Vivian Zadok, is the creative director of VZ Creations and the Coordinator of Fashion Rebirth. In this interview with STELLAMARIES AMUWA, she appeals to Nigerians to look within and shrug off western validation.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am from Numan, Adamawa State.
What prompted your journey into the fashion industry?
I picked interest in fashion from a very tender age, my mom was a seamstress. It became a passion when I started making clothes for my children. After a while, I started getting small orders from close friends and family. Sewing became my side hustle until I realised that I was making more from the side hustle than my main job, so I decided to concentrate on the fashion business and grow it.
What are the challenges so far in running VZ Creations?
I have come to realise that those things we see as challenges in life generally, are actually building blocks and stepping stones. In this business some of those challenges are erratic power supply, lack of funding and myriads of others. I have decided not to see those things as obstacles anymore because what can not be cured must be endured. I have learned to work with what I have with a positive disposition and make the best of it.
Regret is a waste of time. In every circumstance good or bad there’s always a lesson to learn from it.
What’s the motive behind Fashion Rebirth show 2020?
Fashion Rebirth is a movement we started four years ago to shine the spotlight on upcoming fashion designers and sensitise fashion buyers, especially boutique owners, to start sourcing their merchandise within the confines of Nigeria. The fashion show is a part of the movement and it’s an annual event that showcases the talent and creativity of fashion designers to fashion buyers.
2020 has been challenging to all and sundry, and truly we were tempted to cancel this year’s event for obvious reasons. But when the lockdown was lifted, we decided to go on with our plans in order to encourage ourselves to look inward and come up with innovations to stay afloat and remain relevant.
What has been your goal in branding?
As an eco friendly brand, we seek to improve all stages of garment life cycle to use, reuse, repair, remake and recycle the product and it’s components. Our goal is to increase the value of our production and products, to prolong the life cycle of materials, to increase the value of timeless garments and to reduce the amount of waste and harm to the environment.
Who is your mentor?
My favourite established fashion designers are all Nigerian designers, because with all the issues in Nigeria, they are still able to build formidable businesses, and that has been my source of encouragement. That if they can make in spite of all these challenges, I cannot be an exception. Some of them are:
Seyi Adekunle of Vodi, Maiatafo
Ituen Bassey and many others.
How do you manage to stay focused in this industry?
I think what has helped me to be focused is my love for what I do. I learned a long time ago from my Dad, that once you find a job you love you’ll never work a day in your life. Your work becomes leisure and when you are paid for doing what you love, it’s double payment.
What influenced your personal fashion and style?
My personal style is comfort, I like to be comfortable in what I wear. Simplicity is bliss.
What’s your post COVID -19 measures to move up to the next level?
We are having to rethink their production cycle, resource access and process of production. It’s obvious that we need a lot of infrastructural development more than ever before, our supply chain needs proper investment to scale up production and distribution to the mass market at lower costs. I strongly feel that if our textile industry is revived, it will help in so many ways. The collection I showcased this year at fashion Rebirth is tagged
‘SWEET REVIVE’, to advocate the use of locally made fabrics especially ‘adire’ for school uniforms and other essential garments. I designed camouflage and school uniforms using adire techniques. I believe it’s time for us to begin to look within and shrug off western validation.
What is your take on the new normal, staying fashionable with facemask?
We have to embrace the new normal and make the best of it. We have trendy face masks to match every outfit so it’s kind of fun, dressing up and looking fine in exotic facemasks and face shields.
What makes you happy?
So many things make me happy: my children, my family, friends, work and I love it when I am able to make someone happy.
How do you unwind?
I sit out with friends or go to the movies with my kids.
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