ON Saturday, May 31, 2014, Lade Couture, operated by young and aspiring Toluwalade Toyin-Kehinde debuted in Lagos with fantastic collections. The latest collections labeled, Doctor Designer 2014, was on parade that day at an elaborate fashion show held at Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
The collections, 100 per cent handmade African inspired apparels was a mixture of African prints and others. Lade, who is a medical undergraduate of South Western University, Philippines spoke about how it all started for her.
When did this love for fashion start?
I would say it has always been in me right from childhood. I always love dressing up, matching clothes, even helping other people to combine materials for sewing. I started officially last year, August 2013.
What was the motivation?
I am somebody who always dreams big. I don’t like idleness. I just find something to engage my time. I got materials and sew them and the next day people liked it and started asking me to do same for them.
Didn’t this calling clash with your parent’s choice?
It is true. People reckon, medicine and fashion there is no balance. It is something I had wanted to do. They want me to be a medical doctor which I am doing right now but that does not stop my venturing into fashion designing.
Have your parents always supported you in this?
Yes, they support me with all they have. They know I could do well in anything I want to do.
Your label name is from your name, what’s the interest?
Yes, Lade Couture is derived from my name, Toluwalade. I decided to go for that because my outfit is more of the red carpet dresses, trendy outfits. I still do regular outfits for everyone, the young and old.
What is the name of this latest collections?
It is called Doctor’s Designers 2014.
You used a lot of local fabrics?
My brand is African inspired. In every attire I make I always use an item that signifies African made. So, I use Ankara, aso oke and adire. They are my favourite.
Do you make them yourself?
I design the clothes. I draw the pattern. Sometimes I sew for myself and I also have tailors who are working for me.
Who among fashion icons are your greatest influences?
They are few. I like Mudi. His designs are nice and spectacular. I look up to Mrs. Funmi Ajila-Ladipo, owner of Regalia. She has been there for years and she is still constant.
How old are you this year?
I will be 18 this year.
Which school are you right now?
South Western University, Philippines.
It is a very good place and the people are friendly. The course I am studying there which is medicine is quite affordable.
Since you don’t really stay in Nigeria, how do you run your business?
I have a partner here in Nigeria who we work together. If I have orders, my partner helps me out.
Tell us about your family.
My father is Pastor Toyin Kehinde. He is the General Overseer, Agape Generation International Church, Mende, Maryland, Lagos. My mother is also a pastor in the church. My father is a marketer and my mom an accountant. She worked in a bank before the calling. I have two siblings, my elder brother is in Malaysia and my younger sister is still in secondary school here in Nigeria.
What is your dream for Lade Couture?
To become a global brand. I have a long way to go, this is just the start.