There’s nothing more beautiful than calibrating fashion cerebrally. Understanding that fashion is a mental phenomenon gives you the liberty to look past the passions of your passion and thoroughly hijack its business and economic proclivities on your chosen platform.
The mavins who have optimised their passions for profit are indeed to be applauded. Yes, Noble Igwe is one of such people, as he has the ability to distinguish between passion and business, merging both fluidly.
Now, Noble does not stop there. He is perpetually thinking outside the box, with brands like 360nobs.com, a music and entertainment site, Style Vitae a fashion blog, 360 Delivery, a delivery service for just about anything, from ordering high end clothing from your favourite designer to grabbing Boli from your local street vendor. The public relations and management services he runs for artistes are also part of the vision, which all culminate into his group of companies. Noble thus proves that there is no end to ideas in entrepreneurship, and that as your business progresses, your platform could expand and morph into new forms, depending on your society’s needs at every point in time.
It is a lovely evening at the Lagos Fashion Week Press Release
Cocktail party at the SOUTH Eatery & Social House, and no traffic can stop the prequel to the Festival that celebrates the execution of Fashion Intelligence in Nigeria. Of course, I mean Lagos Fashion Week 2018 that takes place at the end of this month.
Taking in the ambience of South America with its swingsets and long benches, I catch on with the Style Icon, Mr Noble Igwe and he shares his passion, business mindset and other glean-worthy ideas.
I ask Noble Igwe how he found his passion for fashion and entertainment media, and he says:
‘I don’t know how I found my passion, but I have always been said to be fashionable. At some point in my life I decided to take it seriously. At the initial time, it was just dressing up the way I want to dress because that’s how I want to dress. At some point, it became dressing up the way I like to dress because people were paying attention to it. It then went on to dressing the way I love to dress because I was making money out of it. In some form, I think my passion found me, but it has always been there. I have always loved fashion. I’m not one of those people who say, ‘Oh, when I was growing up’ etc. It’s not about those things. It’s about being able to put things together and being able to do different things in various ways.’
DEFINITION OF STYLE
I ask Mr Noble the quintessential ‘What is Style’ question, and he muses:
‘Style to me is what fashion is not. Fashion is what everyone is wearing. Fashion is “the trend”, Style is personal. Style is confidence. It’s what the people on the streets call “swag”. It is that thing that makes you able to pull off any fashionable item or trend in your own personal way. So everyone is wearing mom jeans, and when you wear yours, it would look different because you have style. So that’s what it is.
I ask Mr Igwe about his fashion icons, and he names David Beckham and Deola Sagoe, explaining as follows:
‘I like David Beckham because he does it effortlessly, whether he’s wearing a tattoo or he’s wearing his hair long or he’s wearing a mohawk, there’s a ring to everything that he does. I like Deola Sagoe because she has been there and she is timeless’
THE MUSIC AND FASHION MIX
I ask Noble to tell me about the mix between music and fashion and how he has been able to optimise both of them for a lucrative blog, as well as a group of companies, and he expatiates:
‘The thing is music is life. Fashion is also seen as life. So I have also found my passion in both. So what I did was I created 360nobs.com to handle the business aspect of my love for music and Style Vitae to handle the fashion aspect. People will always listen to music, whether they are sad, happy or mourning, whatever they are doing, there’s always music for everything. And if it’s constant, you know there will always be a market for that. So what I did was create a platform that would cater to such people. ‘
‘The thing is music is life. Fashion is also seen as life. So I have also found my passion in both. So what I did was I created 360nobs.com to handle the business aspect of my love for music and style vitae to handle the fashion aspect. People will always listen to music, hether they are sad, happy or mourning, whatever they are doing, there’s always music for everything. And if it’s constant, you know there will always be a market for that. So what I did was create a platform that would cater to such people. ‘
I ask Noble what structures he put in place to ensure that his platforms succeed and how he stands out in an industry packed with bloggers.
‘I looked at it as a business and not a hobby. I wanted something that would grow and be able to do a lot of things without me in the picture. And when I found that right combination, I went for it. ‘
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
He elaborates on how he was able to finance his media company thusly:
‘Savings. I did not take a loan, I did not have money from paid investors. So I made money from my paid employment. I kept putting a portion of my money on the side every single month until I had enough to launch my company. I was doing that while I was in paid employment until my business started paying me more than my paid employment.’
I comment that that is quite an achievement because a lot of people are so thirsty and passionate and are quick to leave paid employment for their passion or business dreams, and he replies:
‘No I didn’t put money first. I wanted my brand to grow and be self sufficient before I could move it to the next level’
LAGOS FASHION WEEK 2018 EXPECTATIONS
I ask Mr Noble Igwe about his expectation for Lagos Fashion Week 2018, ‘Fashion Week is like the Christmas of Fashion in Nigeria. It is something I look forward to. Something I use as an opportunity to sell myself as a fashion brand and also to be able to create opportunities for people to who are up and coming and who like fashion to use my platform to showcase them to the world. So that’s something I am looking forward to, and I’m definitely looking forward to Fashion Week this year.
I ask Mr Igwe how he thinks Fashion Week has grown since its inception till date, and he says:
‘It grows every year, and I like the fact that LFW is paying respect to people who are selling clothes in the market: Aswani, and different people. So that’s something different. It’s growth. Fashion Focus has been able to move from Nigeria to Kenya, Accra and New York. So I’m happy to see it grow’
Expatiating further on the Aswani market focus, he elucidates ‘Fashion is fashion. There’s luxury fashion, and there’s couture. Fashion has to be low High. As fashionable people, we know that. Your earrings could be costume, and your slippers could be Gucci your bag could be Fendi, but there has to be a low. Fashion is not luxury 24/7 ‘