IDMA-NOF has a long fashion story to tell. Its through a combination of fabrics and prints that the IDMA-NOF style lesson is given. We met with Mfon, the designer behind the brand who gave us an insight about THERE, her 2018 Spring/Summer collection.
Tell us about your journey as a fashion designer
I fell in love with fashion while watching my mum meticulously crafting clothes for a handful of private clients. As a child I was always surrounded by fashion, I enjoyed watching my older sisters turning the corridor of our home into a runway while they tried out their Sunday looks. I have trained in dressmaking and tailoring but as I was good in Maths, I studied Pharmacy and decided to keep fashion as a hobby. Then I moved to the US to study in Houston Community College where I won several awards. I moved to Paris to expand my creativity and joined Central Saint Martins college in London after that I finally decided to start IDMA-NOF and returned home to launch it.
When did you launch your collection in Nigeria and what was the reception like?
The brand was officially launched in September 2017 with our Spring/summer 17 collection. The collection has been perceived as 'very different and fresh'.
What is the narrative behind you 'THERE' collection?
'THERE' is inspired by 'my journey to fashion' and the stories of several young people I've come across. It starts with the love for books and education and the promise of a better future they both bring. It then goes on to explore the perceptions and definitions of success in Nigeria and how they influence children's education path. Nigeria's current economic climate led to the disappointment of young skilled graduates who ended up looking for opportunities in an environment of scarcity. The collection is about our definitions of success and how to get 'THERE'. At the end, we hope for a better future for Nigeria which is translated in our collection in Iris flowers shapes.
What makes the 'THERE' Collection so unique and where did you get your inspiration from?
Every collection is unique because of its narrative. The collection 'THERE' pushed us to explore many different mediums to tell our story. We were inspired by the bitumen paintings of the artist Dan Dunne.
What is the role played by certificate texts and literature in your collection?
The collection is a sequel to our Autumn/Winter 17 collection which is built around education but this time the focus was on education and life after graduation. We also used equations and graphs to represent different mindsets and perceptions surrounding success.
What are your fabric and colour recommendations for SS18?
I'll definitely recommend varying shades of cyan and magenta balanced with beige and brown tones like we have in the collection. You can throw in some spectra yellow and black as well.
Who has been the best ambassador of your designs?
Every woman that wears IDMA-NOF is an ambassador. One who clearly stands out is Chimamanda Adichie - she rocked a piece from our 5 EYES collection during the reception organized by Vogue magazine in honour of Oprah Winfrey.
What are you fashion recommendations for SS18?
Be creative, be interesting, be responsible and have fun while at it!
What is your MUST HAVE recommendation from the SS18 collection?
I love all the pieces; you can't go wrong with the print blouses and dresses in silk twill and for some high definition drama go for the mesh/lace jacket. The chinos jacket with embroidery and leatherex detail also receives a great feedback.
The 'THERE' Collection is available in store from April 23rd