It's the age where our virtual reality is our new reality, and why not?
Throwing it back to the days of MSN IM's, Bebo, MySpace and even Skype? Those platforms were what I lived for, excluding that of MySpace because I attracted more middle aged men than I needed to in one life time. I remember faking my age to join these platforms because you had to be 18 and above.
We have progressed to a whole new level of socialising, 'txt' talk is really old news, haven't you heard of emoji's? or even better Kimoji's? I can literally say 'Hi, Bye, TTYL, and BRB' with emoji's. And for those of you that grace our feed with the early morning avocado on toast pictures, you have got your own emoji!!!
Now there are newer platforms such as, Instagram and within this there are Instagram stories and Instagram Live, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook which also includes its' own Messenger app, and Facebook Live as well as WhatsApp and what is known as a WhatsApp status, basically another door to upload a video of your walk to the supermarket and share it with your contacts and of course there is YouTube. These are just the raging platforms for our age, who knows what's coming next and the question is can we really keep up?
Not so long ago, I got a message from my younger sister telling me I have got 'fans' on her 'Finstagram', I paused for a second, thinking she obviously meant Instagram but I was the one in the wrong, there is such a thing as Finstagram. I had to laugh rhetorically and further ask more questions on what this is and it's purpose.
Now let me break down what a Finstagram is, for those who are in the dark, much like I was -- Finstagram is short for 'Fake Instagram'. This is an alternate account from your real/main one, where you have the freedom to be someone you cannot be on your real Instagram, you have a smaller social circle, less followers than Following,no theme or aesthetic to your feed and a lot of banter between your family, friends and other Finstagram accounts. To further complicate things, some individuals use this as an outlet to escape their 'reality' and the pressures of having to post that perfect morning Starbucks coffee (even if it tastes like shit), guilty is charged.
Think, an early morning selfie with your double chin angles and your eyes shut with a bit of drool on your side cheek just to give it that 'shazam'!!! Despite the whole point behind a Finstagram being a quiet place to express yourself, it has somehow turned into a trend, much like the Kardashians or having a dog. The sublimity of Finstagram is all lost because now that we all know we could gain access to a certain individuals alter-ego, the lust for this grows.
Now that I have cleared up the purpose of a Finstagram, I have no use for it. I might still be struggling with which 'flower-power' picture to grace my feed with, but trust me, I know I do not need a Finstagram to express myself. I do that enough on my stories and in Real life.
Does anyone suffer from social media labels? because I do. There isn't one Instagram page that doesn't say "Travel blogger", "Food blogger", "Fashion blogger", "Make-up Artist" and oooh, how could I forget this,"Photographer".
Owning a camera makes you a photographer, cooking makes you a food blogger all of a sudden, and knowing how to contour elevates us to the position of Make-Up artist. I refuse to go into the 'Travel and Fashion blogger' groupies because owning one pair of Gucci loafers or visiting Australia does not make you an expert at this.
Don't get me wrong, there are actual talented individuals out there who are genuinely working hard to create and inspire, while there are those that have decided a YouTube channel with views gives them a taste of fame.
With all this going on, I am still trying to figure out which platform to post my stories on; Instagram or Snapchat? What filter best emphasises the dinner I'm about to have at Wagamama and why-o-why, isn't there a flamingo emoji when I need one?? *whispers* "First world problems"
Africa is a developing continent, even more so in the fashion industry, so it is hard not to recognise talent when it surfaces - I present The Iwade.Brand, formerly known as 'The Line-Up Brand X K.A.E', a Nigerian born clothing brand that shows off the raw talent of its country's creatives.
It seems like the creative industry is something that is inescapable, as much as society tries to put it under the category of being a 'hobby'. Keisha Eromosele, who is the creative director of this brand started off studying Computer Science and somehow just couldn't keep her hands off the fabric.
