SATIRE SATURDAY: How to identify your Lagos “tailor” or “fashion designer” who will disappoint, By Oladeinde Olawoyin

A tailor used to illustrate the story (Photo Credit: Nigerianmonitor)

SATIRE SATURDAY isn’t oblivious to the existence of that tailor in Dutse who disappoints, the vulcaniser in Ibadan who ‘over-pumps’ the tyre, and the carpenter in Awka who resorts to hide-and-seek game when the customer approaches. But there is something fascinating about their colleagues in Lagos: they bring ‘swagger’ into their own way of breaching agreement and disappointing clients.

Yet, since there are many Lagos artisans who are quite ethical and never disappoint their clients, this column would as usual highlight possible signs to identify the Lagos artisan who serially breaches agreement and wears disappointment like designer kits.

First, the tailor–– or as some often prefer to be called, “Fashion Designer”.

The Lagos “Fashion designer” or “Tailor” is all shades of awesomeness––he is skilled, cosmopolitan and quite ‘woke’. But hidden in between him and his sewing machine are tales of disappointments by clients, from Amuwo-Odofin through Lagos Island. So making a choice between a Lagos tailor and “Fashion designer” is a dicey one.

But, frankly, the biggest sign of detecting one who serially disappoints lies in the manner he chooses to be addressed. If, upon visiting him in his shop, you notice that the inscription on his signboard reads “fashion designer” and not “tailor”, be careful.

The difference between these two nomenclatures is in the humility that comes with their pronunciation. “T-a-i-l-o-r” is one word that is very easy to pronounce and sounds so rural and down-to-earth, unlike “Fashion Designer”, a problematic two-word that is shamelessly pseudo-woke. And so while a tailor has the propensity to be humble and listen carefully to clients, a “fashion designer” is likely going to be arrogant and hubristic. He will likely destroy your clothe.

Anyone who sews clothe must make use of tape measure, conventionally one,

which is worn around the neck during clothe measurement. But when a potential “tailor” or “fashion designer” has two tapes around his neck, look no further for signs of looming disappointment. There are those who wear the tape measure around their necks like necklace while gallivanting around the street; they are the most notorious disruptors of party plans you will ever find around. Majority of them only mask their incompetence by those things worn around their neck.

Every Nigerian loves money, including the tailor and his client. A phone call, sometimes, might be the one step away from a million dollar clothe sewing deal. (Imagine getting a phone call from about 50 clients, maybe members of same social club, interested in Ebuka’s famed Agbada style at the cost it was reportedly made).

So it follows that the one who sews clothe would likely not joke with phone calls, incoming calls especially. But when you notice that he avoids call, just run and run far, far away from him/her. There is high possibility your calls would be avoided too, of course after he has ensured that your plans have been ruined.

The “Fashion designer” charges exorbitantly and is always busy in his shop yet you would not get your clothe at the right time. The tailor, experiences have shown, charges way less and rarely disappoints. Where the Fashion designer charges, say, N200,000 for an Agbada, the tailor may charge N2,750 and you’d still get your clothe at the agreed time. The downside, however, is that in place of an Ebuka-type Agbada, you might get a parachute.


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