Fashion in Nigeria has got a vibe and the kind of trends we see on a daily, even on the billboards are the ideas of some creative people, their definition of what luxury is supposed to be, changing the definition of our everyday styles and making clothes on a body interesting and innovative, telling us we can live happy more if only we dress more, the happiness and satisfaction clothes gives you when you wear them and the prestige, the feel is all he put into thought before he creates, each dot and cut has a meaning, it’s all in details all the attention paid to each piece.
The first time I met him was mesmerizing, really didn’t know the person behind Message, but his card was attractive and his sense of luxury you see on the card the colors and the images on the card, after the call he was able to booked us into his day, we parked at the front of the Opebi showroom I got the Message from the card, the feel of the Romans and the idea of the early luxury the boldness and the daring vibe, vintage shirt stand beside the Roman iron soldier and a sound system from the era that created luxury, to compliment the glassed space upstairs is a mannequin that wore the new line of Message, this new line is about showing and telling the luxury of our local style, the green piece was created in colors that mix and buttons that speak the richness of the fabric and the charisma to possess when you wear the clothes, just like every piece he create element of luxury you see, that’s what his designs are about luxury.
Walking in to his office he was sitting side the Mable table, he welcomed us in and he was friendly and welcoming he started talking to us like we’ve known each other for ages, was kind of asking myself if maybe we’ve met before that I can’t remember, we talked about everything from the daily pain in the country, the economy and even about his family, he was generous too, so I introduce the show to him, told him what the show is about the idea of the show and what we intended to achieve with the show, was a bit skeptical at first then he bought it and we book the weekend for the shoot, 10:00am.
One thing I’ve notice in this town is whatever you plan, have another side plan for the weather especially, the weather can always utter your plan, that Saturday morning it started raining early in the morning, it rained till 9:00am and even as at that time it was till raining and we are already running late, managed to get to the office to meet the crew and get everything set, in this town too, you plan for holdups, you can’t tell what can happen though some area you can forecast the time you might get caught up in the holdup but sometimes you’ll be taking by surprise but lucky us on this day the holdup was moving, so we got to the showroom, the red building at Opebi and we met Message again.
In the showroom you’ll want to live, in the showroom you’ll wish to be your wardrobe, every piece you’ll love and he called it the alternative store, you don’t see the regular things you see on the online store or boutiques there, here you see things that rank with Yezzy, good quality of material choice, the designs are jaw dropping and how they fit on the body. First room he took us to was the show room on the left when you enter, the room house the alternative shirts and Tshirts, boots, corporate shoes too, some few suits and the collected vintage pieces, the three piece brown vintage box with shoes on it, the silver coated iron two piece boxes, the floor too was a brown old wooden formica floor, the room house the idea of vintage luxury infused with the modern definition of luxury that he’s creating, even the table where the sales rep sit is a glassed iron framed with ornamented ceramic deep plate arranged alongside a chest box.
The next room he took us to, at the center of the room sit a wooden chair that look like what a Picasso made, raw and fine, on one of the mannequin was a rooster studded with fine blinks on the Tshirt and a black and red leather biker jacket. This room basically is the room for the alternative Tshirts and Jackets and pants, there was a particular black velvet pant that one will like to live in, with a white detailed strip by both side of the pant as we walk to the next room that basically housed the suits a sleeveless denim jacket was hanging before the entrance, beautiful with floral designs at strategic place with no pocket by the sides he made me try it on like he predicted it just fit my outfit for that day and as we walk into the suit room, I started thinking suit, some of the suit hanging there I was able to recognize from the AMVCA red carpet, the suit are modern and some are bold and daring and only people that take risk will want to wear them, even men from the alter shop in his store, to shop in this store all you need first is to have a taste of style.
Like he said he stopped producing for women but right now he’s beginning to think women collections and soon we’ll get to see his women collection. His prediction for the fashion industry is one that breeds hope, his forecasts for the industry in the next ten years is “There’ll be no fashion in the next ten years, style will dominate, style will take over the word fashion”
As the Master he train people too, lots of people has pass through him and they are doing good, one of them is MsModish and his daughter too, like father like daughter I guess, she’s fifteen now and she’s been creating since she was five, she paints, like the father he’s a natural, drew a lot when he was young and painted too and he’s been in the clothing industry since then, created piece at his young age of ten – eleven, even sold clothes.
Though he schooled in Lagos Maryland Comprehensive and Nnamdi Azikwe University where he read Political Science and after all that passion took over, for someone like Message you tend to wonder where he gets his inspiration for all his creation from, he’s that man that get his inspiration from the day to day activities, as a well-traveled man, new town and environment have a huge influence on his creation and for him he just takes the day as it comes, the vibe of the day dictate the mood and fun of the day.
As a stylist you never get to enjoy somebody to style you often and when Message decide to style you that’s an honor, he took me into the room that house bit of the different collection and he brought this beautiful black Tshirt with a flat rope with white writing that adds a unique details to both side of the Tshirt and a silver iron zip by the breast pocket and a brown long sleeve trench shirt with a picture patch at the back and I was looking Message made.
Message Creative Director – Ifeanyi Okonkwo
Location – 94, Opebi Road, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Instagram – @message_clothing