L-r: Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed; Director, My Q Lifestyle, Yeside Laguda; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Idiat Adebule and Jibola Laguda at the presentation Of Roots Collection: “A Journey In History With Adire” in Lagos…recently

Mary Nnah

Nigerian fashion designer, Yeside Laguda of My Q Lifestyle, recently unveiled her new designs, tagged, “The Roots Collection”, which were named after women who have in one way or the other made the country proud. The designer went back to the old, applying a modern twist to wearable pieces made from the indigenous Tie and Dye fabric popularly known as Adire.

Heroines who influenced her designs include Alimotu Pelewura, Dora Akinyuli, Efunroye Tinubu, Emotan, Florence Nwapa, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Grace Soyinka, Margaret Ekpo, Dideolu Awolowo, Kudirat Abiola and Stella Adadevoh.
All of these women have in one way or the other fought for Nigeria’s independence, freedom and democracy.

Laguda who said she created the collection in such a way that the 21st century woman can enjoy it and wear them anywhere without feeling restricted, noted that the entire collection was made completely from the popular, local Adire fabric. She added that the different types were employed and were dyed in Osogbo, Ikorodu, and Ibadan amongst other places within the Southwest region.

Speaking on the reason why she decided to explore Adire, she said it had become imperative for her to look inwards and explore indigenous fabrics.

She said, “We have been in business for 11 years and this time around and we can’t keep relying on imports.
“Gradually our mills are closing down; our industries are shutting down and about 90 per cent dependent on import. Most of the time when people place an order for any of our collections, you have to wait when we run out of fabric.
“In a creative industry such as ours, spontaneity is crucial as well. Sometimes you think something up and the time to execute it, you won’t have materials. This was why we decided to start designing our own patterns and fabrics so we can contain that and control resources for ourselves.

“Exchange rates and cost of production have tripled especially with imports and people’s earnings haven’t increased and we were asking people to pay three times their earnings.”

Dignitaries present at the launch included Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and wife, Kudirat; Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, represented by his deputy, Yetunde Onanuga; Deputy Governor of Lagos State Idiat Oluranti Adebule; Minister of Sate on Trade and Industry, Hon Hajiya Aisha Abubakar; and publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Pa Sam Amuka.