How did you get into Fashion Blogging? What was the first fashion blog you fell in love with?
I started Third World Profashional in 2008 and the intention was to have my own little corner of the internet where I talked about what I did, put up a few pictures, and write some fiction or poetr, more like a cyber-scrapbook than anything else. Through no particular effort of mine, TWP became extremely popular for the fashion. As my audience and influence grew I noticed most people were there for the clothes and experiences so I kind of tailored future posts towards that bent. I honestly did not start out intending to be a “fashion blogger”, it was completely by chance.
The first fashion blog I ever read and consequently fell in love with was Style Bubble by Susie Bubble. The first day I discovered it, I literally stayed up all night reading her archives, I’m still a devoted follower today.
I first came across your blog years back – when you were blogging in Lagos (I remember weeping when you did your wardrobe sale before coming to London).You have been a blogger both in London and Lagos – are there any challenges of being a fashion blogger in Lagos? What is the fashion blogging scene like in Nigeria?
Lmao @ weeping!
The difference between blogging in London and Lagos is not that vast, most of it probably comes from internet connectivity which is obviously better in London, but since I’ve moved back and experienced the internet my parents currently have installed at home I really can’t complain, its actually quite good. Plus I also blog on the go with my iPad so besides speed, I really can’t complain.
A major difference I think would be outfits, fashion in the UK is definitely more avant-garde, and one can get creative with layering and other types of fashion whereas in Lagos it’s a bit more restrictive. We drive everywhere in Nigeria so there’s a dearth of street fashion and dressing to deal with the elements. Nigeria is also a more conservative society so there’s the constant danger of trying to be fashionable and also seeking to not offend other peoples sensibilities.
Another difference I’m very concerned with is the nonchalance of brands towards bloggers. In the UK, in fact in the rest of the modern world, leading brands have discovered the power of bloggers, fashion or otherwise and have harnessed their talents to help promote their products but I am yet to see any major Nigerian brand partner with a blogger to do anything of the sort. That definitely needs to change.
The difference that’s closest to my heart has to be the availability of fast fashion, since I’ve been back home I’ve dearly missed the UK High Street and being able to pop into Topshop or Zara on a whim to get that, that is sadly lacking in Nigeria. There are several people working tirelessly and admirably here to change that but the progress is slow. Not that Nigerian fashion isn’t as good but the availability is the problem, if I wanted to buy a particular outfit and I lived in a certain are say Festac. I’d have to go all the way to some of the major areas of Lagos that have malls like Ikeja, Surulere, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, to be able to buy what I wanted and that is not acceptable. It’s even worse if you do not live in the major cities in Nigeria such as Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt or Enugu, the pickings are very slim outside them. If Nigerian fashion wants to expand you should be able to access it readily no matter where you live.
The fashion blogging scene in Nigeria is growing at an amazing rate, when I first started the more popular Nigerian fashion bloggers lived outside the country and I personally didn’t know any that lived in Nigeria but now there are a whole lot of them with amazing styles and interesting experiences. We’re definitely getting there.
You love Virgos Lounge – they even had an ‘Daks’ piece named after you in their collection – tell us more why you love that label?
Ah Virgos Lounge, my obsession is so bad people think I’m paid to wear Virgos Lounge or I get free items.
The Virgos Lounge aesthetic just speaks to me, I like a bit of drama, a bit of class and all that is embodied in the brand. They are based in London and though it’s a Nigerian brand their clothes are fused with all their various inspirations.
The thing is that my personality can be a tad obsessive and when I find something that I love I literally immerse myself in it. For example I’m a massive bibliophile and when I discover an author I like, I buy everything in their entire ouvre, like I’ll own every book the person has ever written. I’m like that with clothes too, I have specific labels I am very fond of and rather than spend time shopping around endlessly I just pick something and stick to it. Currnetly in my closet the majority of my clothes are from Virgos Lounge, Aqua By Aqua, Zara because I know they’ll never disappoint.
When they told me they named a blouse after me I pretty much almost spontaneously combusted, I was so chuffed. It’s an honour and I was very flattered by the gesture.
You’re also a tall girl – where are your favourite places to shop for the tall fashionable woman?
Virgos Lounge and Aqua By Aqua do great long lengths, I am 6” and their dresses fall well below my ankles, I love that and besides the artistry of their clothes that’s a major reason why I am so enamoured with these brands. For jeans Topshop does a great tall range, their jeans go all the way up to 36” and I wear 34” so every single pair of jeans I own are from Topshop.
