ready to wear for everyone who can afford it before the year runs out. Swanky’s Signatures is also creating awareness for women living with cancer and we are starting our campaign soon, with the support from all those who will be interested in saving millions of life we lose every year to cancer. Swanky’s Signature is also working on its newest collection.
– TINUOLA JOSEPH