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Deola Sagoe Talks To ESSENCE.com

Ijeoma Balogun

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Nigerian designer, Deola Sagoe was interviewed by leading Black Women’s Magazine- ESSENCE.com. In the interview, the designer talks about her brand and how her Nigerian and African cultural influences are reflected in her designs.

Below are snippets from the interview:

ESSENCE.com: As an African designer, you are always seen is a representative of that continent. Is that how you wish to be seen, or as a designer with her own unique worldview?

DEOLA : Every true designer I know has his or her own deeply held point of view. This is usually fashioned by their environment and concerns, but also from that uniqueness that comes from within you, and as such is not defined by geography or location. I’m black, I’m a Nigerian, and I’m a woman – guess it’s no surprise that you’re going to see that in my work no more than if I was Japanese or Dutch.

ESSENCE.com: So you seek to strictly represent your homeland?

DEOLA: I would like to think I represent an Africa that is still yet to be fully appreciated, an Africa that is not just one homogenous blob but a rich continent of diversity and expression. African cultures are so fluid by the way, it’s mixes of European, British, French, Portuguese from our colonial past and American coming in from modern day enterprise and international business. If there’s a mixing pot somewhere on this Earth it’s got to be Africa that’s why things are often very rich here.

ESSENCE.com: How does your Nigerian culture in particular inform your work as a designer?

DEOLA: Nigeria is a nation often debated across the world but actually rarely truly investigated. Nigeria is a strong nation; the people are proud and culturally very rich and diverse. For me it’s like a goldmine that I can delve into. I go in the mine and when I return to the light I discover that I have gems of every description, and I’m usually surprised! What I mean is, whenever I’m designing I’ll start with some element of my culture and then I’ll go on and add myself to it, what I’m feeling at the time, and then, by a miracle, things start to just happen. It’s really the most wonderful thing to be a kind of conveyor or channel for something new to come into being, and yet you can feel its lineage.It has a link to history and culture. The Nigerian consciousness has yet to be fully explored but everyday it keeps offering up gems.

Love It!

Click to Read the full interview on ESSENCE.com

Credit: Essence.com | Photo-Blashionista.com

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34 Comments

  1. CHickalaka

    June 8, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Badt Garl!!!

  2. beatrice

    June 8, 2011 at 12:34 am

    i just hope im the first #okbye

  3. Iphie

    June 8, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Dazzling photo! It’s encouraging to see our women doing big things.

  4. Jul

    June 8, 2011 at 12:53 am

    First time of being first

  5. Someone

    June 8, 2011 at 1:28 am

    JUST HEARING OF DEOLA FOR THE FIRST TIME. NICE ONE THOUGH

    • Ginika

      June 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      like whaaaatttt?!..its okay though. To helep you even more, check out her collections she is just too noice.

  6. Olivia

    June 8, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Loved her comment re the fluidity of African designs and the fact that its still evolving….well spoken Deola. I love her designs- very crisp and feminine at the same time. She’s repping Naija WELL!!

  7. MAYA

    June 8, 2011 at 2:11 am

    YAY!!!!!thats a huge one…kudos…..

  8. sweetie

    June 8, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Absolutely wonderful the way she is repping Naija, my love for this woman…sigh

  9. chioma

    June 8, 2011 at 4:26 am

    First…I just thought I should say that 🙂

  10. Elpee

    June 8, 2011 at 5:10 am

    love it

  11. BigBen

    June 8, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Yay for Deola, my second fav naija designer next to Folake Folarin-Coker of Tiffany Amber…just awesome women 🙂

  12. word!

    June 8, 2011 at 7:19 am

    You go Deola……..you make us proud as Nigerians!!!!

  13. Miss J

    June 8, 2011 at 7:28 am

    “an Africa that is not just one homogenous blob but a rich continent of diversity and expression” , so true…thats why I love being African.

  14. THE AMAKA

    June 8, 2011 at 8:12 am

    you lot screaming first are NOT first, so just give it up already. lol

  15. faith

    June 8, 2011 at 8:38 am

    nevre heard of her….

    • teeny

      June 8, 2011 at 10:16 am

      living under a rock much?

  16. Karimah

    June 8, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Nigeria is a nation often debated across the world but actually rarely truly investigated. Nigeria is a strong nation; the people are proud and culturally very rich and diverse. #WORD.

  17. libra

    June 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

    all of u keep screaming first but none of u is really the first,look before u leap…[email protected] then you not trendy.

    • missy

      June 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      it has nothing to do with trendy!!!

  18. Tutu

    June 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    She is an amazing fashion entrepreneur and a fantastic role model.

    http://www.yesidefashionstore.com/clothing/dress

  19. http://dakkylove.blogspot.com/

    June 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Deola Sagoe is just fantastic kudos to nigerians doing big things all over the world

  20. Disbabe

    June 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    wow very well said..She is articulate and represents us well i am very proud of her..Kudos Deola

  21. Ronke

    June 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    She’s so eloquent!

  22. maryam

    June 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I love her designs they are truly inspiring and really amazing!
    Visit Face2FaceAfrica.com together we can restore the image of Africa Twitter @face2faceafrica
    Blog http://www.face2faceafrica.com/
    http://www.youtube?v=VAdoxOjAGI8

  23. Valerie Igbinoghene

    June 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    As someone who is fashion conscious I love her response to the questions. Strongly reflective of someone who studies their field and not simply accustomed to just “winging it”. Great job Deola

  24. Uju G

    June 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I heart this woman .. In My Opinion, – she is the best fashion designer in Nigeria!

  25. Ronnie

    June 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    I love the way she described Nigeria&Africa…someone using her spot in the limelight to change the perception people have about naija.Love it!

  26. NNENNE

    June 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Keep it up Deola. This ia just the beginning .The whole world will hear us, soon!!!!!

  27. Lagos Boy

    June 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Nice…

  28. Mutay

    June 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Deola’s clothing designs has always being an encouragements to me…. Her pieces are breath takin…. she’s always a breath of fresh air in d nigerian fashion industry.

  29. amaka

    June 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

    am not still sure d biggie about being first at all, i mean c’mon is there like a price?sheesh!!

  30. amawiziee

    June 13, 2011 at 10:14 am

    rebranding self!

  31. nwendee

    June 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    My favorite Nigerian designer…..u gotta love he designs so unique

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