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Why Many Ladies Are Rushing To LAGOS Designer, BECCA

•What She Told Us About Her Success Story

Right now, she is one of the hottest fashion designers in town. She is also one of the busiest. She is based in Lagos and she designs for clients all over the world, especially in London &  the US. Everyone simply calls her BECCA, which is the name of her brand.

The very delectable Lamina Oluwatosin Rebecca is the brain behind Becca Needle and Stitches in Lagos. The very simple and down-to-earth Becca as she is fondly called by her customers started her business close to a decade ago, and today, she is one of the finest celebrity designers in the industry. A lot of celebrities will do anything just for Becca to style them on their special occasion.

One unique thing about her designs is that they are not the regular designs you see everywhere and every day. She gives importance to details and her designs always stand out amongst others. Despite her success, she will still tell you, that she has not started at all.

This extremely hardworking lady started her small shop with just a machine, today, she has a block of six flats, with different sections, and over 60 members of staff working for her.

Besides this, she also runs an academy where future designers are already learning all the rudiments of fashion.

She keeps her private life very private and prefers to stay in the background while performing magic with her hands. City People interviewed her last week.

Before she granted us an interview, her Manager and Publicist, Micheal Ada briefed us on some vital things we needed to know about his boss.

According to him, Becca is someone who is always fired up. She is always ready for the next challenge, she is a trendsetter, she always pushes herself beyond her boundary and doesn’t look at what is in vogue.

She is always thinking outside the box, her mind is always a working machine, she is close to someone I could call a perfectionist because many times, a client will ask for a particular design and when she is done, she will visualise how the client will come out, she takes every step into consideration and figure, how she will look in that design. She sees herself as the event planner, taking the back seat and visualising the turnout of things.

In the dying minutes, she can decide to change the entire design, it will cost her but she doesn’t really care.

All she is interested in, is her clients looking their best. So most times if you look at what the client asked for it, is always far different from what she made, so she pushes her boundary. She is someone that doesn’t like being comfortable.

She is not someone that will say I have made it, it is not her watchword for a very long time, she has been behind the scene and it is for a particular reason, she doesn’t allow herself to be consumed by the spotlight. The personality she started with, is what she has been able to maintain to date. She has maintained her hunger and drive. I have arrived is not her word, she still goes back to compete with the younger ones.

In going into the business, it is necessary to pick those you actually want to surpass and that gives you a kind of challenging mindset.

Immediately after she surpasses that, she picks the next person, so there is always a target for her mentally physically and spiritually too.

It is also so amazing how she juggles between being a single mother, she lost her husband some years back, so it has been a struggle. Balancing that, the home, the business and every other thing has been nothing less than a miracle.

At times, it will look like that there is no money coming in, as, she would have invested everything back into the business. She believes every fabric has a story.

“If you ask me how she started this, I would say grace met passion. I will also say, she was born into it because that seems to be the only rational explanation for it. Fine, she has her workforce, she has her tailors but I can tell you confidently that they can not do a thing without her.”

Then Becca herself revealed her success story and why she maintains a very private lifestyle. “I always prefer to be in the background because the focus should not be on me but rather on the person I am styling. It was even just like last year, that many started showcasing my work in Nigeria.”

Before then, I was in the US, and UK then clients from here just send measurements and I make for them and it fits perfectly. So people knew me more abroad then. So I have been in the business for long but didn’t just want to come all out.”

Last week, City People’s paid her visit, she had to share her success story and inspire lots of younger ones in the industry.

How long have you been in the fashion business?

Let me say 2015, so it’s been close to 10 years.

How do you get inspiration to do all these?

I am not always content with where I am. I believe when I get to a certain stage, I should aim for something higher and greater. Each time, you feel you are not there yet, you get inspired to go higher. I just don’t want to be a great designer in Nigeria but rather keep pushing, if the ones abroad can make it then why not.

How did you start?

Yes, I started very small with the small shop outside, I started with just one industrial machine when you have something and you have a goal. When I started I knew I was going to go through this process, so I decided to start small here, when people come and see things, they will be like oh! Is this really happening here? When they see what I showcase, they will be like this is not normal, especially in this kind of area. When they get into my showroom, as small as it was then, they are always surprised, then I had a tab with different designs which customers can make selections from.

I knew what I wanted from the beginning, so it is not really how you started that matters, but where you are going and your vision.

