Photography by Antesart
So much power, poise and custom sauce flows from this brand. Anike Ologe. It's been a HOT while since we've had a showcase of another ' one of a kind' clothing range that features wears for the ladies so it was a must that we heard from Jennifer Esan. The Nigerian designer and model who kindly talked about her come up story in her career.
Sustainability, satisfaction and stand out appeal are what confidently forever flows through from this brand flying in all the way from the West Side of Africa and the motherland.
Jennifer gives grace with her compelling, mind-expanding and sends a positive outlook and perception of creativity, the history and more importantly mentions blessed memories of her early days working with renowned designers across the map as well as sharing a last inspiring note from the new generation coming up and her hopes for the view of African creativity. Enjoy
1. Jennifer Esan, what a debut it is by you. Anike Ologe is deeply divine. Take us back to the start. How did the fashion brand rise up to where it is today? Jennifer: Thank you so much!! Whew, the start. TBH I wish I had a big story about how passionate I was about fashion before I started Anike Ologe. But that’s not the reality. I was a shy simple girl in school. I liked basic things, I baked which I loved for a while. I had no sense of what I liked or did not like. I started learning how to make clothes as a way of keeping myself busy as well as learning what I liked and did not like about myself. 5 years later, Im here, doing it, and absolutely loving it.
2 . From some of the work seen the archives run far and beyond. Before you started out in fashion how were the early times for you growing up in Nigeria as a creative? Jennifer: Haha, like I said earlier, I wasn’t a creative oo. Lool. The highest I did after school was model. People seemed to like how I posed when I took pictures and I did for a very short while. I don’t remember a full time before now. All my old pictures had me in very shabby looking clothes because I had no sense of style. The best clothes I had were my Sunday bests which my mum bought for me.
Growing up in Nigeria, I was shielded from a lot of things, things I had to discover and learn on my own. Now, I’m inspired by a lot of things, by powerful confident women, I’m inspired by the texture of fabrics, I'm inspired by African designers before me. I’m inspired by vintage designs of women wearing fabulous dresses in the 70s and in the 50s. French Passion in the 50s. African fashion in the 50s.
Photography by Kennedy Amaku
3. That’s powerful. There is so much beauty, richness and uniqueness in African fashion and culture. What’s one of your favourite things about fashion as a designer and also who are some of your industry models coming up? Jennifer: I would say the women. Because of Anike Ologe, I have been blessed to meet so many women. I love the quick banter we have when im fitting them, I love their smile, and how happy my brand has made them just by wearing an outfit that has made them feel confident. I love being recognized for my work and people saying ohhh I love your brand! Because I like to think, something has sparked joy for them in that regard. Industry models? They are so many talented people, Fablanebyderin, Mira Bukar, Andrea Iyamah, Kai Collective, Im inspired by the rise of HouseofCB, by the designs of Carolina Herrera (she's not coming up lool), song of style… so many brands by Women. 4. Now this one is a bit of fun. If you could design a custom-made dress for three celebrities or fashion models who would they be and what style of dress would you design for them? Jennifer: I would design for Abigail Obasi, Jennifer Oseh and Onyiibekeh. Whew, I would put Onyiibekeh in a drama two-piece, I love seeing her in pants and a good crop top or shirt, I would style a crazy Ankara dress for Abigail, I love how she rocks her Ankara pieces. Jennifer Oseh would be interesting. There is no one like her, I would work with her, probably match different pieces and patterns together to make a dress.
5. With your fashion works there are so many styles, fits and energetic tones. What reception do you hope they show about African culture and the arts? Jennifer: Honestly I hope it shows that you can be many things at the same time. I love the strides that designers like Lisa Folawiyo, Hanifa, and Deola Sagoe are making right now in the fashion industry. I hope it inspires, I love that we are taking back our voices and we are using it to show our talents, to show our hearts. African fashion is already redefined, and I know we would keep prospering in that light. Everyone is portraying their art the way they want to, and they are all making strides. I hope it inspires the young girl at home who is wondering if she should go to fashion school. I hope it inspires the girl who went to fashion school to start her brand. I hope it continues to inspire me. I know it will.
6. It was nice to find out more about yourself and Anike Ologe. What can we expect from your brand coming soon. Do you have pop-ups or new merchandise coming up or even commercials on the way? haha
Jennifer: Thank you so much!! Thank you for the opportunity to speak about Anike Ologe and also for all the support and love. All these questions took me way back. Yes! Anike would have a new collection come out in June 2022, So please stay tuned.