“My Mission is to make a difference within the fashion industry and the way people view themselves”
When Taiwo walks in, you feel his radiance immediately, his luminous smooth chocolate skin is impressive and when he smiles, his warmth uplifts you to another level. His sartorial elegance is so pleasing to the eye. If I wax lyrical about this brother it’s because he is a motivator and a cultural ambassador for the next generations of Nigerians. I am also impressed by his contribution to fashion and Branding. Nigeria is leading the way with Arise fashion week on its sixth year, the world is sitting up and taking notice that African fashion is in the house!
I had to talk to this brother of style and grace.
Paul Taiwo: My name is Taiwo Paul Meghoma. Fashion and style consultant, Personal branding specialist based in the United Kingdom. My work in the industry has taken me around the world working with luxury fashion brands and giving talks on personal branding ( brand you). I also specialise in boosting the self esteem of people and guide them on how to be perfect in all aspects.
My mission is to make a difference within the fashion industry and the way people view themselves. This goal is achieved by improving body confidence.
What does fashion and style mean to you?
Fashion and style represents my personality. I am more open to others and show the world an immediate impression of who I am .
Who and what inspired your interest in fashion?
I came into fashion because of my parents. My dad always looked smart in military uniform and a pair of sunglasses and mum always looked radiant in power skirt suit and high heels. I always watched how confident they both looked when they are fashionably dressed to attend social events.
My mum would ask me , Taiwo, how do I look? I would say you look great . I could see the beam in her eyes. I also noticed friends of my mother would visit seeking advice from mum on how to look great . I love the confidence looking great gave my parents and people around them .
I knew I wanted to go into fashion but didn’t how to start or who to meet . I was scared of change because of how financially comfortable I was working a 9-5 job .
Years went by. I went to university where I studied business management and then law in the U.K. I came across a documentary on menswear and loved the suit displayed in the runway . This took me back to my childhood. I knew fashion is what I want my life doing so pursued my passion.
Do you have a philosophy or mantra you live by?
Believe in yourself
On my first visit to Kuala Lumpur , I was approached by a gentleman on the street who asked if I am based in the city . I asked why and he said I looked very stylish . He gave me his business card . Found out he is a top fashion photographer . I sent him a message which he replied and invited me for a shoot The photographs he took were stunning. This took me back to my parents and friends who told me I looked very stylish .
I believed I need to pursue my passion which is fashion . I needed to believe in myself so people can believe in me .
Where do you see the future direction of African fashion?
Africa is the focus of scrutiny by big brands. These brands are exploring the rich culture we are exporting to other continents of the world .
In order to continue to grow , African fashion designers, industry leaders should help the young talents coming up .
(Told you I love the cut of his gibe!)
I am a member of the board of 360 creative hub based in Lagos, Nigeria . 360 creative hub is a fashion hub fully dedicated to developing young creatives by investing heavily on training and giving the workspace needed . I am proud to be part of this initiative .
Tell us about your latest venture ?
At the moment I am involved in an international event showcasing the rich heritage of Nigeria through fashion , music and art and will feature Nigerian artists, fashion designers and writers . It’s the first annual Nigerian Cultural day which takes place in Berlin on July 20th .
I am working with Helen Jennings who was editor for Arise magazine in Nigeria and now Editorial Director for Nataal in the UK and also Jerome Sydenham who is an accomplished music producer based in Berlin .Nigerian designers will show their work for the world to see how creative we are .
You can contact via-Website: www.stylewithtaiwo.co.uk
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Instagram: stylewithtaiwo
Who should we be looking out for ?
Nigerians are full of talent and we must nurture these young creatives. A designer to look out for is Pepperow. Founder and creative director, Omafume Niemogha creates Neo Luxury Ready to wear, Couture Bridal and accessories. I see this brand going places. www.pepperrow.com
What is the day of the life of Taiwo like?
I get up at 5am each morning, I have a glass of water and watch the headline news . At 5:45am, I head to the gym to make sure I get there before 6am . I get an hour work out before I start my day .
My day varies from meeting up individual clients to giving magazine interviews , featuring in fashion shoots , attending fashion events and giving advice on fashion products .
I advice people to embrace change and do something they are very passionate about . Believing in oneself is the best weapon you have to succeed in life .
What is your style like and who are your favourite designers?
I love the corporate business look for men hence I wear bespoke suits. I recommend that to my clients.I always recommend bespoke suits over ready to wear suits .
Bespoke involves creating a suit pattern and design from the ground up while ready to wear suit is bought off the rack in a cut determined by the designer .
I have so many favourite designers . I travel all over the world meeting very inspiring and creative people . I will name two brands .
I am truly impressed with menswear designers in Nigeria today . Many designers are doing so well but one that stood out for me is called Dwej. Dwej has stores in Surulere, Victoria island and lekki. I love the double breasted suit made for me by this brand . Each time I visit Nigeria,I get a suit made and sent to my home in London .
I love shoes very much which brings me to my next favourite designer which is Salvatore Ferragamo.
I have been involved with this brand for four years now and can tell you, It’s one of the best leather manufacturers in the world.
Paul Andrew who was the women’s footwear director and now creative director and Guillaume Meilland are two great people I know and doing incredibly well for the brand .
As a stylist I tell people ,whatever you choose to wear, make it your own . The saying “ wear the clothes -don’t let the clothes wear you is appropriate. If you are not comfortable in something , it will show even if you actually look great .
I have had few Nigerians who visit the Uk contact me to help them . The first thing some of them say to me is , I want to visit Gucci store or Harrods department store to get my outfits . I advice we should check out other brands which includes high street brand and they surprisingly dismiss me saying it must be Gucci or I am not purchasing anything .
My advice to people is , don’t be afraid to cherry-pick the best style from the world around you and make it you own .
You lecture in branding , what are the salient points in branding and how can one attain the perfect mix?
Brand salience is the degree which a brand is thought about or noticed . Keys points to attain :
(A). Audience knowledge : best brands have an understanding of the demographics of their target market . This is critical because it provides direction for an overall identity of a brand, while helping to create a human connection between a business and its audience.
(B) Uniqueness -Establishing a brand identity requires something distinctive
(C) Passion – It’s possible to build a brand in the short term without passion, it’s almost impossible to sustain it in the long run. The late Steve Jobs of Apple is someone I adore because of his serious passion that kept propelling him to work hard and it paid off because he delivered greatness to his brand
(D)Consistency -No one wants to deal with a company they can’t rely on consistently. When consumers come back to a business for repeat sales, they usually expect to receive the same level of quality as they did the first time.
(E) Exposure -Successful brands reach out to consumers through multiple channels. This channels are through social media, television commercials or your brand featured in magazines .
(F). Leadership-Every successful leader is behind a successful brand . Successful leaders are expert motivators . They resolve complications and how to maximize the strengths of different team members .
Any advice for people who are interested in the fashion industry .
I tell them to believe in themselves , pursue their passion and they will be hugely successful at it
what is next for you?
Working on creating my own clothing line .
Thank you and Taiwo gave me that mega white smile of his and with the waft of his expensive cologne, Taiwo left the building.