Well-published undergraduate journalist, Miftaudeen Raji is turning his attention to the fashion business, as a result of his passion for African-inspired designs, while working on his debut collection.
Raji, a University of Lagos (UNILAG) 300L Mass Communication undergraduate, in an interview with journalists on Monday, stated that he is putting plans in place to fully go into the business of fashion with a view to taking full advantage of the potentials of the industry.
He also added that plans are underway to launch his dream clothing brand and debut collection, which he is yet to name, in 2017.
Asked as to his actual brand name, he said he is working on reaching a compromise on a name that suits his taste, personality and the brand of his dream. “Right now, I am still very meticulous over the corporate identity of my brand. I want to ensure a lot of things are perfected before unveiling because whatever image I present to the public now remains forever and I don’t want anything short of excellence,” he said.
He noted that his decision was inspired by the high level of interest he has in fashion and the need to be entrepreneurial as a student.
He said he is determined to key into the aspirations of the government in producing and buying Nigerian brands to grow the nation’s economy.
Noting that journalism has availed him deep insight into the fashion industry, he said the industry holds lots of potentials youths can tap from.
Speaking on the prospects of the fashion industry, he said, “The Nigerian fashion industry has been said to be worth about $10bn (about N1.5trillion). Some stakeholders have also projected that African fashion alone can grow to become a $15.5billion industry in the next five years. Globally, the creative and fashion industry is estimated to be potentially worth about $5 trillion in annual turnover”.
Raji said the world is now aware of the industry and the capabilities of its designers, adding that several designers from Africa now feature in international fashion shows. “This implies that if given the right investment, African designers can compete well on the world stage,” he added.
Before veering into the fashion industry, Raji had enrolled in a Lagos fashion school to optimize his expertise in professional fashion, worked with several professional designers and attended several fashion design events.
He participated in the last edition of the Nigerian Students’ Fashion Design Week and the London Fashion Design Week.
The journalist-turned-designer is skilled in sketching with modern computer-aided applications and has a repository of sketched works to his credit. He has also worked on a yet-to-be-unveiled designer collection that features attractive styles and themes.
The fashion enthusiast started his journalism career in 2011 as a reporter for a campus newspaper “MAPECHO” (MAPOLY Echo) during his first year in the Mass Communication department at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ojere, Abeokuta.
Between 2011 and 2013, Raji was attached to Nigerian Pilot newspaper (now National Pilot) for his three-month SIWES and one-year industrial attachment (IT), where he published stories in several editions of Iwe-Iroyin, a quarterly newspaper published by the Ogun State Council of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ).
- While he had served as editor of several newspapers and magazines, Raji has also consistently published news stories in the education and campus pull-outs of several Nigerian dailies including The Nation, National Mirror and the Nigerian Tribune.
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