…”I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it until I started getting emails from friends”…Ivie Omenai
Fashion designer and retail entrepreneur – Ivie Omenai , the brain behind the exquisite fashion accessory brand – Raya , is on our personality radar today .
Her designs of clusters of beautiful stones in bold colors and unique shapes have created an identity for themselves over time – hence you can easily spot a Raya piece from a distance without going wrong . So, who is behind these exquisite jewelry every IT girl seems to be wearing?
After having worked in Paris, New York and now, Lagos, Ivie started Raya from noticing how few jewellery brands offered on trend luxury that was well packaged and affordable and this discovery coincided with her trip to India where she saw beautiful semi precious stones being used to create jewellery. According to her in an interview, …..“Why should a Nigerian have to wait for a brand like Swarovski to come to Nigeria? Why not start it ourselves!
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THE FASHION BACKGROUND
With a degree in fashion manufacturing, Ivie got a job as a handbag designer and fell in love with accessories as she did not have to think about sizing and fit- this was so much more straight forward. This also meant her creative eye is constantly at work thinking “oh nice jumpsuit, is that bag a grain leather?” or “I wonder if those earrings are heavy?”
INSPIRATION & DESIGN PROCESS
Drawn from her immediate environment , personal moods, experimental shapes and re-modelling of popular designs or even customer feedback, is what helps for a collection. Culture also plays a role in influencing the designs, especially in Nigeria where we have a rich culture of people and styles. As Ivie pus it ….“I design piece that reflect who i think my customer wants to be. This means that in a cosmopolitan city like Lagos, almost anything goes. There are expatriates who love the simple stud designs, and Nigerians that love the bigger bolder pieces. This leaves a lot of room to play! With a collection of 10 , each design, usually 2 per colour, the Raya brand keeps the design process consistent and fresh.