From Mercy Aigbe, Lilian Afegbai to BBNaija stars Angel and Mercy Eke, MrsSandraO undoubtedly boasts of a silk-stocking clientele. However, behind the brand is a passionate woman whose goal was once to become a chemical engineer.
The fashion house, MrsSandraO, is an ethical womenswear label that - according to its website description - creates multi-functional colour block garments for women of all shapes and sizes.
A brief trip to their Instagram page proves this to be true.
Behind the brand is Sandra Onyemeziri, a wife, mother and talented creative whose passion for multifunctional/colour block pieces led her into the world of fashion designing.
In a recent interview with Legit.ng's Kumashe Yaakugh, the 31-year-old creative director talks about her love for designing clothes as well as the creative process that goes into every design.
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How MrsSandraO came about
Like many successful fashion entrepreneurs, Onyemezir has always been passionate about fashion ever since she was a child.
As she grew older, this zeal pushed her into starting her own clothing line.
"I literally used to go with my sketches to the tailors’ whenever my mum was making dresses for my siblings and I. As I grew older and wanted to express myself more with the way I dressed, I realized there was a need to start making my own outfits as there was a gap in the market for people who loved to wear multifunctional/colour block pieces like myself and that was what inspired me to create my brand."
Support from family great
Interestingly, Onyemeziri did not study any fashion-related course. As a matter of fact, she went as far away from the arts as possible, studying Chemical Engineering at the Federal University of Owerri (FUTO).
But despite choosing fashion over a career in the oil and gas industry - like her mother had hoped - Onyemeziri reveals that her family was very supportive of her dreams of becoming a designer.
"The support from family has been great. Everyone has been truly supportive in one way or the other. Though I think my mum would have wished I remained in the Oil and gas industry," she adds with a laugh.
The creative process of MrsSandraO
The brand's Instagram page showcases stacks of colourful designs that feature deconstructed pieces and traditional silhouettes as well as edgy designs that glaringly own that conversation-starter effect.
Speaking about what influences her pieces, Onyemeziri says her designs are inspired by life, how unexpected some events unfold and how colourful life generally is.
"So. it could be a broken plate or torn napkins on the kitchen counter or my children’s drawings. I’m inspired by what I see from day to day."
Onyemeziri who is very particular about making fashion easily accessible to the everyday woman says a whole lot goes into creating a design/garment making.
"Firstly ideation, then pattern drafting and sewing, prototyping, production and quality control measures."
This undoubtedly has a major influence on how often celebrities are spotted in her designs. With a good eye for style, the MrsSandraO brand continues to win the hearts of Nigerian stars.
Challenges faced and advice to upcoming designers
As is the case with every business owner in Nigeria, Onyemeziri cites poor power supply as one of the major issues she has to deal with as a fashion entrepreneur.
"I think I speak for every fashion designer when I say this is a huge problem. Most of us have to use Generators and/or Inverters and the cost of running these is high."
As a designer whose catalogue boasts unique and interesting designs, Sandra Onyemeziri's number one advice to upcoming designers is 'to be as original as possible'.
"It doesn’t matter what everyone is doing/ what’s trending, you have to stay as original as possible. Not everyone would get you but your target market would find you!"
And for style lovers who are in the habit of saving their fancy clothes for special occasions - something almost every lady is guilty of - she has this to say:
"Every day you wake up is a special occasion so act accordingly, loves!"