Binta Shuaibu is the Creative Director of Vintage Colette (VC), a Kano based fashion house. She believes a woman can be conservative yet stylish, beautiful and very fashionable. Binta Shuaibu won the MTN/British Council Young Designer Award for 2011 at the recently held MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week in November last year.
Here is an interview with her:
What does the word fashion mean to you?
Fashion means three basic things to me; comfortable, artistic and stylish. Fashion is a personal self expression that reflects the radiance from within one’s individuality.
How would you describe the Nigerian fashion industry as it is today?
The Nigerian fashion industry has really improved over the decades and is still on the verge for more improvement. Nigeria is a country with a lot of talented and creative minds. The last decade has unveiled a lot of potentials from the Nigerian fashion industry featuring in the most famous fashion shows in the world.
Tell us a little about your background, education, career and how your fashion career started?
I am an indigene of Gombe state but was born and raised in Kano State. I attended St. Louis primary and secondary schools in Kano. I studied Biochemistry and also had my Cisco certified networking academy course from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. After serving in FCT I got married and moved back to Kano where I enrolled at Alliance francaise and obtained an equivalent degree certificate in French language. I then enrolled for a Masters course in International Affairs and Diplomacy (MIAD) at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria which I completed earlier last year that is 2011.
My fashion career was something that started as a hobby from the age of eight when I watched the late Maryam Babangida on television. I began sketching and my fashionable parents also helped me with styling my wardrobe and dressing smartly from a tender age. At the age of 13, my mum sent me to a tailoring school at the women’s centre in FCT for a three month course. I didn’t like the classes because I preferred the cookery classes and also because I was the youngest in the class and was constantly teased by the other women that my parents sent me there because they had plans of marrying me off as soon as I completed my secondary school. They teased me and said I was going to be a tailor in the future. I hated going for the classes.
I eventually continued to sketch as a hobby for myself, family and friends but stopped after a while because people thought my designs were too eccentric. Later on, after having a baby I decided to continue without worrying so much about what others thought. I simply focused on what I felt from the inside and put it down on a piece of paper.
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