Yomi Adu Designs: Taking African Creativity to “Haute Couture”

| December 11, 2012

Yomi Adu Fall Cover

When Yomi’s mother began using her daughter as a sort of human mannequin, she may or may not have known that she was creating a designer-in-the-making, but with time it became evident even if Yomi would only consider it a hobby for many years to come. However, there was no denying the intrinsic need Yomi had to be different in the cloths she wore. She began making her own cloths to fit this need. In an interview with Afrikan Goddess, Yomi tells us of her dream to become a nurse, and how she came to become a haute couture designer instead. Maybe some dreams are just not in our destiny.

Yomi Adu Black

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well, what can I say? I was born in ilorin, Nigeria. I am the fourth child in a family of seven and I grew up having a lot of fun. There were lots of girls in my house, so there was always lots of fun things to do – it was either shoe competition time or fashion parade time. My mother ran a fashion business from her home office so she experimented her designs on us as we were growing up.

Yomi Adu bw 1

What inspired you to begin designing clothes?

My mom. She inspired me. She taught me how to drape when I was 10. Years later, I found that I had this need to always look different and unique at events, so I ended up designing a new outfit for almost every church service, every birthday party and every friends hangout. People would compliment me on my pieces and their interest pushed me further into making fashion a business.

How long have you been designing clothes?

Officially, I have been designing for 4 years. I used to help my mother design and sew in her shop when I was little. But fashion was never more than a hobby to me then. I wanted to be a nurse.

Yomi Adu Red Look

What led you to begin designing ‘haute couture’? Do you use African fabrics in some of your designs? Which would you say is your most demanded style to date?

I would say I was drawn by the need for my clients to look unique with pieces crafted to fit their individual bodies. I personally like sample materials because they limit the duplicity of each piece. I use African prints for blazers on demand, though there is no African piece in the lookbook collection. This is because we wanted to create a completely ‘non-ethic’ neutral look.

My clients love my jacket pieces a lot. I believe it has something to do with the cuts and the perfect finishing; it just keeps them coming back (laughs)

Yomi Adu white look

Do you design anything else apart from clothes?

Well, before I fully entered into fashion, I was a full time graphic designer. I still do a bit of it when time permits.

Your website says “Yomi Adu’ is a ‘made to measure’ brand…” What does that mean, “made to measure brand”?

Made-to-measure garments are constructed to fit each customer individually, each pattern is constructed based on the customer’s measurement.

Do you design clothes with a certain clientele in mind?

My clientele basically ranges from the average teenage girl to the working class woman who knows the essence of standing out with her own unique look.

Is it safe to assume that your creations only cater to women, or do you design clothes for men as well?

Yes I only do womenswear, I’m inspired by the diversity in the woman figure.

What are your typical design sizes?

My designs are for every body types; plus, petite, pear shape, apple shape, hourglass you name it, each piece is made with the goal of flattering a woman’s figure – every woman.

What about the Yomi Adu team, tell us a little bit about your team.

The company is growing. Back in Lagos I was working with my sister,Yetunde Adu. She handles patterns and most of the administrative work while I handle designing and production.We have some drop off help from time to time, but the story in New York is different. There is a high demand for african couture by Africans and native Americans so I am currently working to build a bigger team to meet this demand.
Afrikan Goddess: What are some of the challenges you face as a designer within the industry?

My biggest challenge right now is building my team. I only want to work with the best hands.

Where is Yomi Adu based? Besides online, do you have any other locations where clients can visit/contact you?

I recently moved to NY and I am currently working towards my ready-to-wear line which will be available in stores. Clients for made-to-measure designs may visit the office by appointment only by contacting (info@yomiadu.com).

For more information on Yomi Adu, or to contact the designer, visit www.yomiadu.com; or on her facebook page at www.facebook.com/yomiadufashiondesigner. You will also find her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/yomiadu 

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AFRIKAN GODDESS MAGAZINE is a subsidiary of Afrikan Goddess Media, LLC. Our content is designed with the educated, professional, classy, charming and sassy African woman in mind. We encourage women to express their creativity and ideas through writing, and also serve as a platform for meaningful discussions and exchange of ideas.

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