She has been in the fashion industry for over 25 years, won many awards and showcased her designs on international platforms but no way is she stepping down until her legacy is known.
“The legacy I would like to leave behind is one who went into her heritage, into her history and made us to be recognised again that we are indeed people who add value.”
Deola Sagoe is the founder of Haute Couture fashion company –“The House of Deola Sagoe”. She is known for her signature elegance and strong designs. Her fashion pieces are indigenous Nigerian fabric and cuts with western beauty.
On a new episode of Against The Odds with Peace Hyde, Deola takes us through her journey and creative process in building her brand and the challenges in the Nigerian fashion industry.
As huge and well-known as her brand is, Deola also faces the challenges that has to do with women in business but she confesses not to concentrate on them.
“I have seen myself foremost as a business woman who happens to be very creative or should I say the other way round. I have seen myself as a creative who can actually not only survive but make something huge out of what I do, so, yes I know that the constraints are there as a woman in terms of; ‘you’re not taken seriously, they are still looking for the man who’s behind you etc,’ but I do not concentrate on such things, I have no time, I cannot afford the luxury to keep thinking first, ‘oh, I’m a woman, ‘ then if I do that, then I might as well say that, ‘I’m a woman, I’m black, I’m Nigerian,’ and then it paralyses me but I choose to look at the positive side of things that African women are very strong women.”
Her vision is laid in her heart and she is working tirelessly towards achieveing it.
“The vision for the House of Deola is to be the African brand of choice when it comes to luxury and premium ready to wear. When it comes to any product that needs to be traced back to Africa.”
Even though structure and infrastructure pose a challenge to the Nigerian fashion industry, Deola says we are very aware of what is going on about fashion, sometimes, even more than the Europeans and Americans.