INTERVIEW OF YETTY OGUNNUBI
London to Lagos
MEET THE TEAM
Tina (T): We all know the team who made the success of Fashions Finest UK, could you please tell us who is behind Fashions Finest Africa?
Yetty (Y): Fashions Finest Africa is being powered by the indefatigable leadership team comprised of Sola Oyebade, Lucky Idike and Yetty Ogunnubi. Mr Sola Oyebade, popularly known as Mr. Mahogany is the award winning CEO of Mahogany International, an Events and Project Management company which he started in 1996. With a mixed educational background from the UK and Nigeria, Sola is a graduate of Sociology from the University of Lagos. He is also a former model.
Next is Mr. Lucky Ohworode Idike JR, an alumnus of two of Nigeria’s most prestigious educational Institutions (Kings College Lagos and University of Lagos). He is also a fellow of ICAN, Nigeria’s foremost professional accounting association. Mr. Lucky is an economist and chartered accountant with extensive consulting experience. He has led and worked with various teams on a wide range of engagements in the public and private sector organisations, both for profit and non-profit.
And the lady at the center of the team is “Yetty D” Ogunnubi. She is the founder and CEO of YD Agency and a Co-Director of Fashions Finest Africa. Yetty is a leading professional in the fashion and arts industry with over 15 years experience in Public Relations, marketing, Image management and Brand Consulting as well as event management. Over the years, Yetty has managed publicity projects for a number of government organizations, corporate businesses, fashion and creative events, press conferences. She has promoted emerging labels and artists many of whom have gone ahead to become household names in their various genres.
(T): What made the team decide to have the event to Africa?
(Y): It is about increasing the fashion offerings of the platform by widening the capture of fashion creatives within both ethnic and western demographics. The world is fast “shrinking” into a global village and it is only those who do not want to progress that will refuse to accept this. I mean we live in a world where for the first time, a lady of ethnic ancestry has become absorbed as a princess in the United Kingdom Royalty. So the world is fast emerging as a global mixture for wider spectrum of creative offerings. So in bringing this event to Africa, we are contributing our quota to this flow in that direction. The end result is that we will be widening the market for the fashion industry by building greater variety and networking across established markets in the UK and emerging markets in Africa.
(T): What are your expectations for this new market?
(Y): I expect sustenance, new pace-setting trends and greater evolutions in style content. I expect that in the future, a new paradigm will be set in which there will be an ethnic component in all fashion creatives and new parameters for judging fashion quality will emerge that will make ethnic content compulsory. I expect fast growth and greater contributions to the global movement.
(T): Can you tell us about the challenges in organizing such a fashion event?
(Y): For the most part, funding is a challenge but there is a part of this effort that is sacrificial as our contribution to building an emerging fashion industry on the African continent, so we were braced for it. Quality assurance of exhibits and collections was a big challenge as we are determined to create and maintain global standards. Other than those, the team is quite experienced at creating fashion events, even here in Africa.
(T): How do you think the event will impact the fashion scene in Nigeria?
(Y): I think the fashion scene is quite supercharged with expectations for this event. It is already well established in the fashion calendar all over the country because of our excellent publicity management. We intend that it will raise the bar on quality of fashion shows nationwide. It will become a reference point.
(T): What are your plan for the future?
(Y): In the future we intend to take this project beyond fashion conference, exhibitions into developmental efforts that will widen the economic base of African countries by increasing SMEs base within the fashion sector. We are creating educative platforms for studies, analysis and strategy developments for the fashion industry starting with a fashion conference at this event. We are also in consultations with government and the corporate and finance world on innovative ways of harnessing the fashion potentials of African economies, using our peculiar environmental qualities as advantages rather than allowing them to become limitations.