By Anino Aganbi
Lara Faseyitan, MD/CEO of Lardiva Clothing and Events, is a fashion designer and events planner, par excellence. This is easily seen from the ambience she exudes all around her. She is on the board of Fashion Management Agency Ltd along with three others, a place earned by a scorecard of exceptional achievement, in the fashion industry.
In this interview with Sunday Vanguard she talked elaborately about the fashion sense that distinguishes her from all others. Excerpts.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is a way of communicating without speaking verbally. It is the way people view you. People can access who you are through your style and fashion sense. Fashion to me is my whole life. I have been in fashion since I was a little child. I have always enjoyed being a fashion designer. I started by using some of my mum’s old wrappers which I used to make clothes for myself. Back then, lots of people used to compliment me on them; my friends also liked what I made. My dad was a disciplinarian. He worked as a banker and a journalist, so he wanted me to have a formal education first which I did. After graduating from the university, I worked in the construction industry for about three years but did not find satisfaction in what I was doing so I resigned and went into fashion fully in 2008.
What do you like best about fashion designing?
It gives me an opportunity to express myself in a way I would not have been able to do if I were to express myself verbally. Fashion is a way to interpret what I am thinking in my head. It is the way I feel.
How do you define your personal style?
My personal style is vibrant, young, trendy; not too sexy but still cutting the edge. I like to be viewed as young and fresh all the time. I also like keeping my fashion statement young and fresh.
How long does it take you to do a piece?
It depends on how elaborate a piece is. It also depends on how simple or elaborate the piece is. Ideally, I like to do my work at night because that is when everywhere is quiet and I can actually think out of the box. It is at this time I can actually think without any distractions. If I was working at night, I would say a couple of hours but when you are working during the day, there are more distractions then; therefore, it takes a lot longer.
What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?
I was able to dress up the models of Flour Mills, Nigeria for their 50th anniversary. There were lots of foreign expatriates coming in for this event. They also had so much people coming in from all over the world, so I was really excited that I got to do that. I also got to dress up the team of youth.com for a whole year which took place two years ago. These have been my major accomplishments.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
I get my inspirations from everything, everywhere, around me or on the streets. I could get my inspiration by staring at a moving vehicle, but basically, from things around me. From things going on around me and from people around me. I could see a very bad fashion style, put my mind to it and bring out something more beautiful from it.
What celebrities have you worked with locally and internationally? If any, what challenges did you face?
Incidentally, I have not been able to work with any celebrity both locally and internationally so far.
Aside from fashion designing, what else do you have passion for?
Apart from fashion designing, I am an events planner. I have a passion for throwing parties. I also have an events centre called Lardiva Events. We organise parties, generally. We also handle weddings, decorations, Conferences, Seminars etc.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
First and foremost, I would like to tell them it is not usually easy, so they have to keep at it. They have to know what they want and go after it. You do not give up at the slightest obstacle you face because every business has its obstacles. Every business involves risk taking, and this often goes with its ups and downs. If you have a passion for it, go for it with all you have, with all you can muster and set a target with the sky as your limit. All you have to do is give it your best. Put your best forward and follow your dreams. Hard work is the key.