The fashion industry in Nigeria is growing by the minute with designers diversifying as best as they can and creating everything you can fit into your wardrobe.
Speaking to the creative director of Africa’s casual wear creator, Zeus Urban, Akinsola Adaramola, he talks about his upcoming collection which will be unveiled on the 23rd of September, which will also be the official launch into the new Zeus Urban that hopes to capture the market despite its diversity.
According to Akinsola, this new collection will be more inclusive while retaining its “casualness”, making room for everyone to comfortably flex the Zeus Urban pieces.
L: Tell us about Zeus Urban…
AA: Zeus Urban is a fashion brand that’s into designing causal outfits like the Hoodies, Sweatshirts, T-Shirts, Head warmer and Snapbacks(Face Cap), Sweatpants, Jackets and basically everything casual. We started out about 4 years ago. During that period we were focused more on designing Custom Made Outfits and also into growing and developing the brand. We always make sure that we maintain a certain standard of quality in our fabrics and also in our designs, “if I can’t wear it, then I can’t sell it…”
L: Tell us about the new collection.
AA: the idea behind this and most of our designs are just to develop something totally different from the norm. The casual outfit that can suit every average person out there. Outfits with no age or gender restrictions. They may be casual but far from basic.
L: Why the need to rebrand?
AA: Our brand has been in progress for a few years now working to build a sound structure and foundation, we just decided it is time expand our horizons and try to attain new heights while we reach a new set of prospects and most importantly, putting ourselves out there to show what the company is capable of.
L: Tell us about your journey in so far in the Nigerian fashion industry.
AA: Journey in the fashion industry has been rough, to be honest, a lot of mistakes been made which sometimes you don’t get a second chance but from all those bad decisions We’ve learned a lot and we try to grow with each passing day.
L: What major challenges have you faced and what challenge(s) do you see coming?
AA: Major challenges are the availability of materials to get our job done. Also getting good quality is a major issue. Trying to gain the trust of Prospective clients when they know that the product you’re trying to sell was locally designed has been a tough nut to crack but we’re getting closer with every customer we satisfy.
L: How has social media helped your brand?
AA: Social media has helped in achieving a wider range of awareness. The internet is global, so there’s no limit to the possibilities that can be presented at any point in time. We’ve been able to connect with clients from far and wide, within the country and also outside the country and social media has always been the backbone of those connections.
L: How well do you think the fashion industry can play its role when it comes to building the country’s economy?
AA: Fashion business to the economy: I believe it has a lot of potential if there can be a better frame of mind attached to it. A lot of people find it hard to patronize a local fashion brand which tends to reduce the number of prospective investors and entrepreneurs who venture into fashion businesses. If the people can be enlightened to support local fashion brands and also if more entrepreneurs and investors would put more effort in creating a well-structured industry, then I can see fashion helping the economy grow at a substantial rate.
L: Is there unity in fashion business here in Nigeria where the veterans assist the young designers or it’s a competition of the fastest or the most creative?
AA: well I don’t think I’d be able to give either a positive or negative response to that question. In my opinion, it all depends on what we do and how we get it done. The truth is, there has to be competition in any business industry in order for balance to be achieved. For me, I always try to keep my designs and style fresh in order to try and stay ahead of the pack but I’d also mention that there’s definitely support given to those that need it.
L: What kind of fabric(s) did you use for nthis collection and was weather a factor?
AA: We always makes sure we get the best foreign cotton fabrics for our works, though they are pretty expensive and hard to come by, we take it very seriously to always give our clients the best their money can buy. We also have to always put the weather into consideration. We’re based on designing casual outfits that can suit everyone in any situation, and with how unpredictable our weather is, we make sure we always have something to help bring out your style even in the harshest of weathers. For instance we have the hoodies for the cold which are available in various exquisite colors, there are also really cool t shirts that are designed to suit anyone who’s looking to be casual and still have style, designs that can also be suitable for occasion like birthdays, graduation, departmental wears, family gatherings, even corporate affairs in your various offices.
L: How affordable is this collection?
AA: One of the best part about our products are their prices. We always try to focus more on our brand and products getting out there by making them affordable to everyone. We also never compromise the quality because our major focus is to guarantee customer satisfaction.
L: How Often do we produce?
AA: We try to experiment a lot in order to get the best from a variety of ideas. So aside from the production for those orders placed, we make sure we produce a few new designs during the length of every week and decide on the ones we make available to the public.
L: Can people also request outfits or they are all ready to wear?
AA: From our present collection and the coming collections in the future, you’d see that we try to maintain a certain class and standard to our style but we also make sure we leave room for clients that would like to personalize some of their orders and we do our best to make sure we bring to life their concepts and even surpass their imaginations.
L: What would you have been if not a designer?
AA: If not a designer, I fancy I would most likely be in show business probably as a manager or publicist to an artiste and you never know, I might dip a toe in that pool and see how warm it is.
L: What do you do when you’re not designing?
AA: In my spare time, I really enjoy listening to music and I also always make some time to read.
L: Where do you get inspiration from to create new designs?
AA: Basically, my inspiration comes from the urge to be different. And also the drive to create something totally out of nothing motivates me very much.
See photos from his previous collection below;
Thank you for reading this interview, we hope you enjoyed the information given. If you think the designer didn’t answer a question as deep as you’d prefer, please drop the observation at the comment section below or contact them directly on Instagram @zeusurban. Do not forget to like, comment, and share this to all your social media platforms.