I recently had the opportunity to interview the most sought after wardrobe and fashion stylist in Nigeria. His name is Dimeji Alara. What a calm, un-phased, approachable young man. It’s always refreshing to see that not every fashionisto/fashionista wears an “I am mighty” attitude around. Read on and get to know his fabness. Enjoy..
Can you tell us a little about you?
I love fashion. Fashion is my life, and I am very realistic in terms of what I wear and why I’m wearing it. I’m a Nigerian who has a very strong connection to my city of birth “Paris”. I’m in my late twenties, I’m single (by choice) and I’m just happy. I am terrible at describing myself. *Smiles*
How did you get started in the industry?
Art has always been a huge part of me growing up, and I guess that was translated into fashion. I grew up in Paris, the city of fashion, so it was unavoidable getting into the scene. I started at a very young age.
What do you love about being a Stylist?
I love the fact that I can recreate looks, create things as an artist. I love the different stories involved in creating a fashion editorial. It’s like making a short movie, it’s so much fun, and it’s a lot of hard work too. Like a movie, you want a good lead which is your model, and as for the extras, you want people who are convincing enough. So, to me, it’s a lot more than the clothes in the shoot, it’s about the combination of everything. And it requires a lot of team work. I am very lucky to have a great team (Lola Maja, Bimpe Ogunmakin, Bayo Hasstrup, Kelechi Amadi Obi).
Whom/What Magazines have you worked for?
I’ve worked for a number of magazines. Here in Nigeria I’ve worked with Genevieve magazine, Elan, and MADE. Outside Nigeria, I’ve worked with ELLE, GQ, GLAMOUR, LONGEVITY…these are the ones I can remember now, I hope I haven’t left any out. *Smiles*
What is your vision as a wardrobe stylist?
My vision goes way beyond making people look good or wearing beautiful clothes. It is more about creating fantastic looks on a small budget (depending on your pocket) It is about finding pieces for people who don’t have the money but still want to get their money’s worth. Investigating, editing collections and wearable pieces, because at the end of the day, people want wearable clothes.
How does your work set you apart?
I believe in being different in everything I do, and whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. I try to bring a different angle to my shoots. I try to do extraordinary things.
What inspires you?
I get inspired by a lot of things I see around me. I am a very real person, I meet all sorts of people from villages, to the ghettos here in Lagos, and that gives me a lot of inspiration in terms of direction.
Fashion is what you think it is. We all have our interpretation of fashion and every individual style should be respected.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is very minimal…extremely minimal actually. But I try to be adventurous at times. I wear a lot of black and rarely wear colors. But I want to be a bit more adventurous now. So I guess I have to start experimenting with some colors. I also don’t wear any accessories, even wristwatches that are essential. I just love to feel free and comfortable with whatever it is I’m wearing.
What are you into this season?
I’m into high shoulder jackets. The norm was becoming too boring for me so I decided I would go a different route *smiles*. My fantastic designer makes them for me and they’re really great. His name is SANYA and you’re going to see me wear a lot of his stuff to events. I appreciate new talent and I am doing a lot of promotion for him in my own way. I think he’ll go places.
How often do you travel for work?
I travel a lot but I haven’t in a while now, the last time I traveled for work was last year July, and that was to Joburg, to shoot the cover of a magazine. But I’ve been so busy with the new project I’ve been working on that I haven’t had time to.
What do you do for fun?
I get bored a lot when I’m not doing anything, so when I’m not working, I call up few friends, we hang out, either that or I go for a walk or to the gym or spend time with my nephew and mum at home.
What is the future of your company/Any goals?
I take each day as it comes, I am not the sort of person who makes long term plans. Each day for me is a surprise. One thing I’ve realized is that things have to happen, and in order for it to happen, you have to get up and make it happen. Planning is good, but there’s something really cool about surprises. Yes it might be risky to think that way, but you know, its part of the fun.
How can people reach you for your services?
My mobile-07058109821 and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and DIMEJI ALARA on facebook.