From Almost Giving Up on Her Fashion Dream to Dressing Chimamanda Adichie, Designer Tomi Soewu Bares It All

From Almost Giving Up on Her Fashion Dream to Dressing Chimamanda Adichie, Designer Tomi Soewu Bares It All

They say one is never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. This rings true in the case of Tomi Soewu, a graduate of Physics who is well on her way to becoming one of Nigeria's leading fashion designers.

Tomi who is the owner and creative director of minimalist contemporary womenswear brand, Tommiesoil, has certainly come a long way in her journey as a fashion designer.

The talented creative who recently got the honour of dressing renowned author, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, had a chat with's Kumashe Yaakugh about her fashion brand, amongst other things.

Photos of Tomi Soewu and Chimamanda Adichie.
The designer opened up about how she got into fashion designing. Credit: Tomi Soewu, Chimamanda Adichie
Source: Instagram

To the unassuming eyes, Tomi is just another young lady in a pool of fashion designers with big dreams and hopes.

However, behind the pretty face and enthralling smile is a beautiful story of persistence that will leave you inspired and determined to keep pushing until your dreams become a reality.

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What inspired her to become a fashion designer

Tomi who describes herself as having always been a 'fashion-conscious person with an incredible taste for quality' recalled that as simple as her personal style was, she noticed that a lot of people admired her dress sense and would want to know where she shopped from.

Speaking about the moment she decided to turn her talent into a business, she had this to say:

"There was a time I just had some kaftan style in my head and I was probably just tired of Jeans at the time, I got some fabric at the market and gave a tailor to sew about 3 kaftans for me. To my surprise, everyone was asking where I got the kaftans from again and at the time I didn’t think kaftan was flattering. That was when it hit me, I could turn this into profit."

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The experience as a designer so far

Tomi says her journey as a designer has been a 'humbling experience'. As is the case with many growing businesses, mistakes leading to losses were made.

"In the beginning, we made a lot of errors and ended up giving out most of the outfits to family and friends or selling them at a loss. We definitely had a major setback, but we were able to persevere."

However, with support from family and what Tomi fondly describes as God's involvement in her business, she didn't give up.

"Then again I got tired sometimes and I'd ask myself if it was all worth it to continue. I was afraid I would fail but my family saw the bigger picture I didn’t see. Each time I was about to give up, (God in his marvellous ways), would send a customer from nowhere who would order a number of items at the same time. This actually happened each time I felt like giving up. I just told myself this is a sign God is involved with the business hence I never doubted myself since then."

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Chimamanda Adichie in Tommiesoil

Adichie has, for the longest time, been an avid supporter of the 'buy Nigerian' movement and much to Tomi's delight, her brand was among the lucky ones patronised by the award-winner writer.

On how this came about, she said:

"We just got a message from a random person asking to order one of our pieces which they saw on IG. Though it was mentioned to us that the order was for Chimamanda Adiche. We were quite ecstatic seeing as she is the first public figure to wear our brand. It was such a big deal. And I will forever be grateful."

How Chimamanda's patronage has affected her business

Although the brand boasts of quite a number of customers as seen on their official Instagram page, things took a turn for the better when Adichie posted a photo - and then a video - in a Tommiesoil design.

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In her words:

"We had a lot of traffic on our IG page, our Dms and WhatsApp were blowing up. We immediately started getting orders on the same day from SA, USA Uk, Mexico etc. Nigerians in Nigeria who had initially made enquiries about the outfit but didn’t buy started calling in to confirm their orders. As I mentioned earlier we got our major orders for the first time outside the continent. That is a good thing. We can only get bigger and better."

For Tomi, her brand isn't just about fashion but also about helping the less privileged as well.

"We recently partnered with a foundation Called Kehinde Soile Foundation where 15% profit of each sale will be donated to the foundation for the provision of food, household items and scholarship to the less privileged."

Tomi's words of encouragement to others:

"Once you think about it, just go ahead and start it. Be persistent, and endure the obstacles that may come your way. It will all make sense at the end of the day. You never know who is watching. I always tell myself my only regret is that I didn’t start earlier but it has been worth it."

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Love meets fashion: Beautiful Guinean bride rocks over 9 dresses for her wedding ceremonies

An ex-beauty queen identified as Mariame Toure made a beautiful bride on her wedding day as she kept things fabulous and extra.

The former Guinean beauty queen who got married to a Nigerian came through with the glam as she pulled all the stops for both her traditional and white wedding ceremonies.

According to Nigerian womenswear designer, Veekee James, Mariam rocked a combined total of fourteen beautiful dresses for both ceremonies.


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