I am really happy and grateful to God for everything. When you are really good at what you do, your location doesn’t matter, people will look for you. So I started small, then later I flat, to 2 flats, today we are using 6 flats. So everything is like a story and a journey.

While growing up, I watched Cinderalla's stories very well. Once you watch such, you often want to put yourself in that shoes.

I like the queen type of outfits they wear. If you look at my designs. I am not just the regular designer, I like the extra things, that is why most of my clients are always like the celebrant and if you are an Aso-Ebi person and you come to me, it simply means, you want to outshine the celebrant. I want my clients to be the centre of attraction.

When I even started in that small shop, once you go, you always come back with 10 more clients for me. So I have more referrals, and I don’t need to advertise. To date, I don’t post on Instagram like normal designers do, like posting back to back of collections, because my works speak for me. Once you wear my design, people will ask you why are you looking like the celebrant, because you are supposed to look like a celebrant in my designs.

The majority of movie stars I know want you to design for them, how did you do that?

(Laughs) If you invite someone I designed for to come to your party, she appears looking so glamorous as a movie star, won’t you come to me to design for you? (laughs!!!). So that is how it all started, and they are like oh Becca made these clothes oh, she will design for me. So my works speak for me. I have walking models that come back with referrals.

How challenging has it been, styling different celebrities with huge demands?

I know what I am bringing to the table, secondly, I have been able to earn their trust.

Some will say Becca I want this because they know I will deliver.

It would have been challenging if I didn’t know what I am bringing to the table. In a way when it comes to styling celebrities, because of the way I started, I want everybody to look like a queen or celebrity, so that made it easier.

You started the design of the beads first, where did the inspiration come from?

My inspiration is everywhere, I can stand up today and start doing all stones, and when I see people are all on to the beads, I am doing something else. I am not limited when it comes to my designs.

How do you sort and combine fabrics?

I believe each fabric has its own story and the clients too. So I look at what we are doing, so I just say oh, this fabric should be perfect for this event and for the person, I combine everything, and then the inspiration comes. I don’t like repeating the same thing. When some clients come and see my old collections and they want them, I will boldly tell them, I will make this for you but make some changes because I want to go with your personality and what you are doing because you have your own story.

So it’s an individual story. It makes me have unlimited ideas. I can make a hundred outfits and they won’t look the same. Like I said earlier, individual fabrics and personality give me inspiration. Some will say oh Becca you made the same fabric, looking all different and I will just say, that is the idea. It is when you are going with the trend, you start doing things the same. But if you are working with your inspiration, you can’t get it wrong.

How have you been able to maintain your humble and simple lifestyle despite the fame?

If you are a private person, then you are. No matter how they try to convince you to be out there. My focus mainly is on my job, not myself and whoever I am designing for, should be the centre of attraction, not me.

So I am just a private person and I want to remain like that, let my clients be the centre of attraction.

How do you feel when your designs are all out there, with lots of positive feedback?

It’s really fulfilling, it pays me more than the money itself with lots of referrals. I feel like a star in my own little way, it is indeed a privilege and I am grateful to God because I know he is taking me higher.

Do you have preferred fabrics you work with?

I don’t, I can work with anything and that is what makes you a designer, you don’t need to start picking the busy ones. I can work with anything, most especially the plain ones. I have worked with Ankara fabrics before, and people were doubting if it was the same Ankara they picked for the party, that is the idea.

But if it's too beaded, people will know the fabric is already rich on its own. I like to wow people so just give me anything I will work with it. I just need my clients to trust me enough to do it.

How do you feel about the France fashion show coming up?

I feel overwhelmed. I am very happy, I feel recognised and this is just the starting point. I believe God put me here to become what he wants me to become.

It is a starting point and by his grace, we will still have bigger fashion shows.

I am kind of international with my clients abroad, but I still believe I can still be like Versace and the rest (laughs!!!).

What designs would you be showcasing there?

I am infusing Africa and Western, so they can relate to it. So I am busy preparing for that and clients' orders as well. I have not had time to do my personal collections due to that. I have been busy back to back.

How do you cope with pressure?

I work more with pressure, so I don’t have a problem with that. I am pressurised at any point, when it’s slow I don’t like it at all. I am more about pressure, I get more inspiration working under pressure. Over the years I have been lucky with clients who trust me without any disappointment and that is another reason why I have lots of referrals. I relax more at night, when ideas come I just sketch it out, I have about 60 staff, so you can imagine the workload but God has indeed been very faithful.


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