Thursday, 21 October 2010

Naija Fashionistas: Meet Ijeoma Ndekwu the Fashion Blogger

I find the experience of blogging very therapeutic, I get to say what I want when I want completely uncensored. Also I get to be part of a huge community of talented bloggers who are not only dedicated but experts on their topic. This community is something which the lovely Bangs and a Bun tapped into when she had an interesting experience with a PR company a couple of weeks ago. Like it or not (and believe me some do not) bloggers are here to stay. We bloggers operate under many circumstances; some blog full time, some do it as a hobby alongside their full time job and some work as journalists during the day and blog in the evening. The blogging community is now so large that it can be sub-divided into subject areas and what I find interesting is the way the different communities behave and are perceived by society (check out The Life of Blogger series that I wrote about the different blogging communities). Out of the pack I would say the fashion bloggers are more prolific, some of them now receive kudos from top fashion brands and been invited to prestigious events and some of them have even been hired as consultants by fashion companies. Ijeoma Ndekwu is a style editor for Bella Naija which is Africa's most prominent blog and she also runs her own blog called Naija Fashion Freak. She took time out to tell me what the fashion blogging scene is like in Nigeria.

How did you get into the fashion industry?
Getting into fashion was more of a natural transition than a conscious one. I was taking a gap year after A Levels and decided to start up a fashion blog called Naija Fashion Freak to channel my passion for fashion into something productive.

What made you decide that fashion blogging was for you?
Writing and fashion comes natural to me and fortunately I absolutely love doing both. There's a certain thrill in writing reviews of designer collections and excitement in discovering fresh talent. But most importantly, fashion is my passion; promoting African talent and also setting a standard for the industry in fashion journalistic writing.

Tell me what your job consists of.
I am the Style Editor of Bella Naija, my job focuses on content provision, content generation and also content quality control- ensuring content is Bella Naija worthy in its writing style and presentation. It is also managing the style page by aligning content to reader sensibilities, and hiring and managing style correspondents and contributors. In addition, building and maintaining beneficial and sustainable relationships with people in the fashion Industry.

How does the fashion scene in Nigeria compare to other cities?
In general, the fashion scene in Nigeria is like every other major city, there's an industry, its professionals and the public made up of fashion enthusiasts who patronise local and international designers. However, when you critically assess it, its a lot less dynamic in comparison; it's void of the high street. All locally produced clothing is still under the umbrella of "designer clothing" and this is one of the reasons why people still favour tailor-made clothes to designers, something that's quite unique to the Nigerian fashion scene. In addition,  the industry although improving rapidly, still needs more professionals, who can consistently deliver quality products and services.

What sort of changes have you seen in the Nigerian fashion industry over the last few years?
There's an enhanced structure in the way the industry operates; from how designers promote and present their brands locally and internationally, to available fashion content, with websites like Bella Naija, Ladybrille, Stylehousefiles and blogs like Shopliquorice. This has contributed in generating more public interest in the industry and patronage.

Describe a day in the life of Ijeoma Ndekwu.
 I am an undergraduate, so my day is a balance of school, Bella Naija work, and my social life. It's lectures, reading, sending and responding to emails on the go (thanks to my Blackberry), and editing and publishing the articles for the day. I don't wake up at a particular time, and I sleep whenever I'm done with all that's on my to-do-list for the day.

You can read Bella Naija here.

You can read Ijeoma's blog here.

Tomorrow I will be featuring fashion designer Ngozi Pere-Okorotie.

1 cool comments:

annierama said...

your blogs is really cool and you ahve a great fashion sense!