-I am not really bothered about the age difference
+My plans for Tiannah Styling Fashion Academy
Toyin Lawani is arguably one of the famous Nigerian celebrity designers. The CEO of Tiannah Styling Fashion Academy has built a brand known for quality, taste and one of a kind. The mother of two children, who welcomed her second child early this year, spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly on her newly opened fashion academy and her romance with Trigga, her younger lover…
I have always been a fashionable person since my youthful days. So fashion comes to me naturally. Fashion has always been my happy place, the place I find solace, which is why there is no aspect of fashion I have not touched, from retailing to styling to beauty and even wellbeing.
When did fashion become serious business for you?
I did not want to become one of those miserable people doing what they don’t love doing for a living, hence I opted for what I love doing. More so, I didn’t want my talent to waste. I wanted people to benefit from my ideas and expertise. Which is one of the reasons I set up the Tiannah Styling Fashion Academy, and I have plans to do more with the talent God has bestowed upon me.
Growing, what did you want to become?
I am a go-getter. I realized this very early. I don’t take No for an answer, and I never give up. I have always loved fashion, but I wanted more. I wanted to be a fashion designer and an entrepreneur.
So what makes you different from other designers?
I design all my pieces from scratch in line with whatever the client wants, be it video or red carpet appearances, weddings etc. I do the designing myself and make sure it comes out to suit the event. My clients cannot look misplaced wherever they find themselves.
So much hard work. I’m guessing the job must be really lucrative?
It is lucrative. I’m not that rich, but I do not lack anything and my kids don’t lack anything too.
How much did the most expensive item you’ve sold cost?
N1 million? Who bought it?
I’m sorry, that’s client – designer privileged information. But I can tell you it was bought by a celebrity.
My typical day is jam packed. Aside styling, I just started my fashion academy. It is called Tiannah Styling Fashion Academy. We are in the process of registering interested students in everything styling. I also own a salon, spa, and restaurant plus the day-to-day styling I have to do. My typical day is not average, but I still make sure to observe the mommy-kids time. After all, I work hard for them.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you have become?
It may shock you that I have never thought about that. I have been designing from my early youth. I sold my first item at 16 for N5,000, I had already been practicing before then.
Who inspired you to take up designing?
My mother. I learnt a lot from her before she died. As a matter of fact, everything I know, I learnt from my mom.
You lost your mother to cancer. How did that affect you?
I and my sisters started a foundation called iRep for Hope. It has to do with raising awareness about cancer. Early detection is key, no one deserves to lose a loved one to cancer.
What’s your favourite fashion accessory?
Shades – it has to be my shades (sunglasses).
What clothes do you feel most comfortable in?
I am a workaholic, I cannot be in gowns and dresses, I sport jeans and sneakers a lot. Except when I have a social event.
What’s your favourite hairstyle?
Anything that fits me is my favourite.
Do you belong to natural team or you belong to the makeup class?
I don’t makeup when I’m working, because there’s no point. And I only makeup lightly when I have to go out.
Do you wear clothes made by other designers?
Not really. I wear my stuff, and they get me clients.
Thank you. It’s been very tedious. It’s not only about having a maid, sometimes you need to be present at things like P.T.A. meetings that need personal attention. But Trigga has been wonderful and understanding. He helps a lot.
Do you feel bothered by the age difference between you and Trigga?
You seem to have lots of tattoos is that an addiction for you?
Tattoos are supposed to be a form of beautification. I see tattoos like art. I don’t just draw tattoo all over my body, all of my tattoos mean something to me. So it’s not just boredom or addiction or fetish, they each mean something special and are significant in their own ways.
What other plans do you have for this year?
You’d be the first to know. Right now, I’m focusing on my fashion academy – Tiannah Styling Fashion Academy which just opened up in Lekki, Lagos. And I’m also on video directing.