By Jemi Ekunkunbor

One time fashion designer of the year by the Nigerian Fashion Show (NFS), ex model, make up artist, model scout turned designer took the fashion world by storm a few years ago. He has continued to maintain a level of creativity that still marvels those who were before him. In this encounter in Lagos, Bayo Adegbe the creative head of the label, Modela  shares his thoughts on fashion and style.

What is your style code or philosophy?

When I design, the event the dress will be worn to and the time of day it will be worn, determine what I design. But as a person when I dress, the event and mood determines my style.

What travel destination inspires you?

I like to make clothes that will be remembered several decades to come or long after it has been worn. My travel destination is here in Nigeria where we have a lot of plants and animals and you can see what God has done with every animal; you see the plumage of some birds, you see the colours of some animals, the stripes or spots like the Zebra, Tiger or even the lion and you see how God has been able to match the tones and how the hues play out into each other. Those kind of things are very inspiring. So I work on the fabrics as God worked on the animals.

As a designer have you ever committed a fashion blunder?


I made a dress that one of the seams had no panel to protect it because I used a lot of laces and ribbons to lace the dress. So, we got to a show and found out that the panel that was supposed to protect the models underwear from being seen was not there. so now, I have to check all these kinds of little details before a show starts.

What is your obsession?

I love to make clothes that make heads turn. if it doesn’t make heads turn, it’s not a design for me.

What is your fashion must have?

A must have for me would be a safari outfit or shoe. Anything animal inspired is a must have for me.

Favourite accessory?


Holiday destination?

My favourite holiday destination is Paris. It always inspires me. There is so much to see. When ever I go there, I always go to the museum of fashion. They have clothes there dated to the 15th century and with that kind of record, you are able to see what others before you had done.

Favourite label?

John Paul Guiltier

Style icon?

Senator Florence Ita Giwa. She carries herself well and age is no issue with her.  She loves to dress and dress well. She does not believe that age is not on her side. She believes that you should live today, live right and dress well.

Ace Model West Africa Berths

The drive to turn the average African model into a model personality, has given birth to the establishment of a model reality TV show, Ace model west Africa. Organised by QTABY Entertainment, the event according to the company’s business development executive, Victoria Nkong, is to provide a platform for proper education and information to the models in order for them to have bargaining power and not accept peanuts that are often handed out to desperate models. According to her, “models need to be able to make a living out of the profession instead of accepting peanuts”

The event which was officially launched three days ago is open to models from West Africa. Audition for the event will take place in Lagos, Abuja, Calabar while models outside Nigeria would be auditioned in Accra and Cotonou.
After the audition, 16 models would go into camp for one month hosted by Tinapa one of the sponsors. While in camp,  models would receive different kinds of training to improve their social skills, boost their integrity and level of self principle. The contestants will also be given IQ tests to ensure that the models are not just beauty without brains. Their activities while in camp will provide content for the reality show expected to beamed to west Africa by both local and international TV stations. Based on the task given to them, viewers will become the judges and would determine who wins by their votes.

At the end of the competition, the winner will go home with $10,000 and a modelling contract with a South African agency yet to be disclosed. In addition, he or she would also get the chance to lead a team of six top models to five African countries namely, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin Republic, Ghana and Nigeria to create awareness on the abused African heritage.

And supporting this event is Tolu, whose label NACH, will cloth the model and use his designs to create a Nigerian identity for the models.

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