In Part 1 of our interview with Designer Lisa Folawiyo we chat about her latest namesake collection shown at Lagos Fashion and design week 2016.

After swopping Law for Design, Lisa delved into fashion with the idea of creating original, directional, fresh, modern and wearable womenswear pieces that said more about her own interpretations of what fashion should be. For the past decade Lisa chose to create a fashion brand that ‘celebrates the Ankara fabric so loved and worn by many in these parts.  I needed for people to once again not only love but respect the beautiful, colourful, bold prints and chose to retexturize it and change all that it stood for, by intricately hand embellishing it with crystals, brass and sequins.’

What was your design inspiration and concept behind your latest collection shown at LFDW 2016

The collection is inspired by the passionate relationship existing between him and her. The intertwining of all emotions experienced in any relationship between a man and woman. But a not so literal interpretation, I took elements from the classic tuxedo and reworked them as details in my pieces. I played with the cummerbund, the bow tie, ribbon strips and collars, placing them on such delicate areas such as her shoulders, the hipline, decorating her décolletage etc . One of the reasons, I tagged the collection, ‘She wears his heart on her sleeve’ .The heart prints, roses and keys prints and a reworked old parchment paper prints also took center stage in the creation of the collection.

Can you speak a little to the types of fabric/textile and details shown in the collection?

I worked with a combination of silks and poly and silk blends, cotton lace.. The prints, the hand embellishments of sequins, pailettes, beads, and coloured cotton and silk ribbons used in various ways all added to the detailing of each piece.

Where do you produce?

Lagos, Nigeria.

Typically how long does it take you to get out a collection?

It depends.. It could take 2- 3 months.. Other times, much longer especially when I am not entirely satisfied with it..

How important is the fashion week platform / runway show for the brand?

Runway shows, presentations are very important for any fashion brand I believe. It gives people a chance to experience the clothes in a different way. From your clientele to the buyers to press to the consumers. To be able to observe details, touch and feel in cases..  It is necessary for the world to see what we do. It creates the hopeful interest and buzz. Seeing the clothes on the models and in action is exciting for everyone.  And as a designer, seeing your vision as a reality on any platform is exhilarating.

Any favourites in the current collection?

Tough question. I love the little paillettes, embellished blue shift dress… as much as I love the ruffles shorts and bow detail shirt.. as much as I love the parchment paper print ribbon and bow detailed shirt and skirt.. It’s hard!

How would you describe your consumer?

She’s a spirited woman. She’s confident in her style. She’s a lover of fashion. She’s a traveler in her mind.. She thinks globally. She’s youthful and is able to have fun with fashion.

Any inspirational people/celebs you’d like to see wearing your brand?

I would love to see Giovanna Batagglia and Leandra Medine in something from any of collections.

Where can we shop your collections?

The Lisa Folawiyo Studio, Lagos, Nigeria

Temple Muse, Lagos, Nigeria

Oxoxi.com ( NY)

Don’t miss Part 2 coming up next…where Lisa shares what she believes her role is in the African fashion industry, some interesting views , great advice for young designers and wise words! ….keep reading here…PART 2

All the looks in the image gallery …

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Image credits: SDRPhoto

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