by Yemi Olowu
Sometimes you walk in and out of several clothing stores without finding something appropriate to wear. The young lady behind Temini Couture had many of those times – and her disappointments turned out to be a blessing.
“I usually shop alone for literally a whole day, and end up with one outfit. I don’t wear sleeveless dress/tops, so when shopping, the usual mono strap or boob tube items weren’t an option, this made shopping all the more difficult,” she says.
Teminioluwa also speaks about her mother’s positive influence during her start-up days, her relentless encouragment which helped the younger woman to push through.
The name Temmini Couture is Yoruba for ‘It is mine’. It actually comes from my name which is Temiloluwa meaning ‘God is mine’. Temmini Couture makes clothing for the individual, so I want people to wear Temmini and be able to say ‘it is mine’.
The first piece
The first piece of clothing I designed was a monostrap jumpsuit made with ankara and see-through net, i made it for my sister.
I love working with chiffon and taffetta, I usually mix these with traditional ankara material. No matter what I make I always like to spice it up with the ethnic look. Damask is great for this.
I’d like to work with..
In future I’d love to work with French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. His clothing leaves me speechless. It would also be a pleasure to work with Chanel. Locally I love Tiffany Amber and Deola Sagoe.
What matters to me
The most important thing to me is designing ladylike affordable clothing for youths. Affordability is very important to me, because I believe everyone has the right to wear extraordinary clothing.
I’ve only been a designer for a few months, but within that short period it’s been wonderful and encouraging. I’ve also been able to showcase my line at a few fashion events. Ask me this question, a year from today and I’ll have much to tell!
I’m inspired by a host of things. Everything in my environment effects my designs in one way or another.
My main problem, I’d say, is the lack of accessories. For my first fashion show I had such a hard time getting quality accessories for my models. The ones I found were either poor quality or quite expensive considering the quantity I needed. By my next fashion show, I ended up importing.
The Nigerian fashion industry
I think the Nigerian fashion industry is simply amazing. It seems to be expanding at such a fast rate – so many designers with beautiful clothing, although this increases competition. I think it’s wonderful to be part of such a fast-growing creative industry.
If I were not a designer…
I would be a lawyer. I’m actually still studying law at the London School of Economics but I don’t intend on practicing.
A word for aspiring designers
It might sound cliché, but follow your dreams. Know exactly what you want and go for it!
The government and fashion designers
There are so many ways in which the government could lend its support. It would be great for them to arrange a system of giving grants or even subsidies to fashion designers within the Nigerian fashion industry.
The next ten years
In 10yrs I see Temmini Couture having established itself fully in the fashion industry of Africa, producing male and female clothing in both haute couture and as prêt a porter to be sold in stores globally. By then I’d like to have shops in every continent!
Contact Temi : 07872122430 / [email protected]