Oladeji Sotunde is the brain behind Tayussleek Clothings- a corporate wear brand, established in August 2013 that specialises in the design and production of classic bespoke outfits for individuals. We had an exclusive chat with the young CEO where he dished on his life, career and his latest collection, ‘Rakish Alpha…’
Q: What inspired your passion for fashion?
A: Growing up, my parents especially my mum who is a part time fashion designer were keen on how I appear. Grooming, clothes etc. My mum’s common saying was “you dress how you want to be addressed.” Also, as a child, I observed celebrities especially movie stars and admired all the glitz and glamour that surrounded them. These were the things that created the zeal and passion I have for style today.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration for your various designs?
A: The classic style of the 70s and 80s is a huge inspiration for most of my designs. Those guys were phenomenal. This style which has stood the test of time and has been able to successfully diffuse into modern times offers classic style entrepreneurs like myself the opportunity of merging it with our conceptualised creativity for a more refined approach.
Q: I know you’re in medical school as well and that must be quite demanding. So how do you balance medicine and fashion?
A: I wouldn’t be truthful with you if I do not reference the Holy Spirit at this point. I started fashion professionally in my 2nd year and I’ve been a style entrepreneur for about 3 years now. I have a detailed schedule that accounts for every hour of my day and I make sure I am disciplined in following it up. I don’t spend the hours I ought to use in studying on designing or attending to clients and vice versa. This was quite difficult at first but now, it’s my lifestyle.
Q: The Nigerian fashion industry has no doubt come a long way especially in terms of recognition. What’s your take on the industry at the moment?
A: The industry is growing really big and at a fast rate as well. Over the past 5 years, the industry has reduced unemployment rate by about 3% or more. Tailors, sales assistant etc now have better job opportunities. In August 2015, the Bank of Industry launched a 1billion naira single-digit interest loan for SMEs in the fashion industry. So you see, this industry is on its way to becoming a major player in the nation’s economy. At Tayussleek, we see this. We ready for it!
Q: Do you have any role model(s) in the industry? Or someone you’re really looking forward to working with?
A: Yes, of course. On the international fashion scene, I really admire the work of Mr Roberto Mararo, an Italian classic stylist and fashion designer .He is the CEO of the Italian luxury brand MARARO. He is my role model and I hope to meet him soon. I’m also looking forward to working with him someday. Also, I have the utmost respect for the granddad of the international fashion industry, Karl Lagerfeld- a fashion icon and a great man. Locally, we have very creative designers too that I respect and follow on social media.
Q: Who’s your ideal muse? Is there anybody you can’t wait to style?
A: Everyone is a potential client. There is no person on this planet yet whose style can’t be expressed by a Tayussleek outfit.
Q: You recently debuted your 2016 collection – Rakish Alpha. What’s that about?
A: (smiles) Yeah. Rakish Àlpha is a male collection. This collection follows the desire and passion of the brand to create a society of men different from the pedestal of just being fashionable and trendy to that height of classic style. That’s what it is about.
Q: What’s the inspiration behind the ‘Rakish Alpha’?
A: As a style entrepreneur who has found his niche in the already congested fashion habitat, I look you in the eye and say, “Class makes the man.” You have to see that and understand that. This message has got to be clear hence the RAKISH ÀLPHA.
Q: What are some of the other projects you’re currently working on?
A: The team and I are really working hard to bring about better developments to the brand and most especially to get to serve our clients in better ways beyond their expectations. I wouldn’t want to talk much about what these entails. Let me not ‘let the cat outta the bag.’ In due time…
Q: Where do you see Tayussleek Clothings in 5years?
A: Our aspiration from conception is to establish a fashion house that expresses every client’s style and still maintain the fashion climate. That’s what I and the team see. That’s the mission.
Q: Thank you for your time. Anything you’d like to add?
A: No. Thank you for having me.
To place your order on any of Tayussleek products, you can reach them via;
Telephone: 08188296980, 08091785302