INTERVIEW: ‘How I started fashion design in Kannywood’

As the Kannywood movie industry grows, so is its production and behind-the-scenes, which include costuming and make-ups.

For the first time in the industry, a professional cloth designer was hired to design costumes for an up-coming Sadau Pictures’ movie, Rariya. PREMIUM TIMES spoke to the designer, Zainab Salihijo.

PT: How did you get into fashion design?

Zainab: My story of how I got into fashion design is the same as any other fashion designer. I like to think of myself as a fashion entrepreneur. About four years ago, one of my friends asked me to make a few things for her to wear after her wedding. So I started making things for family and friends based on orders and that’s how I got into it.

PT: You design and sell clothes to some Kannywood actresses. Who are they and how did you meet them?

Zainab: I have only designed clothes for Rahama Sadau for now. She is Pink Fleur’s brand ambassador. We met on Instagram and became quick friends.

PT: How often do they (Kannywood) patronize your clothes?

Zainab: They only patronized the brand once, Pink Fleur. My brand name did the wardrobe for a movie called Rariya of which Rahama Sadau was the producer.

PT: Do you import the material and make them here or you get them all here in Nigeria?

Zainab: All our garments are made in Nigeria. We buy everything in Nigeria.

PT: How do you intend to drive more patronage even beyond Kannywood actresses and actors?

Zainab: Right now, the brand just aims to be better. We are stocking in three cities in Nigeria now: Abuja, Kaduna and Lagos. This way, we get to expand to many more people across Nigeria. We are planning on stocking in Kano and this will bring in even more clients for us.

PT: Do you do female clothing only or you do both male and female?

Zainab: Female and girls aged 1-5.

PT: How do you combine your work, marriage and fashion?

Zainab: Honestly, I don’t even know how I do it. I just do somehow. I have a lot help, my staff both at home and the store are amazing and I couldn’t do it without them.

PT: What was your motivation?

Zainab: Those who seek fashion advice and assistance always motivate me, they make me feel like I am doing something right. My husband, he is always pushing me to be better.

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PT: Were you in any kind of fashion school, or training before now?

Zainab: Yes. I am even currently in fashion illustration school and my instagram is @pinkfleur.


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