by Yemi Olowu
Actor and presenter OC Ukeje is the dream of many young women and the envy of many young men – he’s known for his good looks, dapper appearance and charming personality. Just what makes him tick? He speaks to our StyleEYE on his closet, grooming essentials and the one clothing item he wouldn’t be caught dead in…
What is style to you?
Style is simply finding an avenue to express yourself in the way you see best in terms of clothes, accessories. It also involves the way it comes off, how acceptable it is to people. It shouldn’t be offensive even though everyone is allowed their extremities at some point in time. Basically, style is that thing that puts you together, an individual’s perspective on his clothes and how others see them.
Who is your favourite designer?
I’m not sure I have a favourite designer. I have people I like, and they are quite a number – from Tommy Hilfiger to Kenneth Cole and here at home, Mudi is exceptional with fabric.
Do you have a stylist?
Not particularly. I get to meet different people, and I work with as many people as possible.
How long does it take you to get ready for an event?
Er, not very long! I like to take out what I want to wear, and I do that like a day or two to an event. So on that day, all I have to do is shower and wear the clothes, look in the mirror, take off the jacket, hop into the car and hope that by the time I get to the venue, it fits as well as it did in front of the mirror.
How would you rate the Nigerian fashion industry?
I think it’s one part of the entertainment industry that’s doing very well. Especially the female stylists. First of all, it’s amazing how much of Nigeria’s work is being represented internationally. Sometimes though, the only thing I say is I don’t like how expensive our things are, especially from the market here. However I think we are doing very well. The designs are fabulous and we have the advantage of having fabric of our own that the international market does not have so we can use that to play around with a lot of things. Most female designers are doing that in particular and the men are also doing pretty well.
What’s your favourite fashion accessory in your wardrobe right now?
Probably my ties. They usually help throw a different splash to what you’re wearing. You can make an outfit look casual or corporate just with a tie. so I think ties are probably my favourite.
What is it about your style that makes you stand out?
That’s a difficult question, but I think it’s the way my outfits always have a hint of corporate and casual, regardless of the function. For example if I’m at an event and there’s an after party, I don’t have to do too much to switch from corporate to casual.
Whats your grooming secret?
I don’t have any of those. I’m an actor so I get away with a lot of things but apart from the typical, I make sure I take care of my face with a facial scrub. Apart from that, I’m good to go.
What’s your favourite perfume?
It will have to be Davidoff Good Life. It is the one I’ve used forever.
What’s the biggest fashion mistake you’ve ever made?
That would be wearing sizes bigger than me. That was in the ‘coming up’ days though!
Whats the best trick you’ve learnt from a makeup artist?
That would be the simple facial cleanser. It does a lot. I have oily skin and the makeup artist said it’s the best way to keep your face looking smooth – like you just took a bath. It keeps away all the oil from your face and keeps you looking good.
When do you opt for a ‘glam squad’?
I don’t think I have ever opted for one. If I get white powder, I’m fine (laughs). I’m sure I’ll use one on my wedding day or when I’m going for the Grammys or the Oscars.
What makes you feel beautiful?
When I come out looking good and people say, “dude, you’re looking good”. People pass comments especially when I have my hair and facial hair well groomed. I’m like “thanks!”
What clothing item wouldn’t you be caught dead in?
You will never catch me in a skirt, except perhaps a role I’m playing requires it.