Lanre Da Silva: I love to make distinctive fashion pieces
Lanre Da Silva is a fashion designer. In 2005, she launched her eponymous label, which includes couture, ready-to-wear, jewelry and hairpieces. Da Silva’s collections often incorporate metallic fabrics, lace and African patterns, while referencing the 1940s or 1800s. She got a degree in Business Administration at Coventry University and obtained a master’s degree in Finance from the University of Leicester. In 2011, she presented her collections at New York Fashion Week. In 2012, she was one of two designers asked to join the United Nations ‘Fashion Development Project’ which helps supports her continent’s luxury industry.
Da Silva’s clothes have also been seen at shows such as the Thisday Africa Rising Festival in London, the Arise Africa Fashion Festival in South Africa, the New York Couture Fashion Week and the Arise Magazine Fashion Week in Lagos. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, she speaks about her involvement in the Arise Fashion week.
You were a part of the Arise Fashion Week. What stood out for you at the show?
This year’s Arise Fashion Week was special in some ways as it was a celebratory show in honour of their milestone 20th edition combined with the Jazz festival, which was lovely. The Arise production team did a marvelous job in ensuring orderliness and a smooth transition for the shows. The LDA Spring and Summer 2023 Renaissance collection was well received by the audience and fashion enthusiasts with loud applause and I was well chuffed.
How did you develop passion for fashion designing?
Whilst studying in the United Kingdom (UK), my strong passion for the fashion industry could not be ignored. It got heightened. Right from my teenage years, my mum recalls fashion has always been eminent in me. I developed my love for Vintage couture from shopping spots like Portobello market, London Vintage Fashion, Textile and Accessories fair at Hammersmith Town hall. I later moved back to Lagos and embraced wholeheartedly my innate love for the Vintage era by making bold statement pieces with exaggerated collars, tops with striking beeps. My style of clothing was identified as different and unique and this made me stand out from the norm to which people got accustomed.
Your designs often incorporate metallic fabrics and a feel of ‘old skool’. What spurs this?
I love to make distinctive fashion pieces that are edgy, bold, unique, colourful and timeless.
How would you access your growth in the industry?
It’s my 18th year in the fashion industry. I am thankful to God for so many accomplishments and accolades I have received through the years. I am also thankful to my loyal customers for their continuous patronage. I am extremely elated with the success of the LDA brand through the years, it certainly has not been a walk in the park but my hard work, consistency, determination, passion and zeal to succeed has paid off. The LDA brand continues to stay relevant, and be a force to reckon with in the fashion industry year in year out, by being innovative, dynamic, unique and delivering excellent customer service.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is a way of life and makes you feel good and look good. It’s how you express yourself through clothes and accessories with confidence, style, poise, beauty and glamour.
What is your personal sense of style?
Style to me is personal, distinctive and a lifestyle. I like to be comfortable, chic, elegant, classy and fabulous with my style.
What is your favourite fashion piece?
I love hair accessories.
What is your favourite local dish?
Pounded yam and efo riro
What are your hobbies?
Listening to music, yoga, watching movies and reading fashion magazines.
What is your philosophy of life?
Do the best I can do always and leave the rest for God to take care of.