Yetunde Abidoye, the CEO of Asórewa Nigeria Enterprise at the grand opening of her fashion label on February 10, which also doubles as her 25th birthday, tells Ferdinand Ekechukwu about her passion for fashion, among other issues
Can you tell us about your new fashion label?
Actually, Asótorewa means cloth is beautiful. You don’t have to wear boring clothes, wear something nice that when you step out people would admire you.
What’s your educational background?
Well, I went to good schools. I studied Bio-chemistry at Bowen University.
You just turned 25 and you’re a CEO of a fashion brand, how does that make you feel?
Trust me, it is very stressful and not easy at all. But then, it is fun and like a dream come true, everything is falling into place. It comes with a lot of hard work and lots of advice from everyone around me. It feels good to be 25 too.
So what inspired the name Asórewa?
Actually, I wanted to create something native like more African. So then I came up with “Tinwatinwa” Which means it’s our own. Then at the point of registration, I found out someone already had it registered. It was so painful. I had to think hard for something else and Asórewa popped up so I registered it and was happy I did.
How long have you been making dresses?
Let me say six months ago to be precise. But before the six months, I have been making dresses little by little. But I started officially six months ago.
Having a daughter who read Bio-chemistry venturing into fashion, how did your parents take it?
I got full support from my loving parents, my awesome friends and family members. And I really appreciate them for the support. You know, when you try to get something and there’s no one to support you, you’ll be very weak and discouraged. I am happy I didn’t get that. Instead they loved the idea when I told them about it.
How do you intend to break into the Nigerian market, knowing that a lot of designers are out there who have made upcoming brand shiver at the mention of their brand names?
Actually, everyone is running their own race. I am running mine, they are running theirs. Asórewa has stayed to be very original. And we would love to keep staying that way. There are lots of designers like you said but I’m not in a competition with anyone but myself. We do not compromise. We tend to be real 100 per cent and original because that’s our trademark. And no one would complain about our products once they patronise us.
Have you any special material that you work with?
Daviva, I use Daviva a lot. I use checkered and licra material. We get the original ones.
Is Asórewa only for those with a full purse?
No. Trust me it is very affordable. Everyone can patronise Asórewa.
What’s your market target?
It’s for the youths and elderly. We first started with jumpsuits, then later on dresses and then we began to design for men. So it is not male and female.
Any mentor throughout the journey?
Ahhh… Rostal Flowers. She is my mentor. She’s a big decorator, she’s very good at what she’s doing. She’s very hardworking too. I learnt decoration from her but it wasn’t my thing. So I had to go into fashion because that’s what I have always wanted to do. I learnt to be hardworking from Rostal Flowers. You don’t have to sit and relax when work needs to be done. You never can tell who’s watching your every move. Everybody saw my effort and supported me.
What’s your motto?
At Asórewa, we share the sentiments of Ralph Lauren’s quote that says: “I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” We believe that our calling is to bring people’s dream to life through the designs we make. We help you dress like the future you dream of while living in today without breaking the bank.