Orire Omatsola creative director of Ré Lagos emerged the 2nd runner up for the Arise 30 under 30 fashion show. Her veritable representation of African artisanal craftsmanship indeed won the hearts of the judges, and the beauty and eccentricity of her collections gained the viewer’s attention.
How do you feel emerging as the 2nd runner up tonight?
Honestly, I am in shock right now. I just kept on praying for 3rd, so the fact that I came second place means God gave me an extra something. I am so emotional I could cry right now. I am really in shock.
What did you do differently with your collections that brought you this success?
I think for the first time I was myself. I ventured into men’s wear which I have never really done before. For the first time, I displayed a collection that came to me from the heart, not just about business. I didn’t want to be demographical. I just wanted to create my brand.
So, the inspiration behind your collections on the runway tonight was from the heart?
Yeah, it is, the title of my collection’s tonight is Life of a Daydreamer. I am a eustacy daydreamer. There is always a screen in front of me. This was just my idea of what my perfect people will look like in my ideal fantasy world. For the first time, I wanted to actualize my fantasies.
Is this your first time participating on a big platform like Arise fashion week?
No, it’s not actually. My first time on Arise platform was 8years ago when I was 21. Arise is a very great platform. Yes, the experience was hectic, stressful and demanding, but to reach this point is truly amazing and gratifying, and I am grateful to be here tonight.
Did you at any point think you’d win?
I never knew my collection would be good enough to win. Everyone is such a fantastic designer here. I kept hoping that when they see my work, my craft and my dedication it will catch their attention. So, my fingers were crossed.
Apart from yours, who else did you see have the winning collection?
I would say Kenneth Ize; he is fantastic. He is also one of my best friends and a dope designer. I also think Wuman is dope. Bloke is dope too. I saw Onalaja yesterday, and her designs were amazing. Colrs isn’t left out. A lot of people applied and 30 of the best got in. Everybody was a fair competition and a winner too.
Was the Arise 30 under 30 fashion week everything you imagined it would be?
Yeah, like I said it’s not my first time with Arise. I have taken part in other fashion shows but Arise always has the best designers from all over the world. It was nice. We got a participation price. You rarely get paid to participate in competitions so even when you didn’t win, we all already got something which is excellent. I am grateful for that.
Now that you won $75, 000 what do you intend to do with the money?
I will invest in my brand and my business. I will finally get that website done and also work on productions here to be able to give me the embroiders that I want. Asides fashion, I also run an event space here in Lagos called Wèré house. It is in Lekki. We get a lot of dope people coming through. Burna Boy once used it for his album lunch, Tiwa Savage has used it also. It will be great to infuse my fashion into my creative space.
What do you have to say to upcoming young designers like you?
That’s a good question, I would say First trust your God, and give it a shot. Stay focused and express yourself. I know fashion is a business and we sometimes get caught up in all of that, but the most important thing is to remember that its clothes, artisanship and beautiful so have fun.
Your general view of the world about the Arise 30 under 30 fashion week?
The world pretty much knows about the Arise fashion week; I have been following the brand for a very long time even before I became a designer. I think what they are doing with the platform gives a voice to fashion designers on the continent.