Flaunting her accessories is Ndidi (m) with other guests at the event
By Mary Ekah
She advertises herself everyday by making sure she wears her products everywhere she goes and each time she gets stopped and admired by someone, she proudly tells whoever cares to hear that the shoes, bag, necklace and other accessories she is wearing are her concept. Not just that, Ms. Tina Ndidi Ugo, the initiator of the fashion line, Didi Creations, would also go ahead to show off her name on her accessories.
“I am trying to sell the brand and myself and so everything I do is for publicity”, she said during her debut fashion exhibition held recently in Lagos.
The Creative Director of the Didi Creations who in 2010 decided to follow her passion, which has always been in the fashion world, had earlier on obtain a first degree from the University of Ibadan where she had a combined honour in Philosophy and Political Science.
Having graduated during 2000/2001 set, she thereafter decided to start a fashion line. “I am quite creative and artistic in nature, if you like, call me Afrocentric”, she noted. The fashion freak UK based Nigeria who despite her passion for fashion went ahead to obtain a PGD programme in Business Management in the London Business College, UK after which she proceeded to for her MBA in 2011 and later obtained a PHD degree as well, said that her passion for designing, arts and creativity were the major forces behind venturing into the fashion business.
“I felt that instead of getting a job and still do the fashion stuff on the one side, I should just focus on it full time and try to make a living from it. And since it is my passion I had to give in my all. It is not like when you are working to be paid and you just get tired and at times you don’t fell like going to work but when you are doing something that you like, then you give in your all and still make money from what you like doing. So I said, why don’t I go for it and that was it”, she recalled.
In terms of education and the fashion sense, Ndidi never had any formal education on that. “I did not go to any fashion school; it has just been a flare and a passion and when I do and wear my design people go wha o! Where did you get this?”
Even though the Didi Creations boss is presently based in the UK, the truth is that, she gets her inspiration not just from Nigeria alone but also from other African countries. “Most of my designs are done with woods, bamboos, shells and coconut shell”, she noted.
Ndidi who disclosed that Didi Creations is a fashion company incorporated and based in the United Kingdom, noted, “Our services include, creating unisex clothing, footwear, bags and accessories. We also offer customised services to clients on request. Our design inspirations are drawn from colours, retro, African arts and culture; hence the colourful, retro and afrocentric theme in most of our designs.”
Right now Ndidi operates from her website, www.didicreation.co.uk even as she plans to register her company in Nigeria soon. “I hope to register it in Nigeria as soon as possible. I hope to speak with some stores in Nigeria that have some fashion items display in their store and in the long run, I hope to have an outlet in Nigeria as well”, she said during her recent exhibition.
Commenting on the turn out during the official opening of her exhibition in Nigeria, she said, “I am quite impressed with the turn out being the first time and being that the notice was sent out at short notice to many people but despite the short notice a lot of people turned out to give their supports for someone that is not a household name. “
Ndidi does not cut and sew but she outsources” I can sketch very well and then I have artisans and shoemakers that work for me. I don’t actually make them in the UK, for the leather ones, I make in Italy while the hand knitted ones are made in different places in Africa.”
“What I am launching today are the lady bags and unisex foot wears and then the accessories, the clothing will come in the nearest future”, she added
Her products, according to her, are different from every other one, “because as you can see, I have bags made from wood and I am sure that is not very common any where in the world. I have items with shells and coconut back and I think they are really unique and so far I have got positive remarks from people that these are fantastic.”
She expressed the hope that soon people will not only begin to see her works being as unique but would embrace it.
Ndidi who said she is very affordable explained that she has two ranges of products. “For the genuine leather ones I make in Italy, they don’t come so cheap but if you want to compare it with the known brands, which I can honestly say I can give them a fight for their money because my quality is the same quality as theirs, then I would say I am affordable. Then I have products made from bamboo,
shell, wood and hand knitted ones which I think are quite affordable compared the kind of efforts that have been put in each of the, which are all hand mad and not mass produced”, she noted.
It was her first outing but she had a large turn out of clients and this has encouraged her to plan come back before Christmas.