Designers works day in day out, with the aim of making an impact in the industry, but very few know what to do to attain success like Prada and other top guns.
Spanish designer, Agatha Ruiz De La Prada, was in Nigeria for the Nigerian Fashion Week held on November 20 and 21 in Lagos and she left some tips she said could help designers attain greater heights.
Although she could not showcase her designs due to issues at the airport, she said the tips could help potential designers in Nigeria move their trade to the next level.
Hard work pays. That is a statement that carries same weight anywhere in the world and for Prada, that is basically one thing that fashion designers must adhere to strictly.
It is not enough to acquire the skill. Dedication and diligence will make the designer a master of the trade, something that could be seen in Prada’s statement.
“You have to be in love with your job. You have to love it. You have to be happy working and work as much as you can. You have to be patient. You have to continue and enjoy every moment of your professional life,” she said.
No one starts the marathon race and jumps to the finishing line in minutes. Patients is key to making relevance in the fashion industry.
The Spanish designer also said that every designer must add new techniques to their trade to make them outstanding and unique.
Prada, however, stressed that the government’s involvement in the fashion industry was necessary to ensure that “the industry expounds to its full potential and contributes to the growth of the Nigerian economy”.
“I will like the Nigerian government to see how important it is for a government to help the fashion industry. In Spain, we have shows with 90 per cent of the cost paid by the state. For the last 25 years, 100 per cent of the funding had been provided by the government and that has helped a lot to make Spanish fashion known and now we have some of the well known fashion designers in Spain,” she said.
For years, the once booming textile industry in Nigeria has experienced setback, as a result of neglect of the sector that provides the raw materials to the textile companies – agriculture – and the power sector that has not improved to match the needed energy for production.
Since crude oil became the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, cotton farming was dealt a blow and that had a multiplier effect on the textile industries.
A genuine commitment to reforming the agriculture sector and promotion of cotton farming in Nigeria would mark the beginning of further diversification of the economy and promotion of fashion.
Although, the needed incentives and raw materials are not available, Prada rated Nigerian fashion above average and that connotes huge opportunity.
“They don’t have a lot of support. They need perhaps more technique, but the ideas are so incredible. There is huge opportunity in Nigeria for fashion designers,” she said.
One of humans’ basic needs is clothing and Nigeria has got the population. All Nigerians want clothes. They need to be clothed and who will cloth them? The fashion designers.
No wonder Prada says she is considering African fabrics and in Africa, Nigeria is where the beautiful fabrics come and for sure, Prada is targeting the market.
“I love African fabrics and I have have worked a little bit with them. My dream is to do African fabrics made by me. I will like to work with some people in Nigeria to make fabrics made in Nigeria,” she said, giving a hint of her plan to focus on the largest African market.
Designers in Nigeria can leverage on the large population, but the need to make money must not overshadow the need for originality and quality. Neat design soothes the eyes.
This is one aspect where Prada has thrived and she suggests that designers must be committed to delivering designs with quality finishing in mind.
Nigerians are liberal in selection of fabrics and it is another unique attribute Prada pointed out was a huge opportunity for designers.
Designers will do well to take advantage of this.