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How I Have Sustained My Fashion Brand For 30 Yrs – Popular Fashion Designer, ADE BAKARE

Many people may not have met popular Fashion designer, Ade Bakare face-to-face but they must have heard about his name before. Some may have seen his designs. His face may not be popular, but his name surely rings a bell in the fashion industry globally. Ade Bakare is the diffusion line under the Ade Bakare Couture label. The line comprises a chic and modern collection of separates in various colours in trend-conscious styles.  The award-winning designs of adire\jersey dresses, kaftans, pea jackets, wrap skirts and exquisite intricately-beaded kaftans are some of the designs on offer. Within this line are ranges that have a classic touch with a twist of modernity thus giving each collection a fresh elegant feel. These styles are available in sizes 8 to 20 and some in small, medium and large.

Ade Bakare Couture is a line of modern beautifully made stylish clothes that have an international look with a unique African influence, the collection is designed by the couturier twice a year, summer and winter ranges. The Ade Bakare Couture look can be described as dramatique, and geometric with an edge using exquisite fabrics and a modern fusion of African influences which sets him apart.

This brand has clocked 30 and it was celebrated in grand style. On Saturday, July 31, 2021, DAMILARE SALAMI (08155134152) hooked up with him at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos, where he quizzed Ade Bakare on a few issues. Below are excerpts from the interview for your reading pleasure, Enjoy.


Congratulations to you on your 30th anniversary in the industry. How do you feel celebrating this great feat?

I am very happy because it’s not an easy thing to have started since 1991 and then to continue over all these years. But I am very grateful to God because it’s been a very long journey but a very successful journey.

Thirty years in the fashion industry, what has the experience being like?

Oh there’ve been lots of highs and lows but I try to be focused on what I’ve done. I try not to dabble into other things, I try to focus on fashion because there’s a friend of mine, the late designer Remi Lagos, she always said that the same amount of effort you put into anything is the same amount of returns you get, and so, I just concentrate on fashion all my life.

How have you been able to maintain the brand, Ade Bakare Couture?

It’s through events like this. We try to constantly do events, at least we run two fashion shows every year so that way, you always remain current, people always remember you, your clients, that’s how to maintain continuity in fashion especially.

You tend to add a touch of art to your fashion, how do you do that?

Yes, because before I studied fashion, I studied art at the University of Lagos. I used to do a lot of costume research. I was the costume designer for the film Ayinla and Tunde Kelani currently invited me to work on another film with him in Ibadan so I will be going to Ibadan with him next week. So it’s just creativity. Creativity expresses itself in different forms, fashion, arts, interior designs all have to do with creativity.

Let’s talk about that movie Ayinla. What did it do to you as Ade Bakare?

I’ve worked on a lot of films before, costume designs for films like battleground the TV series, place in the star by Steve Gukas, Tinsel, Lekki Wives by Blessing Egbe, I’ve done a lot of them but what I like about the Ayinla project was that I had to completely focus on and do a whole lot of research because it was a period film. The film happened in the 1980s, so everything had to represent that period, all the clothes so I had to make a little research but I’m happy that everything came out well.

There’s this opinion that your brand would have fared much better overseas and some people were wondering why you brought it back home here.

We are still in England but there’s a huge demand here and as a businessman, you have to go to where there’s a huge demand. The West, yes, we still have a presence but there’s a unique void here in Nigeria that we are filling, a lot of people keep on coming to us and I’m always involved in projects, so that keeps me here longer. Just as I’m about to pack and go back to England, another project comes up and then I find myself here longer. And it’s a good thing because it’s not all the time that you get offered positions of designer and in the west, it’s very competitive so it’s very flattering and I find it very honourable when I’m approached to get involved in projects and I take it seriously.

Is there a way growing up as affected the way you go about your business, especially fashion?

Yes, I came from a very tough background, not tough per se but my parents are very pro-academy and very disciplined, that’s the training I had because I did my secondary school here, I went to the Federal Government College, Lagos and then the University of Lagos before I went back to England where I was born to study fashion but my upbringing here was very strict. You know, it was a good training for me when I got back to England.

Finally, what more should we expect from Ade Bakare Couture?

I think more beautiful designs, hopefully, my clients appreciate them, a lot more work in films, it’s something I really do like, and I’m looking forward to working more on projects in the film industry both in Nigeria and abroad.

I’d like to ask you this on a personal note, what else do you do outside fashion?

Em… I don’t know… reading, listening to music, everything (laughs.)

You want to tell us how you relax?

I listen to a lot of music.

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