Though a graduate of Mass Communication of the Osun State Polytechnic, Fadairo Temitope Usman has his hands in many pies, including event planning, Master of Ceremony (MC), and fashion designing. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 10: 4 Hanging speaks with FLORENCE OLUGBODI on his journey into the fashion business and his ultimate goal.
What has been your source of motivation in this fashion line?
I found fashion designing interesting, it is what I love to do. My motivation as far as the fashion industry is concern is mixing of color and seeing people look outstanding and unique. I love it when people have great taste for fashion, the way people dress motivate me to come up with different designs.
For how long have you been into fashion line and any award or achievement so far?
I have been in the fashion line since 2015. My brand,10:04 Hanging, was awarded the Supportive Brand of the Year in 2019. My school, Osun Poly, awarded me the Most Socialized and Industrious Male Students of the Year. I was also awarded the Osun State Entrepreneurer of the Year same 2019, while I was also honoured as the Fashion Designer of the Year in 2019.
On my achievements so far, I have been able to work on a lot of outfits for people in Nigeria and outside the country. I have a showroom that is on Google map where we displayed both male and female outfits. We also have a website. I have also made outfits for many celebrities.
What does it take to become an outstanding fashion designer?
To become an outstanding fashion designer, you have to be focused, have eyes for colours and be educated. Education enhances fashion designing. Everything is not practical. There are lots of objectives involved in fashion designing, it gives the advantage to communicate with styles. And to be an outstanding designer, you must also be social, be able to relate with everyone and you have to know how to sell your brand.
Was there anything in particular that inspired you to go into fashion industry?
What actually inspired me was a course we did during my National Diploma (ND)- Broadcast Production. It was a broadcasting group assignment and we were given a topic on entrepreneurship of which I anchored. My colleagues in the group back then were all entrepreneurs. So, anchoring the assignment then inspired me into the fashion industry.
Are there challenges since the inception of your business and how has it shaped the way you do things?
There are lot of challenges in the fashion industry. Some customers choice are far beyond their pockets And when you do what their money could afford for them, they will complain that what you give them is not what they wanted.
Another challenge is client paying or making part-payment for their outfits and lots of them defaulting in paying up the balance. However, ever since I discovered that, my orientation has changed and I change my ways. We make outfit, make it available before they even come and pick it up in a conducive environment which is pick-as-you-pay, and this has been working.
Have you any regrets doing what you do? Did you ever considered quitting?
Not at all. No regret whatsoever. It never crossed my mind to quit because I love what I am doing.
How do you source for fund for your business?
I have supporters who are always willing to lend a helping hand. There are people who love fashion and are ready to give fashion industry their all. Later in the year, we will have a fashion show and there are people who have already indicated interest to support this.
How lucrative is fashion business and can you advise anyone to go into it?
Talking about how lucrative, I really thank God because this business has brought me lots of connections and afforded me the privillege of meeting people. It has given me a lot of opportunities which is part of the things that has been giving a perfect price to what I want to sell. But one must always make perfect work. The finishing has to be good. Outfit also transform gesture, changes body language. Someone that dons perfect outfit will definitely be happy. Reason why it is important to put perfection in the work. Thus, for me, fashion work is one of the sweetest ever.
Is there any target for this business and where do you see your brand in the next five years?
My target is to explore the world and in five years time, I see my brand partnering with big names like Louis Voiltine, Gucci and all those big brands.