We had inspiration yesterday so is there any way better to begin the month than having the amazing Tolu Peters on the blog. Its such an honour. Well, this interview was done months ago and I’m really sorry I held it this long. But on the bright side, its here and you should read it cause you’ll learn a lot from Tolu.
Hello Tolu, what’s up?
I’m very fine and you?
I’m doing great. Thanks a lot for the time.
I’m deeply honoured to be interviewed by you likewise.
I’m grateful. Everyone knows Tolu is a fashion designer. Any major reasons for choosing this line?
Wow. Well I won’t say everyone knows I’m a designer. Some see me as an illustrator. Basically, my reason for venturing into this was because I fancy sketching designs and gathering materials to bring them to life. I was a Home Economics student so this broadened my knowledge and fueled my drive to sew. Also, fashion designing is the revealing of one’s innermost self. Colours and styles are the most basic ways of revealing ones thoughts, emotions and character. Fashion designing is my own way of speaking without talking.
Wow! That makes a lot of sense. ‘Fashion designing is my own way of speaking without talking’. We would definitely remember that one.
Yeah. Tell us; when did you start and was there any challenge?
Well, I started in Grade 9 and believe me, there were more challenges than my little inexperienced self could expect. I faced it financially, information wise (i.e I wasn’t informed on the ways, facts and rigours of the industry) I dove into it oblivious and it killed me. I made a great loss in my first year and it destroyed me. I ended up in a dystopia and soon my passion began to die down until I hit Grade 10 where I entered Garment Making and the fire was rekindled.
Lol. I can imagine how bad the little inexperienced Tolu felt that first year. But gladly, here you are today and we know that you are going places.
I also pray so.
And it would be. What’s the inspiration and what makes you happy about what you do?
The inspiration basically is nature, art works, old designs with the view of seeing new things. As for me, as my art lecturer taught me; there’s never a mistake made in art. Even in rags, Kanye West saw a design and he brought Yeezy out. My main drive is old things as I get the drive to bring new things out of them. The major thing that makes me happy about what I do is the fact that its something I don’t force on myself. Its an art I was never taught. The fact that I could master it well and still stand on showing people’s character through their dressing and outfits as this reflects on the perspective of the designer. The major thing that makes me happy about what I do is that those who wear the outfits let the outfits do the talking while they do the strutting.
You’re so right. Really inspiring, I want to design as well o. But whats the most challenging part?
Tbh, the most challenging part is satisfying people in general. Meeting everyone’s demands in time. Its hard but its something I’ve got no choice but to do. Also, finding time from my leisure hours to do the illustrations.
A lot of sacrifices to be made. Am I right?
You be ya! Lol.
Do you have any role models?
Yeah. Okhai Akhigbe, Claire Idera, Keidi Cole, Hayden Williams, Bayo Oke-Lawal and some others.
Amazing set of people. I’m most familiar with Bayo Oke-Lawal, of Orange Culture right?
Yes, he’s got the mind of a god. Also, Bubu Ogisi. She’s a creative genius. She thinks outside the box and it is beautiful.
Wow. I’ll definitely check them all, let’s see what I could also learn.
Lol. Deff fam
What’s your philosophy about fashion?
Fashion is basically tbh what we all buy and what people sew. Style is how they are worn.
Hmm. That makes a lot of sense. Does your work reflect your fashion taste?
If that, then yes. They basically show that what I fancy and my taste changes so fast. I’m super dynamic and it hurts cause I find it hard keeping up with the ideas I get over the time.
Does that mean over time you don’t fancy something you designed?
Not that I don’t fancy them, it just reduces. They’re still my designs. Still me but then they just drop in hierarchy.
Lol. Okay, I understand that.
Can you tell us more about your style?
Yh. Like I said, I’m dynamic. So over time. I change but then I fancy prints, checked, patterned and furs. I look forward to focusing on illustrating more of High Fashion or Couture over time. I fancy fitted, body showing outfits. Outfits that are defined and show what you’ve got.
Lol. So you design more for the ladies?
Apparently. Ladies do the shopping more. They are more conscious of what they wear so its easier to appeal to the female sex than the male sex. Men are hard to please. Defined styles appeal to us and that, my learned friends, is hard to suddenly come up with.
Lmao. I totally agree with you.
Lets go a bit personal. Could you tell us some principles you’ve based your life upon?
Basically, be straight-forward. Life is tricky, just be aware of what you want before it eats you up with something it made look better. Follow your dreams no matter where they lead you. If you’re aiming to do something great and your path is smooth throughout, you’re deff not doing something right cause the times it hits you hard you’ll be too comfortable to deal with it. So expect and anticipate the worst on the path to greatness.
True words here. We’ll keep that in mind for sure. Everyone knows Tolu is a fashion designer. Is there more to you? What else do you do?
Lol. I’m not a designer please. I’m a fashion illustrator and a person who can sew hoping to be a designer. I’m also a law student, a Model Scout at the best scouting and modeling agency in Nigeria; Few Models. I’m also a creative director. Tbh, I don’t do much and I’m glad with that.
What? This is something. Something really good. I bet your parents are so proud of you. How are you able to cope with studies?
That is all up to God. I just want to graduate and focus on what I can do best cause not everyone succeeds with what they studied.
You’re right. Most times, our passion takes us farther.
Can you say education has influenced your pursuit to be a fashion designer?
In a way actually and not so much? Cause fashion designing doesn’t really need education. Just the flair for it and the want to be the best is what everyone needs. Education helped in being calculated. It influenced in loving what making me set priorities. Opportunity cost.
But you still agree that education helps you stand out in a way?
Yes, cause you get to have something to present as to show you’re uneducated.
Glad you agree. So where does Tolu see himself in the next five years.
Tbh, I see myself having a standing brand in the fashion world. I see myself topping Nigeria’s chart and Africa at large in relation to Model Scouts. I see myself being an untamed beast fashion illustration world. Basically, I see myself great.
Greatness. You’ll achieve it His grace.
We’re rounding off in a bit.
What do you have to say to people out there try’na make it?
Just be you and look up to God and all other things would follow.
Thanks a lot for the advice.
Its always amazing meeting people that believe in God.
We’ll let you go but lastly. Tolu, lastly. You’ll have to tell ONB readers something most people don’t know about you.
Lol, I think that would be my relationship status and age. Its single and I’m still very very very young so they have that in mind.
Lmao. He didn’t disclose his age though. Thanks a lot for your time. I really appreciate, God bless you.
You’re welcome fam.
Hope you learnt a lot from Tolu Peters cause I did. Don’t forget to share our posts to your Facebook, Twitter, etc and drop your comments below. Remember; your thought counts.