• Latest News

    Saturday, May 28, 2016

    I Still Wear English Clothes But It's Quite Rare -Kola Kuddus

    Kola Kuddus, started out very simple. He was a personal shopper and stylist for friends before he decided to focus on making clothes for men. His dissatisfaction with regular brands he used to style his friends led him to starting his own fashion design company.
    His clothes for the modern man has showcased at high profile shows such as Lagos style week. His collections of clothes are long lasting, high quality and timeless. He started as a personal shopper in 2004, and grew into designing and outsourcing. The man behind the label, Kola Kuddus Couture is set to conquer the retail market as his brand is available throughout Lagos, Nigeria and eventually globally. He has come through the ranks of emerging designers to be in a place were he has forged and consolidated his place in the Nigerian fashion industry
    The Creative Director and CEO of Kola Kuddus Couture, Kola Kuddus, tells Ademola Olonilua about his style and brand

    You mostly wear traditional attire. Is it a deliberate effort?
    To be honest with you, I used to wear a lot of English wears, suits, shirts back in the days but now, I am prominently known as an African inspired fashion brand. That is why most of the time I wear African inspired pieces. I still wear English clothes but it is quite rare.

    How many English wears do you have in your closet?
    I don’t know the exact number but I know they are so few I can count them. But I have a lot of traditional attire.

    How have you been able to keep fit?
    I am beginning to have a little pot belly but I am trying to work on it. What I do is that I try to hit the gym at least once in a week. I also like to swim during the weekend and I jog within my estate; I also watch my diet.
    It seems you are not a big fan of men’s jewellery…
    I am not a big fan of gold or silver chains, I would rather wear a rose gold or a shamballa necklace but that is not something I love to do often because I don’t like accessories around my neck. Maybe on my hand or any other part of my body, I usually don’t wear accessories on my neck.

    What is your fashion weakness?
    That would be wristwatches or shoes. If I forget my wristwatch at home, I would definitely turn back to pick it.

    What is the story behind your full beard?
    I have been keeping my beard for about seven years. It has to do with my religion, personal style and it is also a trademark for my brand as well.

    But it is so full, is it not itchy?
    No, it is not itchy but like I said, it is part of the brand and since I care for my brand, I also care for my beard too. I buy the right beard oil and I groom it properly. I do everything that is necessary to make the beard healthy.

    Are you comfortable with the grey hair that is sprouting out of the beard?
    The grey hair is still part of my style and there is no need for me to dye it even though I am still a young man. It is all part of the style I am portraying.

    There is a sharp contrast between your head and your jaw line. You are bald but you have a full beard, what is the idea behind the look?
    That is part of the brand signature as well that the brand has decided to adopt, which is to have a low cut or a skin shave head with full beard. May be the next transformation would be hair on the head without beard but as for now, this is the trademark for the brand.

    You were recently spotted with ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, how did that happen?
    We had a client that came to us to get some pieces for the ex-president as a gift. Initially, we did not know who the person was buying them for but I learnt that when he was given the gift, he requested to meet with us and that is how I was able to meet the ex-president. I took his proper measurement and we spoke about other ideas of styles that we can always do for him.

    When your client told you Obasanjo wanted to see you, what was your initial reaction?
    To be honest, I was skeptical at first but knowing the kind of business I run, we meet a lot of people at different times and places. So, I gave it a shot because I believed the client and it was a dream come true for me at the end of the day.
    How did you feel when you were taking the measurement of the ex-president?
    It was more of an endorsement of my brand and validating what I have been doing. For an ex-president to say he likes my job and request to meet me, it says a lot to me. It is a plus and another feather to the brand.

    When you started your business, did you ever imagine that such could happen to you?
    I would say yes and no; yes because every brand has a dream and it is to get to the peak of their career, doing nice pieces for the highest level of people which definitely would include presidents or ex-presidents. Whether you think directly about it or not, you just want to get to the peak of your career. I said no because I doubt I ever imagined doing anything for an ex-president but I definitely knew that I would always clothe great people.

    As a model, don’t you wish you had six packs?
    Maybe I should have done that in the past and if I want to have it, that would be sometime in the future but right now, it is not in the brand strategy.

    Why do you cater only for men?
    To be honest, when I started out, I used to do female clothing but I realised I had more strength in men’s clothing, so I decided to go for what I was better off doing. Sometime in the future, we still intend to go into women and children’s wear.

    What would you never be caught wearing?
    I can never be caught wearing skinny jeans. I cannot wear such because it is not a part of me or my brand.

    What is your most cherished fashion item?
    It would be my clothes because they look very good on me. I get a lot of compliments when I buy them and a lot of people also want to have the kind of pieces I wear.

    Have you ever made a red carpet mistake that makes you laugh when you think about it?
    There is none I can remember because most of my pieces are minimalistic designs even though they are well detailed. Most times there are usually little chances for making errors except when you combine the pieces in the wrong way. For me, I would hardly make a fashion error on the red carpet.

    Most celebrity designers have often complained that celebrities do not like paying for services rendered. Have you ever been faced with such a challenge?
    I have been lucky because most times, our cloths appeal to the celebrities so they want to have them; they usually pay us even though we give some people at discount prices. Most times we sell our pieces because they get to appreciate them and they don’t mind parting away with money for them.

    What are some of the challenges you face?
    The economy is in a recession now, so sales have dropped. People are not buying clothes like before and everything is generally dull. This does not make anybody happy. Now we have to spend more money to get diesel and we have to increase the salary of the staff because they are already complaining about extra expenses in terms of transportation and feeding. But you cannot directly increase the cost of the clothes because people are not buying. You cannot increase the cost of clothes when people are not buying. These are just generally bad times. There are several challenges like trying to get funds to push the business forward and things are not working out.

    How do you relax?
    I love to swim. I also create time for my family; I love spending time with them. I love to watch movies. My wife is a big fan of series so at our spare time we watch a lot of them.
    What is the most cherished gift your wife has ever given you?
    That would be my children. Apart from material things, it would be my children because the thought of them alone makes me happy and fulfilled.

    How about material things?
    They are material things and I cherish every one of them because everything she gives me comes from the depth of her heart. I cherish everything.

    How do you balance being a family man with your work?
    The brand is growing, so one needs to start delegating works to people because you cannot do everything yourself. I delegate a lot of work, I have managers, assistant managers, design directors; we work together as a team. I have a lot of responsibility shared among my workers. Everybody has a work description and they know what to do. I have my job description as the creative director and chief executive officer of the company. With that, I am able to create out time for myself and family.

    What is the oldest fashion item in your closet?
    That would be the wristwatch my father gave me as a gift during my matriculation into the university.

    • Blogger Comments
    • Facebook Comments


    Item Reviewed: I Still Wear English Clothes But It's Quite Rare -Kola Kuddus Rating: 5 Reviewed By: BrandIconImage
    Scroll to Top