Lisa FolawiyoThe beautiful story of a lawyer from the University of Lagos, Nigeria who is now a prestigious fashion designer through hardwork, patience and perseverance. Slowing climbing the ladder of success till we can share her story and learn from it, she is no other person than Lisa Folawiyo, the founder and creative director of jewel by Lisa and the Lisa Folawiyo brand.
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Lisa Folawiyo Lisa Folawiyo is both a name and brand to reckon with. She was born in 1976 into a family of four. Her father is Nigerian from Ogbomosho, Oyo state while her mother is from the Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Speaking on her childhood memories in an interview with Omenka, she said,
“I remember then I was about seven years old. We used to live at old Ikoyi. You know the streets were not like they are now. Then they were residential as it is supposed to be, and we used to go for long rides on our bicycles. Our parents let us go out at night to buy suya even when we were so young with a group of other kids. We rode bikes, played on the streets; it was fun. I’m not that old you know? (laughs) But it is different now.”She attended Adrao International School for her nursery education, Saint Saviour’s School for primary education then she went to Federal Government College, Ilorin for her junior secondary education. Later attended Suleja Academy in Abuja for gifted children for a short period of time before completing her secondary school education at Atlantic Hall in Lagos. She studied law in the University of Lagos where she was trained as a lawyer and then proceeded to law school to be made a professional in her field. Though trained as a lawyer and having no knowledge in fashion, Lisa Folawiyo chose her passion and decided to pursue a career in fashion. She said,
“In 2004, there arose an unquenchable desire to express myself through fashion design and have a loud voice heard in fashion the world over.”In 2005, Lisa started “Jewel by Lisa” with 20,000 Naira as her first investment. She bought twelve yards of fabric and made the first pieces with her mother seamstress. She started the business in her home. Her collections were made solely from Ankara fabrics, the colourful, wax locally made Nigerian prints. In an interview with BBC, Lisa said,
“Our mothers, grandmothers and probably great-grandmothers have worn this fabric.”Her goal was to retain the locally made aesthetic of whichever product she used and then transform it into one that will fit the global fashion space.
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Later on, Lisa went on to launch another fashion brand that has grown both in Nigeria and globally, named Lisa Folawiyo. Mo Abudu wearing Lisa Folawiyo Her dedication to retaining the originality of African prints has remained unwavering in her years as a fashion designer. She collaborates with artisans who are professionals in their craft. Her garment designs contain hand sown embellishments. Lisa Folawiyo spring/summer collection in 2015 She has showrooms in Nigeria and New York. She merges the traditional Nigerian and West African textiles with modern tailoring techniques. The emphasis on her designs is the locally crafted embellishments. Lisa Folawiyo SS19 collection Lisa makes sure to use every opportunity to showcase her designs on every fashion platform around the world. She proves that Nigerian designers can combat their counterparts in terms of quality, consistency and aesthetics. She has done presentations in Paris Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week and other platforms.
Awards2012: Africa Fashion Award 2014: One of eight emerging talents by WWD Women’s Wear Daily 2015: Featured in the BOF500 There is no iota of doubt that Lisa has crafted a path for herself in the fashion industry through creating a niche that only her can dominate. Sources: ONCHEK Wikipedia BBC Featured Image Source: Instagram
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