EXCLUSIVE: “House of Debonair Will Be One Of The Topmost Fashion Labels In The World In Ten Years” –Taiwo Olufemi

By Ikenga Chronicles September 3, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: “House of Debonair Will Be One Of The Topmost Fashion Labels In The World In Ten Years” –Taiwo Olufemi

House of Debonair is fast becoming a household fashion name in the world. Ikenga Chronicles’ Chinonso Golden Nnabuike was able to get a sit down with the owner, Taiwo Ibikunle Olufemi, who talked about his inspiration, the humble beginning of the fashion house, what constitutes contemporary fashion, and their projections for the future.

IC: Could you please introduce yourself to us and also tell us why you decided to call your design “House of Debonair”?

~ I am Taiwo Ibikunle Olufemi son of Oderinde and a great- grandson of Abeleshindogba. A native of Ijebu- Ode in Ogun State, Nigeria but currently residingin the City of Liverpool UK. I am in my 40’s, happily married with two beautiful girls to the glory of God. A goal getter with a positive mindset.

IC: What made you decide to open “House of Debonair”?

~ I grew up in a home where excellence was the watchword. My mum was into the textile business and I must say as a kid, I was taught the basic rules of what and what not to wear. I started with imported used clothing’s (Tokunbo) and my close friends formed my initial customer base. Over the years, I grew up to take it as a guarded hobby until my friends started calling me to help them put things together. In 1994, I called it mobile boutique which later changed to Pyramids Couture. In 2009, my passion for clothing  was no more about hobby but a lifestyle and that was how I came about the name House Of Debonair.
IC: What would you say is your favourite part about being a designer?
~ I am a man who is so comfortable wearing and combining any colour without missing a mark. But above that, my favourite part of being a designer is the joy of wearing your own products and getting positive feedback.

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IC: And the inspiration for your designs, where do they come from?
~ I am a fan of nature and things around me depending on my mood and state of mind inspire me.

IC: Who would you say is your number one inspiration in your line of business?
~I will say my wife. She is a great multi-skilled lady. She trained herself on how to sew on YouTube. She designs as well. Looking at her works inspires me to do more for myself.

IC: Do you have a favourite fashion magazine where you get your ideas from?

~ Unfortunately, I am not a magazine dude. I work with my brain and with what I see on the streets.

IC: What is your definition of fashion in this present day?
~ Fashion to me is a lifestyle. It is about being comfortable to make a statement about your personality without any fuss.

IC: What skills would you say are necessary for a successful designer?

~ A good visualizer, a sound analytical mind, flair for new concepts, ability to know colours, a risk taker and above all, a sound communicator.

IC: What is that qualification that a designer must have?

~ I think the most important thing is to have a good educational background because it will earn you more respects from your clients. It is equally an avenue to promote your perception about your products to your clients. It is always good to attend a fashion school as well to help you understand the requirements and what to know about the industry.

IC: How do you stay up to date in the fashion world?

~ Fashion is eternal, it revolves around the need and demand of your clients. I only sell what I think is different from others in term of styles and the sourced materials.


IC: What do you consider to be an important facet of the fashion world?

~ Maintaining your identity.

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IC: What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses in your line of business?

~ My greatest strengths are;  my taste for good clothing. My knowledge of colour combinations and how I carry myself.  My weaknesses? Well, I will say; creating a brand that will  compete with the top names; lack of strong capital base; limited patronage from other races in the UK; lack of support from my own folks.

IC: Where do you see yourself and House of Debonair in the next ten years?

~ I see House of Debonair as a brand with class all over the world partnering with the top labels.

IC: Can you describe your personal style for me?

~ A simple guy with deep taste for outstanding fashion statement. I love my suede shoes and I must admit I am dead crazy about my shoes. I don’t follow the crowd because I want to be radically unique.

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IC: In which area of design do you wish to focus on?

Shoes and ties. I am currently working with two top shoe makers in the world. Watch this space.

IC: As a designer, what kind of clothes would you suggest one should wear during a hot job interview?

~ A nice colour of suit that is not too sharp, with a matching tie and shoes. Do not wear a loud colour suit to an interview because you are going there to sell yourself and not to be mocked. Just be neat!

IC: How do you handle stress as a designer?

~ I am still very new in this industry and I can bet you, I am yet to find myself in that position but if I do find myself in it, I will take a break for few minutes to think on what to do next.

IC: How would you relate with the past and present fashion trends around the
world today?

~ Fashion is evolving like I said earlier. Today’s fashion is about contemporary combinations where many of the old fashion rules are kind of broken because it is all about personality statements cum branding now.

IC: Lastly sir, how supportive would you say your wife and kids have been so far?
~ My wife is the best critic and at the same time my best encourager. I spend quality time with my children on daily basis because family time to me is priceless.