The Iwade.Brand shows off precision and attention to the body's silhouette. Focusing on shoulder blades, neck lines and most importantly, comfort!!! The Iwade brands aesthetic is one that keeps it classy with a bit of sassy, not too boring but enough prints to keep the eyes lusting for more. Enough said. Here is a Q&A with the mind behind this brand:
1. What is ‘The Iwade brand? And what brought about this name?
I changed the name of the brand because it represents where I am from and in the past this is exactly what I wanted to achieve. I included initials, "IWADÉ" is Eweade which is my name. It means "I did not fall" so I also see it as a great message to base a brand on. Unlike the other options I had, this didn't take time to come up with.
I made the decision pretty quick cause it felt so right! Still does, went to a few of my friends to ask for opinions which is the usual thing for me and they all loved the idea.
2. Briefly tell us what inspires your designs?
My designs are pretty much inspired by everything like I said. I am not limited to what gives me inspiration. I try and have an open mind whenever I am working on designs for a client or the brand and sometimes this might mean getting inspired by and learning from my environment, watching an old 70’s show, literally or picking things from previous styles or designs to get what I want.
3. I think it is safe to say your collection leans toward the basics, i.e. The off-shoulder body-fitted dresses and the turtle neck body-suits. Do you think you might go toward the extravagant side? More Red-carpet glamour?
Yes, definitely. I always say I would not sell anything I wouldn’t wear myself and my personal style leans towards the simple dresses and body suits. I love it when the main features of my designs get people staring, especially at how the outfit falls and fits and it’s not so much about the bold/bright colour or the extravagance of the style. It is much easier to style something simple, which is why the ready-made clothes fall under the “simple” category. However, for custom made pieces, I do tend to move away from the basics and try something new for the clients. I have worked on a few dinner outfits so far and would love to do more extravagant and red carpet worthy designs.
4. It is remarkable that all these pieces are made in NIGERIA, what made you decide this? Is that a marketing strategy and is it paying off?
Honestly, I just had a better chance of getting the clothes made in Nigeria at the time but then I decided to put it out there as a ‘made in Nigeria’ brand because I felt like a lot of us go out of our way to order out of the country. Most Nigerians might be encouraged to try out one of their own. When I thought about it at first, it was to make the statement that “Nigerians can do these things too!!!”, we don’t necessarily need to go out to get them. I mean we have the choice, but it shouldn’t be because we don’t think we can do the same. So, what wasn’t an intentional marketing strategy ended up working as one and worked out well.
5. Who is ‘The Iwade.Brand individual? Is it both Sexes? [Male and Female] Or just aimed at one Sex?
The Line-up caters to both sexes. Currently we only sell female clothes but I am working on releasing the male pieces sometime this year.
6. Do you have a small creative team or is this just all you?
I wouldn’t exactly call them a team they are more of family. I work on the designs and select the materials then my mum who has been in the fashion business for over 25 years makes the clothes. I have only had one shoot which was what I used to kick-start the brand. My sisters (Lisa and Mya Eromosele) and friends (Taiwo Ogundipe and Moyin Orimoloye) were my models. They all took time out to meet with me at the studio. My first and only shoot for the brand was with photographer, Austin Usen (@nehroo), we hadn’t met before then but he understood my vision and what I wanted to give.
Now when it comes to advertisement, I cannot stress how important this was. The rest of my friends played a huge role when it came to promoting the brand. They posted on every social media platform available and purchased items without me asking them. They went out of their way to ensure we got the word out. So, you see I cannot really call them a “team” that kind of sounds like they are obligated to do these things but they just did it to help. I might model the clothes sometimes or promote myself but the people around me really deserve the credit.
7. It’s only been 2-3 months since you launched the brand and you have hit over 200 followers on Instagram, does this make you proud?
Yes, it does!! I am very grateful to God for how far the brand has come in just 2 months. I feel really blessed to be able to put my designs out there and have people acknowledge it.
8. Do you have plans for ‘The Iwade Brand’ for the near future?
I am currently working on the spring/summer 2017 collection. It will be coming out soon so I have a lot of things to put in place.
There's a new girl in town, and it's the BIOLOGICAL WOMAN.
As Timberlake once said [or sang rather], "I'm bringing sexy back" and that's exactly what I intended on doing with this shoot.