Adekelu Ogunleye is the principal consultant of KIC, an image consulting firm that specializes in providing unique and exquisite services to individuals: like image styling and first class advisory shopping tips at an affordable rate.
Kelu as she is fondly called discovered her passion for fashion and style several years ago. While in college, she helped friends with picking out and matching pieces of clothing, applying stunning make-up, delivering unbelievable make-over and is always giving out advice on looking and feeling good. After graduating from college; she birthed the baby of her dreams KIC five years ago and since then she hasn’t looked back. In this interview with Esther Onyegbula she talks about her career as an image consultant. Enjoy!
What would you say has kept you going, since the concept is really new in the country?
I am going to do this for the rest of my life; when you are passionate about something regardless of the challenges that you face, that passion keeps you going. I can almost do fashion styling for free, that is how much I love it. And there isn’t a career or disciple that does not come with its own challenges.
Fashion styling can be fun but if you work with certain people you might be weighed down, but it is the joy of what I do that keeps me going.
What is fashion to you?
Fashion is very individualistic; it is a way of life, it doesn’t appeal to clothing alone, it is how you live, it is how you express yourself; that is what fashion is.
What is the difference between fashion and style because most times people refer to both as same?
There is a big difference between fashion and style, fashion is a trend; fashion is something that flows around. But style is an identity, a niche, a separation between what makes you wear a dress on a flat shoe, and what makes me wear a trouser pant on a 4.5” inch high heel. So style is individualistic to a particular personality. It is what identifies and separates you from the crowd.
You have been doing this for several years now, how has it been, in terms of challenges?
In Nigeria image styling is yet to be fully embraced. Sometimes people mistake me for a costumer and I keep educating them that I am an intermediary between a fashion designer and an individual who wears an out fit, I am a professional, I am an image consultant, I just don’t go out there and pick clothes and put it on you. I have to understand your body type, body shape, where you are going to and find out if the outfit suits the occasion. It has been crazy but we thank God we are getting there.
What fashion item can’t you do without?
I love dresses, I love shoes, and if I were to choose I don’t know which one to choose. I find myself wearing dresses and shoes all the time, and I have tons of them I can’t live without them.
What is your beauty routine like?
I hardly wear makeovers, but one thing I can’t do without is my cleansing facial wash, it is in my bag, sometimes when I get irritated because of my very sensitive skin, I use the nearest convenience and wash off every makeup I have on my face. Once I do this I feel clean again. I can use powder latter if I have to, if not I just leave my face bare. I love my lip gloss as well.
What is one fashion item you can’t be caught wearing?
You will never find me wearing a short top on leggings.
Because when you wear leggings you are suppose to wear a top that covers your bum. For goodness sake leggings are like panties, you can as well just wear your g-string and wear a short top and walk the street of Lagos.
What does it takes to become a professional image consultant and fashion stylist?
Well the basic things are: you need to have an eye for beauty; you need to be able identify what is beautiful and what is not. Also you need to have the ability to combine unusual colours, not the regular things everybody does. You need to be innovative and different as a stylist. You can need to keep updating your skills by going for professional courses. Like: colour analysis, wardrobe styling, personal shopping, fashion styling etc.
Whenever I have the opportunity to travel, I update myself by doing short fashion related professional courses. I also do research online; this helps me to be on top of my game.