– Sets to unveil Fashion Magazine Guide for African outfits
Celebrity designer and CEO of Asandrea Collections, Ugafor Tochukwu Michael has completed plans to unveil what he termed fashion magazine guide for African attires. He made the disclosure while speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Friday, December 5, 2014, at one of his workshops in Festac Town, Lagos. The 2014 Best Designer of the Year, who got married to his beautiful wife, Onyinye Chukwu, bared his mind on other issues relating to fashion…
We have seen some designers releasing their 2015 collections. When should your clients expect yours?
For me, I don’t believe in that concept. I release new designs anytime I feel like. Instead of releasing a set of collections in a year, Asandrea Collection has what it takes to release five to six sets of fantastic designs. That is how it should be. I believe creativity is a continuous thing. You create anytime because inspiration can come any day. When inspiration comes, I put it down in a written format, for me not to forget.
Like I tell young designers, because you create 10 outfits or you create 20 different designs doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your clients more designs when the need arises, it doesn’t work that way in this business. I don’t believe that. I create designs every day. In fact, I have a new design I created two weeks ago. It’s called a female Senator Suits. I have a new design, but I don’t have a name for it right now. These are beautiful designs. They are inspirations from God.
But, it seems your collections, both old and new designs look similar. What’s your take on that?
I must be honest, my previous designs are totally different from the new ones. That’s fashion, and I am crazy about it; just like a chef is crazy about creating delicious meals. Bringing something that had not been in existence, and adding spices to it, to make it gorgeous. That’s what I do.
How do you get inspiration for beautiful designs?
Mine is a gift. It may sound funny, I get inspiration in dreams. When I sleep, I dream about different designs. When I see someone, I easily know the kind of design that fits him/her.
Tell us the category of collections you have churned out this year, and if you tagged them?
Sometimes I give names and sometimes, I get confused. But, it is not the names that matter, it’s the quality of fabric and design. This year, I have made different designs, very simple but classy. They are also expensive, but that doesn’t mean my clothes are not affordable. It starts from N5 to N40, N50 and above.
There was a particular cloth I made for one of my clients in America. His name is High Chief Ike Asadu Okenwa Ezekwesili Ogadagidi Okwuluora 1 of Ozara Kingdom of Edem Ani Nsukka, Enugu State. Although very expensive, it was a beautiful design. I named it Okenwa Reloaded Outfit, a white Italian fabric combine with Isi-Agu fabric made in London. I want to tell you that a lot of people have shown interest.
They love the design. It is powerful and people appreciate it. It is not for the boyz, it’s for the men. A yard of isi-Agu fabric is very expensive, depending on who wants to wear it. It’s not for everybody; it’s for people that know the value of a good outfit.
Quality materials matter in every design. Don’t get me wrong, the N5000 cloth will also look good, but you can’t compare it with the ones of N50, 000. Pure fabrics made in Italy is different from its look-alike from China.
That means your charges will be high…
I don’t charge high. I’m not really after the money. What I am after is churning out good wears for my clients home and abroad. I am here to satisfy Nigerians. I am happy when I see people wearing the designs I created. This is just the beginning.
What is your plan for 2015?
First, it’s going to be a great year. I have concluded plans to float a fashion magazine for Nigerian fashion designers. It is going to be published in different fashion magazines. It will guide tailors. It is called Fashion Magazine Guide for African Outfits. It will be available early next year.
This is going to be the first of its kind; the concept is unique, not common. Some people know how to sew but cannot create. I’m doing this for them. The design is meant to inspire them to create different kinds of designs for their clients.
Tell us about Senator Suits buy 2 and get 1 free?
It is a way of appreciating my clients, just to say thank you for supporting my brand. It’s going to run from December 19 – 30, 2014. If you sew 2 senator wears, you get one free. It wasn’t easy at all, 2014 has been a difficult year. I want to thank them for the support.