By Esther Onyegbula
Recently U.M.1 held a fashion exhibition at the Osborne Estate in Ikoyi, to showcase her collections here in Nigeria and to give people a feel of what theÂ label U.M.1.Â is all about.
A line that features basically menâ€™s wears, the exhibition saw a brilliantÂ collection of menâ€™s corporate, casual and occasionalÂ suits that are easily recognized by theirÂ patterns and the use of dual fabrics
According to Gozi Ochonogor whose label has been well received in Tokoyo and the UK, â€œmy designs are actually a art brand, the whole idea is about people looking at clothes in a different way; not just as something that needs to be put on your body but they are also a piece of artâ€.
She also explained that the concept behind the exhibition is â€œto bring a little bit of Tokoyo and a little bit of my spirited NigerianÂ into the fashion space; the whole idea of U.M.1 is dialogue. If you look at the clothes they are styled in traditional Nigeria way; the whole concept is to show Nigeria to the world; and also try to make dialogue and peace between countries, by bringing a piece ofÂ Tokoyo to Lagos so that both countries get to understand each other betterâ€.
Establishing her label in Nigeria her home country was borne out of the desire to provide quality pieces and design for Nigerians who want to have that contemporary look, when people wear my clothes, I want them to feel Nigeria she also noted.
As an organic designer, with a vast designing experience in Tokoyo, Gozi makes her sketches and cut all her designs physically with her own hands. Inspired to be the best in her chosen career, but chose not to work with the popular Ankara fabric which to her has nothing to do with Africa, as it is made in Holland by a Holland designer.
Preferring to do things very differently and authentically by working with other fabric that speak volumes of her African origin, U.M.1 is gradually becoming a designing brand that is set to give Nigerians value for their money in terms of quality.
Designing brilliant piece that are easily recognized by its patterns and the use of dual fabric, this talented designer added that â€œmy work speak for it self, people who are interested in a contemporary brand, quality, who are interested in wearing something special and something out of the ordinary will take to my brandâ€.