Whilst doing your Masters you managed to still blog albeit taking a study hiatus – what are the challenges of blogging part time and how do you stay motivated?
It’s not easy at all. Since I started my blog I’ve been in Law School, worked full time, was doing a Masters and now I work full time again, I’ve never been idle while blogging and the fact that I love TWP is the only thing that makes me keep at it. Several times the pressure has gotten to me and I’ll take one of my now infamous breaks but after a short while I find myself right back in there.
I guess you have to be really organized and know how to manage your time well, while I was doing a Masters I was only in school 3 days out of the week so I had a bit more time to spend on the blog. Now that I work 8-5 everyday my free time has lessened drastically so since I take most of my pictures for the blog on the weekends I make a great effort to write all my post for Monday to Friday on Sunday night, keep them in my drafts, then post at the appropriate time during the week, so I literally write 5 posts on Sunday night. Luckily I love both my job and my hobby and spending time on either doesn’t ever really feel like a chore, it may be tiring at times but it is not particularly strenuous.
Reading peoples comments, receiving emails and meeting people who read my blog and love it is a great motivating factor. Knowing you impact people’s lives in any way does wonders for one’s self esteem.
What advice would you give some-one wanting to venture into fashion blogging?
To not do it for the money, lol, because if you did that you’d quit after a week, you have to really love it to be consistent.
Don’t try to copy anyone’s style or be anyone besides yourself because people will see through whatever façade you’re attempting to create. When something is sincere and true people can sense that and they can identify with it.
If you were given the chance to work with any fashion house in the world which one would you choose?
Lordy, there are so many but if I had to absolutely choose one it would be Chanel. That’s the ultimate label for me.
Any fashion faux-pas you want to share?
Not particularly, lol. I do recall wearing this hideous halter type top with abominable tassels hanging from the hem and some sort of pedal pushers to my secondary school awards night back in 2000, which is one memory I wish I could wipe away. I looked dreadful. Advice to young girls when your body is still developing, stay away from clothes that emphasize the fact and that were made for someone with a Pamela Anderson sized rack, you will look at photos of you years after and weep.
Your favourite fashionable tv series/ movie? And which character?
Favourite fashionable series would be Sex and The City, favourite character; of course the Almighty Carrie Bradshaw, she got it wrong so many times and also got it right so many times but she did both fabulously. Honourable mention goes to Gossip Girl, LOVE IT. Favourite character is Blair Waldorf, I am not a typical girly girl and Blairs style is very lady-like but there’s something Leighton Meester (the actress who plays Blair) brings to it that fascinates me.
Favourite fashionable movie is The Devil Wears Prada, favourite character is Andy Sachs (after her makeover). Her character gave me life, the fashion was ridiculous.
Fashion trends yay or nay?
Fashion trends are literally the same 4 or 5 trends every year, light florals and pastels in the Spring, neon and colours in Summer, burgundy, prints & leopard in Autumn and glitter and sequins for the party month of December, the next year they rinse and repeat. So I’m very iffy on trends, there’s nothing new in fashion; it’s just a carousel of the exact same thing slightly tweaked now and then.
My eternal yay would go to maxis though, I love long, flowing dresses, if I could look like a Basketball Wife every day of my life I’d be satisfied.
Eternal nay goes to tiny bodycon dresses, they have never appealed to me, might be because majority of the people that wear them are completely unsuited to the outfit and inspire disgust rather than admiration. Nothing cute about wearing an outfit with rolls of fat as an accessory.
You had to invite 5 fashion icons/ fashionable celebs to dinner who would you invite? And what would be in your goodie bags to them?
Anna Dello Russo because she is the queen of opulence and I am here for here every day of my life.
Beyonce Knowles-Carter because she is a demi god
Naomi Campbell not necessarily because of the fashion but because she fascinates me. She’s equal parts haughty and fabulous.
Rihanna because her brand of insanity is endearing and her humour is so Nigerian and her fashion is fierce.
Karl Lagerfeld so I could put some Igbo voodoo on him and get Chanel for life.
Hmmnnn, there will definitely be a KitKat Chunky because it is the Beyonce of candy, a Virgos Lounge top for them to wear and get their lives, a bottle of Maltina because everyone needs to drink that sweet nectar everyday of their lives, a stack of Nigerian magazines; Genevieve, Mania, Complete Fashion, so they can see what we’re working with.
I think I just created the worst goodie bag ever in history, lmao!
Adaku’s Blog: ThirdWorldprofashional