By Jemi Ekunkunbor
Josephine Ijie is not a woman of many words, neither does she like cheap attention. Sh likes he work to speak for her. Over the years since she came into the fashion industry, she had taken her works to other African countries to market.
Creating fabrics with rich colours is her area of specialty. She is so obsessed with being African that apart from the good old jeans, almost every other fabric she uses, she creates. The amiable Josephine Ijie, here shares her thoughts on life in fashion.
How is your life in fashion?
The world of fashion is a big one with many opportunities for people. It is a world that gives room for a designer to play with colours and bring about innovations. Your experience in the industry depends on the area where you have competence. Some are making their own fabrics, some are using other people’s fabrics, it gives room for you to explore.
But as a person, my life in fashion as been wonderful because I am doing what I love doing. I have the interest and passion to drive it.
So, what area of fashion are you loving right now?
Making hand made fabrics and making apparels with them and bringing out the colours of Africa. I make my own fabrics because I want something unique and something that can be accepted by all because a lot of people see African fabrics as fabrics that run, fabrics with very poor colours. So what I try to do is to put colours into my fabrics and launch them out as the new African fabrics.
What is your style?
My style is casual. I love every day wear
What stands your styles out?
I wear all sorts of clothes, I love the flowing dresses, I love dresses with a bit of embroidery, they bring me out and make me feel really African.
So the focus has always been African?
Yes, it has always been African
Why is that?
Africa has a lot of unique things that people don’t know about. Our clothes are unique, even the way we wear them and our accessories. So I focus on this to show the world that Africa is unique.
Which individual do you admire?
I admire everyone who wears African clothes. I admire anything that is locally made because my work is more of an artwork. So, it’s like artwork on fabric. And as you know, art work is artwork and only the artist knows the story behind the artwork. So my work is more of arts than fashion.
So I’m more likely to admire anyone who tows that lien.
What won’t you do in the name of fashion?
I won’t go naked in the name of fashion. I would wear clothes that are wearable. I won’t wear colour riot in the name of fashion. I try to wear what suits my skin colour.
What is the most priced fashion item that you have?
That is difficult to tell.
What is your weakness?
Clothes! I love clothes especially clothes with some colours. I hardly wear gold that is if I have any at all. Luckily for me, the cotton fabrics that I love to wear are not so expensive. But apart from clothes, I love beads that compliment my dresses.
But apart from the African clothes that I love to wear, I also love jeans because they are casual and I wear them as work clothes and they go well, with some of the shirts and blouses that I design.