Clothier to the stars, Ohimai Atafo is Creative Director of Mai Atafo Inspired (MAI)
HAVE YOU always been into fashion?
Yes, I have always loved fashion and clothes especially, that was what got me into being a buyer then a stylist and a fashion artist.
When did you decide to go into it professionally?
I have been into fashion professionally for a long time, but I would have been doing this commercially for 3 years in November.
What is your take on the Nigerian fashion industry?
In terms of creating fantastic designs, respect and pushing for international recognition it is, fine but in terms of structure, infrastructure, business understanding, marketing and revenue generation, it is nowhere.
What is the vision for your new store?
The new store is really an avenue to showcase the MAI brand and make it more accessible to clients and I hope it would generate enough to allow MAI have more Ateliers round the country.
Do you think it will really be a commercially viable progression?
To be honest I don’t know how commercially viable it is for now until all the pieces come together but one thing I know is that it is a necessary requirement to move the business to the next level especially because I do bespoke.
Are Nigerian men really fashionable or just expensive dressers?
Nigerian men dress very well but I wouldn’t necessarily say they are really fashionable or expensive dressers.
You agree that the fashion industry is superficial?
Where does Nigerian fashion stand in the international market?
I don’t believe Nigerian fashion has a stand in the intentional market. Not a lot of Nigeria designers or fashion houses or designs or fabrics have swept the international market.
African print and Nigerian fashion; a necessity?
Highly related but far from a necessity. Y!