Mechanical Engineer Turn Fashion Designer, Read ‘Elsker Couture’ Story
The Fashion Industry is no doubt one of the fastest growing industries changing the face of business in Nigeria. Today, we present to you one of the youngest entrepreneurs doing fashion in Lagos with delectable creativity.
Can we meet you?
Before we start, I’d like to appreciate you for this. I’m delighted at this interview. Thanks. I am Yusuf Oluwatosin a graduate of Mechanical engineering from Bells university of Technology Ota. I am the Creative Director for the elsker brand which is a Fashion brand.
Wow: a graduate in mechanical engineering?
What sparked your interest in fashion?
Erm…personally, I’ve always been fashion savvy, though I like to keep my style simple, I was brought up wearing quality clothes though they were not locally made. In my final year at the university I started off thinking Tosin you’d need to fend for yourself outside school and then our elders have a saying “ona Kan o woja”. I needed to build something around the basic need of man and my interest, it definitely was fashion, coupled with the fact that about that time, my roommate never discussed business with me, and shortly he launched his brand. Gave me the motivation that I could do it also.
What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
I would say it is having a broadened perspective and the prospect in the Nigerian Fashion industry. The more I sought to be better and more knowledgeable about my supposed trade, the more I loved it, that was enough drive.
Are you self taught or did you go fashion design training?
I initially started out with being mechanical about it, we’re taught design so I used the basics and whatsoever I could get from the internet. As I progressed I knew that wasn’t enough, with ample time after leaving school I sought to learn from a leading designer in the industry. So I did learn at some point.
How has your work evolved since you started Elsker Couture?
That’s one thing I hold sacrosanct, the need for constant improvement, intentional growth. My knowledge base and network at inception is not the same as now, the Elsker brand speaks Excellence as has come to be our mantra, so we’re constantly evolving and the fashion industry is dynamic such that if you’re not fast enough you become obsolete.😆
If we won’t be Nosy, could you please tell us the idea behind the name of your brand? How you arrived at the name
it’s alright 😃, it was a process at inception… I’m a strong believer in Jesus, I think our greatest assets as believers is his love for us, I believe whatsoever is committed to him is not permitted to suffer. So Elsker is the Danish word for Love. You know the English would already be taken🙂 that’s it.
What is your area of expertise in fashion designing?
We’re bespoke experts, we make clothes based on demand. Mostly suits, 2piece, 3piece, trench coats, shirts etc .
Do you make suits for both male and female?
Elsker deals with only male clothes for now.
What are your fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
More like I’m inspired by the hustle, I’m hustling in the fashion industry and I have friends who are first hand clients and other clients hustling in their own sphere of influence to achieve success, this inspired our 2017 collection. We decided to make clothes to match whatsoever your hustle.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started elsker Couture
Hmm… That’s a big question, I have learnt a lot to say the least… To answer the question.. I’ve learnt “nothing good comes easy”, “hard work and determination is key” and “it’s not enough to talk big, you must be strategic and intentional in application”.
What is your greatest challenge in the industry so far ?
There are lots of challenges in the industry and it seems to be a reoccurring decimal, but for me, the challenge would be competition with foreign products as a result of non acceptance of Nigerian products. Awareness and initiatives to sponsor Nigerian made needs to be given more premium.
What advice would you give to young designers like you?
I’m not sure I’m in a position to be lending advice, I still seek advice myself, but to answer the question… I’d say let’s keep at whatsoever we’re doing and put our best to it and set no limitation for ourselves, that is, seek global relevance, cos I see Nigeria taking he r place in fashion amongst the nations of the world, and we’re the ones to make it our reality.
What’s your motto?
Motto for Elsker is Excellence
We hope you are challenged by this interview, you can reach Yusuf Oluwatosin Creative Director of Elsker Couture on +2348100937513 and @elsker_couture across all platforms