Conversations Inspire Me – Ade Bakare

Ade Bakare

+ How Ade Bakare Became the Most Social Luxury Brand In Nigeria

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Not to say that he is a chatterbox, but eponymous Couture brand – Ade Bakare is a name synonymous with the word Elegant as he is also  known to design for the most elegant ladies in Nigeria . Though he is still based in london where he runs his creative studio , he set up a boutique in Lagos on muri okunola in victoria island in 2006. Clients From different parts of nigeria namely Abuja ,kano,port harcourt ,Benin ,Ibadan and owerri to mention a few trail to his lagos atelier for new designs
His involvement in the Nigeria short film industry , where his designs are seen styling old money characters like Shaffy Bello in Battleground series  , has exposed  the brand Ade Bakare brand to a wider appeal of tasteful fashion lovers .
Ade Bakare
Ade Bakare had gained a lot of experience designing costume designs for films in london ,he set up his fashion couture line in 1991 ,with a loan from the prince of Wales youth business trust (PYBT ) initially he had a ready to wear line of high end day and evening wear dresses he sold to boutiques and stores across the england and as far as the Channel Islands ,in 1998 he opened an atelier in Mayfair ,London to cater to private couture clients .Dele Momodu wrote a piece on him designing for a princess in Monaco in Ovation magazine that brought a lot of Nigerian and African clients to his london shop . Subsequently he was invited to show his collections at shows in lagos ,and became the official designer to the late 1st lady mrs stella obasanjo .opening his boutique in lagos came next
In London ade Bakare designed the clothes for the british actress Jacqueline okeze for her roll in a film called SPIN produced by dapo Oshinyemi in 1998 , after which the costume designer for the film The secret laughter of women ,approached him to produce clothes for the African characters ; ade says it was such an eye opener to how clothes and films worked .i had to look for a tailor in Brixton to make the buba( blouses) trousers  ( sokoto) and wrappers ( iro ) .they wanted an authentic original look ,so my couture skills were not needed ,some of the other clothes Like agbadas I had to loan off friends ,much to their delight they can recognise some of the clothes when they watch it today, Colin firth and joke silva appeared in the hit film . When ade Bakare was then approached to design the costumes for the film ” A place in the stars “,he said he was fully prepared ,it was the first major film where he was the costume designer .it was shot on 3 locations in Nigeria ,abuja ,jos and lagos,produced by steve gukas .ade says there’s a scene in the film with The actor  Arinze wearing a Remi lagos black and white kaftan
In 2016 Ade Bakare collaborated with the film producer of the series lekki wives designing the montage with the main actresses in his red dresses
Battleground then came next in 2017 . We visited the set and measured the actresses we were to design for ,at a lovely palatial house in Lekki ,where the series was shot .lots of cast and crew all very professional ,it’s no wonder it became the hit is is with great story lines .we had a wonderful time designing the costumes ,ade said he wanted to reflect the beauty of African textiles with emphasis on nigerian fabrics .we used a lot of vintage Aso oke which I sourced from markets as far as ijebu ode and Abeokuta .we bought old wrappers and head ties which provided lots of yardage to design beautiful ideas .this was before the current trend for sustainability fashion .Adire and ankara also featured prominently .alongside his couture fabrics he is known for ,such as organzas .chiffons and  gazars in rich colours
In this proust interview with Moriam Musa and Temi Erinfolami, he takes us into his world of elegance and beyond .

T & E – What is the source of inspiration for your diverse designs?
AB– My inspiration comes from what I see around me,it’s  trans visual ,according to the late fashion Designer  for the house of chanel Karl lagerfeld ; a recollection of images and thoughts .I get inspired by architecture ,textiles ,people ,places ,conversations ,books ,it’s endless. But for collections I would concentrate on a particular theme .This is a more rigid way of working and the viewer can also spot the references and see how successful one has been able to interpret  it .i e we have used ,Adire ,Maasai ,Sahara ,royalty as themes for previous collections
T & E – Do you feel starting out your brand in England gave you an edge over others?
  AB – I feel having trained in the UK as opposed to starting there was more beneficial .i had studied history at the university of Lagos ,so when i wanted to study fashion ,I was advised by the dean of st martins school of art ,london ,to do a technical course to help with pattern cutting .these courses are still of great help till today
T & E – What is your greatest extravagance?
AB- My greatest extravagance is travelling and eating out,I tend not to spare any expense
T & E – You’ve designed costumes for characters in movies like Lekki Wives and Battleground, is there any way costume designing is different from the everyday designing?
AB– Designing for a film is totally different from designing for fashion /clients ,with film your designing clothes according to the character,you have to understand the actors role and capture that essence through clothes
T & E – What is the quality you most admire in a person?
AB– , the quality I most admire in a person is honesty
T & E – Are you planning on launching a new fragrance anytime soon?
AB-, No new fragrance just yet, the new Ade Bakare couture signature fragrance is still being sold and we hope to get it into new countries ,especially in Africa
T & E – What do you feel sets you apart from other designers?
AB-, I don’t really feel I am apart from other designers. We just do things differently .Over the years we have created a signature look and we produce collections annually .with or without showing  at fashion shows  .
T & E – You have achieved a lot of things over the years but what would you say is your greatest achievement?
AB– , I feel my strongest achievement is that am still designing ,I set up in 1991 so next year marks 30 yrs I have been designing
T & E – Where do you see Ade Bakare Couture in the next 30 or few years?
AB-, My goal for the Ade Bakare couture brand is to have a permanent headquarters building in Nigeria ,and establishing branches in other African countries
T & E – What is it you treasure most in this world?
AB-, my faith in the Lord

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