Meet the Artist Who’s Sketching Some of West Africa’s Favorite Curvy Girls
Africa’s fashion industry is on a roll and we never cease to be excited when we come across a really cool body positive brand, product or person!
When we were tagged on Instagram by Omonigho Aito-Imonah, creative director of Naijafashionista we were blown away by her gorgeous illustrations especially on three of our favorite curvy media babes Latasha Ngwube(our Boss lady), Toolz Demuren (radio personality) and Peace Hyde (Forbes Africa Digital Head). She illustrated them as muses for an edgy denim capsule collection infused with lace, tulle, ankara and a whole lot of sass.
We tracked and caught up with the talented lady who’s sketched everyone from Seyi Shay to Simi as well as comedienne Chigul and Blank Panther’s Lupita Nyong’o. Her style is sleek, colorful and forever edgy. Omonigho has worked with Genevieve magazine and Jewel by Lisa (Lisa Folawiyo). She’s remade classic images and even thrown up an homage to Harlem’s DapperDan but always rounding it off with nods to her African roots. When she isn’t being whimsical and artistically bringing together fashion icons, she provides professional services to designers. Illustrated fashion sketches, training for brands, creating apprenticeship and internship opportunities for young designers and budding fashion illustrators or even those who just want a cool new hobby.
Imonah titles this capsule the “Reconstruction of deconstructed denim” and we are curious to know a little more about her…
ATCL: Are you a fashion designer?
Omonigho: A fashion designer is one who conceives, or conceptualizes design ideas, a fashion illustrator puts these ideas on paper in sketch format… I can conceptualize and sketch, so yes, I am a fashion designer.
ATCL: Why fashion illustration?
Omonigho: I had always had artistic inclinations as a child with tons of interests in fashion I followed the path.
ATCL: When and how did you start?
Omonigho: Fashion illustration wasn’t this big thing when I started drawing professionally in 2005 so I quit my job and took up illustrating full time. I saw the vacuum in the Nigerian fashion space and moved to fill it. Right after my Youth Service Corps I learned pattern making and then taught fashion illustration and pattern-making for a bit and then left the scene to get married. Three years later, I got a job as a free-lancer with Genevieve magazine, where I had my column titled ” Style Sketch”. I did this for two years and went back to teaching before accepting the position as illustrator/pattern-maker with Jewel by Lisa. In 2013, I saw the need for proper fashion illustration training in fashion schools in Lagos focused on this full time since then. and the average designer is always in need of new designs.
ATCL: Do you create these items yourself or you sketch already made designs?
Omonigho: I do both… I create and sketch designs that inspire me.
ATCL: Have you worked with any other fashion designers?
Omonigho: Asides from Lisa Folawiyo Of Jewel By Lisa I’ve also worked with Nancy Nwadire of Iconic Invanity.
ATCL: Do you follow any other fashion illustrators who inspire you?
Omonigho: Hayden Williams in England (I adore the sketchy, organic look of his illustrations), Lean Kid from Nigeria, for his life-like style, PapaOpong of Ghana and of course the master himself, Karl Lagerfield.
ATCL: Are there any fashion brands you would love to collaborate with?
Omonigho: Working with African fashion powerhouse Deola Sagoe, the European greats Chanel, YSL, Gucci and Prada would be a dream come true.