‘I get my inspiration from artworks, colours, environment and nature’
The Nigerian fashion industry is indeed filled with creative minds, who are churning out great designs. For Soares Anthony, Creative Head of Soares Anthony Clothing at Iponri Shopping Complex in Surulere, the fashion thing has been in him since childhood. The designer who recently showcased his new collections titled “Classic Man,” said that going into fashion designing was as a result of passion.
“I use to draw and sketch when I was younger. I love colours. My parents wanted me to be a medical doctor but at the end of the day, I couldn’t gain admission to study medicine because my cut-off mark was low. So, I studied building construction. The truth is that I did sciences to please my parents but wasn’t getting that satisfaction.”
Anthony continued: “While in school, I went into modeling, started getting modeling jobs and got to the peak of my modeling career before graduation. After graduation, I made up my mind not to work for anybody but to be my own boss. I decided to make fashion designing a career when I didn’t see the kind of outfit I wanted after going to six different boutiques for a function I wanted to attend some years back.
“I love working with my hands and, together with the experience I had with designers dressing people for red carpet events, I put my mind to work and learnt how to cut and other basic things at Ade Bakare Couture. Ade Bakare is a top designer who I respect a lot because of his humility and encouragement. He is my mentor and has been very supportive since I started four years ago. Some top designers would push upcoming ones aside but he didn’t do that.”
For the young designer who gets his design inspiration from artworks, colours, environment and nature, what makes his designs unique is his attention to details and good customer service. “I value my clients and treat them as my own. My clients cut across and any man who loves to look trendy and classy can wear my designs. My designs are affordable depending on the fabric and design a client wants me to make. While making outfits, I look at the colour and fabric to know what will be suitable for my client.”
Anthony’s role models in the industry are Ade Bakare, Mudi and Mai Atafo who make bespoke outfits. “I’m not into women’s clothing but I admire the works of Deola Sagoe because she is very creative and good on the job. The Nigerian fashion industry is growing in leaps and bounds. Our designers are recognised globally and making Africa proud with their designs. I see the Nigerian fashion industry going higher and getting more global recognition.”
“In five years time, I see Soares Anthony Clothing expanding with branches in different parts of the country. I also see more celebrities wearing my designs in and outside Nigeria,” says the designer.