Tessy Oliseh Amazie, the award-winning designer behind Tesslo Concept has just unveiled her new collections tagged, Lagos Island. The range of men’s wear in suits is not just a sight to behold but worth having, neat and perfect finishing characterized Lagos Island. ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with her about her new collection and more…
How is the reception like since your new collection, Lagos Island was unveiled?
It has been amazing! We have been getting calls from all over Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world. I have never seen anything like it. Within few days, we have got calls from Qatar, Canada, South Africa and so on. Some are placing orders, some are making enquiries about the brand. We thank God.
A lot of fashion lovers expected you to have a fashion show to launch your vibrant set of new collection out there, why was it launched on the social media alone?
There is nothing wrong with launching a collection with an event, but I think sometimes it is a matter of choice and convenience. Also, you need to bear in mind that technology has collapsed time and space and the world has gone tech. You can buy almost anything you need today online and Tesslo as a dynamic brand is cashing in on the technological advancement of the times to sell its products. The calls we received from all over the world within few days, I doubt that we would have that much mileage if we just unveiled the collection at an event. But using the social media took the brand places we have never been and the response has been mind-blowing.
Your new collection has more of suits, why is it so?
At Tesslo, we make clothes for men and women and we do English and African attires. But at this time, we decided to push the suit range of our work out there because we recently noticed a high demand for suits within our client base and network. We have had many cases where top government functionaries and business tycoons saw our suits on their friends and were so impressed with our quality and finishing that, they wanted to make suits with us. So, we decided to focus more on amplifying where the demand is.
We were expecting to see new range of women’s wears as well, are you working towards that?
Sure, a new rage for women is coming soon. I have been working seriously on that.
How pocket friendly is Lagos Island collections?
Some people say our works are expensive but when they look at the quality and finishing again and again, they come back to say, let’s do it. For us at Tesslo, we have made it a corporate policy to give our clients the very best and the truth is, good things don’t come cheap. From experience, we have been blessed with clients who don’t complain about our prices because they know we are probably the best at what we do.
What were your frustrations as an entrepreneur while putting the collection together?
Sourcing the fabrics wasn’t quite easy, then the manpower to put it all together was quite demanding. I was working on the collection at a time there were complaints here and there about the economy of Nigeria. Tailors asking for a pay raise in the middle of work because the economy is hard. Then you have the challenge of power supply. You practically burn diesel like no man’s business because of the frequent power outage, which seems to be worse than ever before. It has been tough but we thank God for seeing us through.
What is Tesslo set to achieve with the unveiling of Lagos Island collection?
What we have set out to achieve with the Lagos Island collection is essentially to let the whole world know that something good can come out of Nazareth. Recently, there has been so much noise about buying made in Nigeria but I always tell people that it is not enough to ask people to buy made in Nigeria if the quality is not there. So, what we have done with this collection is we did our homework very well and ensured that what we are pushing out there can compete with any designer anywhere in the world. With this collection, we have basically sent a message to Nigerians and the rest of the world that, you don’t need to shop on Oxford Street or Melrose to look classy, rich and fabulous.
What inspired the collection?
I was actually at Isale Eko market on Lagos Island when I stumbled on these set of plaid fabrics that caught my attention and my imagination started spinning. The more I looked at the fabrics, the more it occurred to me that we have what it takes to actually put Nigeria on the world stage fashion wise. I made up my mind I was going to name the entire collection Lagos Island because that was where the inspiration came.
How is marriage treating you?
Marriage has been awesome. As you can see, I have been blessed with a husband who believes so much in what I do and goes out of his way to support my work. I guess you can’t ask for anything better.
What is the best thing about being married?
From my little experience so far, I think it is about knowing you have got someone who’s got your back no matter what. It’s very easy to fall in love but remaining in love takes that deep understanding that you have a life partner who’s always going to be there for you.
When are you starting a family?
Family has started already.