Though a respected voice in fashion circle, Franka Asindi-Chiedu would rather not be called a fashionista. This is not just being affectedly demure; the amiable 30-year-old fashion editor of Complete Fashion seems anything but pretentious writes Azuka Ogujiuba
How did your journey with Complete Fashion begin?
Well, I joined True Tales Publications as the editor of Family Magazine in 2009. I published about three editions before we made a decision to revamp our already existing magazines (Hints and Complete Fashion) which at that time were performing below expectation. Being the general editor at the time of this decision, I was asked to work on Complete Fashion before an editor resumed fully for it. So I took the challenge and ran with it.
Where did you work before you took over the mantle of leadership in Complete Fashion?
I’ve worked in a couple of places and my experiences range from accounting to copywriting to brand management to oil and gas reporting to graphics design and to editorial management. It’s a long list of places, but my last job before TTPL was with Treasure Afrik magazine, a culture and tourism magazine that was produced here in Nigeria. I was the managing editor of the magazine. It was in the course of that I met with Kelechi Amadi Obi and he introduced me to the beauty of photography and how it enhances the look and feel of a magazine. I also met with Moussa Moussa, my current photographer, who gave me a lot of insight when it came to fashion photography. So when I got into the fashion magazine business, I had a clear cut idea of where I was headed.
Tell us what your annual Complete Fashion Style Night is all about?
Complete Fashion Style Night is a night of glitz, glam and more glam. The idea behind the event is to celebrate the success of the brand with the people who have supported us from the go. The idea is to bring people together under one roof to have a feel of our world and what we represent. As we all know, we are focused on celebrity fashion and style; so it’s a no brainer why the event will be a star-studded affair.
As a young woman growing up what where you aspiring to be before you became a writer?
I’m a woman with many gifts, I sing well, I dance well and I act very well. But above everything else my greatest gift in life is my ability to manage my mind and brain. I have total control of them and I learnt quite early in life that once I put my mind to doing anything my brain does not have a choice but to learn it. Even though I studied accounting, I knew I was going to end up in the arts field, because everything about me growing up was expressive.
Are you a fashionista?
I used to be but now I’m not, sadly. I study fashion now, I don’t practice it. I have no time to practice it. I dress for my happiness now. Back in the days I used to dress for approval, but now I dress for comfort.
What is your most memorable fashion moment?
I liked the day I wore a jacket over a leopard print jumpsuit to an event at the Duchess store on the island.
Who would you like to feature on the cover of your magazine that you have not featured yet?
Rihanna or Beyonce. If it’s in Nigeria it will definitely be Asa.
Which star in the world would like to flip through her phone?
Kim Kardashian; she’s always on it.
Which celebrity in the world do you think has a near complete perfect life style?
What outfit can you not be caught dead in?
A sack, I actually don’t do well in fringe.
Who is Franka Asindi-Chiedu?
Franka is a sound, articulate and very easy-going person. I’m an introvert by nature and I’m annoyingly secretive. I’m very quick to anger but I forget easily too. I respect myself and other people’s space. I’m very focused; I listen a lot and speak less. I can be troublesome and harsh but I never mean any harm. I’m very business and goal-oriented. I’m a wife, a sister and a friend material.
How old are you?
I clocked 30 on May 10.
What is your background like?
As a kid I moved around a lot. Most of my childhood days were spent in Kano. I come from a family of nine kids and I’m the last child. My dad died a few months after I was born, so I only knew him through his pictures. My mum is a retired teacher and currently lives in Canada. I attended Spring Nursery and Primary School in Kano, Word of Faith Group of Schools Asaba, AGGS Asaba and University of Benin.
How did you fall in love with your husband was it love at first sight?
We attended the same university and were in the same faculty. While in school, we used to exchange a lot of pleasantries, he would say your outfit looks great and I would say ‘oh, I love your hair’. Then one day we went to club with separate lovers and on the dance floor, my ex-boyfriend now abandoned me for the girl my husband came to club with. So we ended up dancing and gisting, becoming friends and marrying 10 years after.
What does your husband do for a living?
He’s a banker with RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) London.
What does the word love mean to you?
Love means giving. It’s the willingness to accept whoever you choose to be with, without any standards.
What are your most expensive fashion accessories?
A Chanel bag
What is your fashion fetish?
Why do you think women lie about their age?
Because old age hurts; they probably want to live forever. Beauty has time limit, those wrinkles and grey hairs.
Which is the most favourite part of your body?
It used to be my tummy because it used to be so flat, but right now I think my eyes have it.
What are your beauty products?
For my skin, I use Fair and White. I just started using Venus 3-in-1 Facial Scrub and I always have my Funbact A handy. For make up, it’s Zaron all the way.
What is your present BlackBerry ringtone?
Rich and Famous by Praiz.
Apart from your job, what else do you like to indulge in?
Work wise, I do some speaking jobs, copywriting and editorial consulting.
If you were Mr President, what will be the first law you will implement?
Wow, never thought about this before. I will insist that every school adds magazine study period to their time table.
Would you spend all your monthly income if you come across an outfit you like, or a label you like?
Are you a label freak?
Not, at all. I like them but I don’t go out of my way to find them.
How would you describe your personal style?
Very laid back, I’m happiest dressed down. My tom boy nature is really bad, so I tilt towards the street. I’m experimenting for now though, not sticking to a particular look. I just dress for happiness sake.
What are your sincere views about the Nigerian fashion industry?
We are doing well. I just wish that we can dig the foundation deeper, understand the rudiments of the trade before running off to show ourselves. These upcoming designers need to understand that it’s a business and not just a show. Even in reporting, we need people that are willing to report fashion for the love of it and not because they are looking for an avenue to gain some popularity.
• Age – 30
• Fashion Philosophy – I dress for my happiness and not for approval
• Vice – Annoyingly secretive; very quick to anger
• On women’s reluctance to reveal age – Old age hurts; they probably want to live forever. Beauty has time limit.
• Most expensive fashion accessory – A chanel bag
• Fashion Fetish – Clothes