Celebrity fashion stylist and designer Jeremiah Ogbodo popularly known as Swanky Jerry is arguably the most talked about in the fashion industry. In 2015, he did incredibly well and won a couple of awards as the reward of the hard work he has put in so far. ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with the UNILAG undergraduate and he told us all about how business went in 2015, the awards he got, the big stars he worked with and the secrets of his success.
How was 2015 career wise?
2015 was definitely a glorious year for me. It was an epic year, from styling President Jonathan to styling 2Face and Annie Idibia for 2Face’s birthday, Fortyfied, to styling Wizkid for the new Pepsi campaign and TV commercials to also styling over 12 artistes like Ice Prince, Seyi Shay Victoria Kimani and many more for the Etisalat Cloud 9 campaign. I was responsible for most of the blazing album covers from last year like Wande Cole (Wanted album), Iyanya (Applaudise album). I styled D’Banj’s recent Slot campaign shoot, rapper AKA from South Africa also got the signatures touch. I also styled MI for the Glo calendar for 2016, it was amazing too , not forgetting Juliet Ibrahim’s Ovation Carol look was by me. At the global citizen festival 2015 in New York, I was styling Ice prince who performed alongside Beyoncé, Usher and many more international superstars where I met with Jay Z, Usher Raymond, Common, Ed Sheeran, Jaden Smith, Beyoncé’s stylist TY hunter and many more. I was also responsible for most of the stunning looks at the African Movie Academy Awards 2015, the likes of Chioma Akpotha, Queen Nwokoye and many more, to mention a few, I must say 2015 was a glorious year for me.
Did you meet the goals you set for yourself?
I met all my goals for 2015 but 2016 will be way beyond.
What are your plans for 2016 and how would you implement them?
I have too many plans for 2016 but I am not one to reveal my plans as I like to take everyone by surprise.
What innovations are you injecting into your brand this year?
My brand is expanding everyday so, this year, I will be giving opportunities to many Nigerian youths who are interested in fashion. It’s a big project.
You got a couple of awards in Nigeria and outside Nigeria in 2015, what’s the secret of your success?
It feels good to be recognized. I work round the clock. I am not lazy as I believe in the quote, “No food for a lazy man.” I think the secret is hard work and God’s grace. In 2015, I gave majority of my clients their best fashion look, I styled countless videos, weddings, politicians, CEOs, beauty pageants, queens, music stars , actors basically everyone from all walks of life. Then I started getting nominations. At a point, I got over 12 nominations I said to myself “Swanky, you have to keep working.” I was nominated as Fashion Stylist of the Year at the African Entertainment Award (AEA) 2015 as Fashion Stylist of the Year, I was nominated as Youth Of the year at the Youth Choice Award.
I was nominated as Youth Choice Entrepren-eur of the Year. I was also nominated as Trail Blazer of the Year, then I was nominated as Male Continental Style and Fashion Influencer at the Abryanz Style And Fashion Awards.
I won Most Fashionable Male at the F B A Awards, I won Male Continental Style and Fashion Influencer Africa, I won Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year at the Lagos Fashion Awards. I also won Fashion Stylist of the Year.
The most recent award was in Uganda. Did you see yourself winning the award?
I could only hope to win after working so hard and having countless sleepless nights.
You were in the category with other top African fashion stylists , what do you think stood you out?
To be honest, it was a tough category apart from the fact that I was the only Nigerian nominated. It was the biggest award of the nights. South Africa’s Bonang Matheba was also nominated in the female category of my nomination so, you know it was a tough one. But to be honest, you never can tell what stood you out except you are part of the board of organization of the event. I think everyone works differently and have their own style of delivering a job, I think Swanky’s Signature work and fans made this happen.
My fans voted, I also want to use this opportunity to thank the Nigerian Entertainment Industry for Supporting Male Continental Style and Fashion Influencer Africa 2015. My sincerest gratitude goes to all my clients and friends without whom this experience wouldn’t have been possible.