StyleByQueens caught up with Orire Omatsola, the creative director of the label, “Re Bahia”. She tells us about her hopes for the label, where she gets her inspiration from, her opinion of the ever growing Nigerian Fashion Industry and lots more!
SBQ: How did you come up with the name “Re Bahia”?
OO: I came up with the name when watching a show on Brazil and Bahia came up and I just felt a connection with that name. Re is the last two letters of my name, which my dad calls me sometimes. Liked the sound of both names together and decided it for the label.
SBQ: What inspired you to start it how has it been so far?
OO: I think fashion has always been a part of me and it was only a matter of time till I got inspired to start my own label. Growing up my mum had a little tailoring business and when I think about it now it played a big part in my life. The women in my family are very artsy. My mum is an interior decorator and my sister studied interior design at Pratt. I just decided to go into a different part of design.
SBQ: You’re currently studying Art History at Manchester University; do you think this inspires you at all in terms of your collections? What inspires your collections in general?
OO: To be honest so far it hasn’t, I guess I see fashion and art history as two different things and I never thought of drawing a connection between the two. Definitely for my new collection, one of my classes plays a big role in it. Anything and everything inspires me. I’m a very excitable person so when working on a collection I draw out inspirations from everywhere.
SBQ: What obstacles have you had to overcome?
OO: The biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome has been myself. I’m really hard on myself and I guess I waited this long because I didn’t have the confidence to break out. The fashion industry is tough and people are brutal so I kept second-guessing myself and if I was actually good enough.
SBQ: You’ve been received very well in the Nigerian Fashion Industry. What are your fondest memories?
OO: My fondest memory so far has been FAB night out. I don’t think I have ever been so nervous in my entire life. Walking down that runway was awesome and my family and friends were seated literally in front of it, and I could never forget the look on their faces, especially my mum and brothers.
SBQ: What do you think of the industry so far and where do you see it going in future?
OO: It’s like this amazing Nigerian industry just came out of nowhere. I think it’s so cool and something to celebrate. There are so many young talented designers coming up and I’m so proud to be one of them. From the designers to bloggers to make up artists, I’m definitely proud to be Nigerian.
SBQ: Who are your favourite designers?
OO: I have so many I could spend hours saying them all. The Nigerian designers I love are Jewel By Lisa and Bridget Awosika. Other designers are DVF, Agua de coco and Rosa Cha.
SBQ: Being a young designer yourself, what advice would you give to upcoming young designers?
OO: You’re never too young for anything. People remind me all the time that I am and I ask them back, when exactly am I meant to achieve what I want? The industry is tough and I’m very lucky to have the support I get from my family. The best advice I can give is to be patient. To be taking seriously especially at a young age in this industry presentation is everything.
SBQ: Describe your personal style
OO: My personal style goes with my mood. I’m a lover of everything, old and new. I love colours and prints and I’m fond of mix and matching. My friends tell me I dress like Carrie from sex and the city so I guess that’s my style in a nutshell.
SBQ: When would you say is your favourite fashion era?
OO: My favourite fashion era would definitely be the 40’s, especially for swimwear.
So far Orire takes orders for Re Bahia by telephone and email. She’s currently in talks with a couple of stockists at the moment so shouldn’t be too long before she starts selling outside of Nigeria.
We love the playful look of some of Re Bahia’s pieces. They’re fun and flirtatious. What we like about them the most, is the many ways you could wear them; you can either dress them up or down.
We can’t wait to see more from Re Bahia!
*for more information please visit the website -www.rebahia.com, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
T: NGA -+2348139288411, UK – +447984163466 *
Thanks Orire for taking the time to chat with us
Kike & Tobi