I Don’t Like To Get Comfortable -Babajide | Independent Newspapers Limited
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LIFE, True Confession

I Don’t Like To Get Comfortable -Babajide

Posted: May 23, 2015 at 12:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

 Familusi Akin Babajide is popular as a fashion entrepreneur and the brain behind Fabulous African Black (FAB). In this interview with Lukmon Akintola, he talks about fashion and more.

You are popular with the FAB brand, what is it all about?

It is about highlighting and celebrating the positive things happening in Africa, as seen in our flagship brand which is a magazine.

Tell us why you have often talking about your concern for the creative?



The reason why I am concerned about this is because I am a creative myself. I need to create money and that is putting it in a simple term. If you don’t have money your passion for all the creativity is going to die someday and we don’t want that to happen because you look elsewhere in the world Europe, America, they always have to come up with creative ways to solve their problems. If you render this creative brain dead what happens? it’s even beyond fashion, it extends into other industries. If the need of the guys who are creating this designs are not met, they will just say, ‘you know what? Let me go and carry bricks at least to feed my family for now and we don’t want that to happen.

What are the challenges of your business?

Basically, it is the finance. You know how you go to a bank for finance and they are asking for collateral two times the size of what you are asking. What if you have a life changing idea, can’t someone just say this is a viable business and support it?

Let’s talk about the man with the FAB ideal, who are you?

I am a simple man with a simple idea. I am married with two lovely amazing girls. I struggle to get out of the office so that I can see them before they go to bed.

We know you read Chemical Engineering, but crossed over to Marine Biology, how did fashion overtake that?

I guess that the fashion appeal was just too much for me to resist. Fashion for me is a way of life. Some people don’t even know what influences them to wear what they wear.

You are stylish, what motivated your fashion consciousness?

From the early stage, I would say it’s my dad. My dad was a very fashionable guy. He now made the mistake of sending me to Kings College Lagos where boys there were all about fashion and then University of Lagos (UNILAG). What I used to tell people then was that Unilag student even if they don’t have money to dress the way they would have loved to when they were in school, just give them a job afterwards and watch them. I guess it was all those factors that pushed me into fashion.

How did you start your fashion brand?

I remember I used to go to Tejuosho market to buy fabrics. I will buy the fabric for N500.00 and give it to the tailor for another N500.00, with a thousand naira I had a lovely shirt. I remembered I took a TM Lewin shirt, tore it up and took notice of what was everywhere. I learnt on the job from my tailor.

Would you say that you are comfortable right now?

I am not yet comfortable and I don’t like to get comfortable, it is a bad place to be. The minute you start to get comfortable the less you feel driven. So you have to actually need to make yourself uncomfortable to drive you more. I am from the school of thought that I should be able to afford a car 10 times over before I buy that car. If I can afford to reside in a place I probably wouldn’t until I can afford to build in that place, but I give glory to God.

You put on your designs a lot, how proud are you to wear them, knowing there are other international brands doing exceptionally well?

To wear my own brand is one thing, to have people wear it and wear it in the some part of the world and have people stop them and say where did you get this? That is another thing. I am really proud that we can really create something here that will not only be appreciated locally, but appreciated abroad. It’s an amazing feeling.

Who are the set of people you clothe?

We clothe celebrities, bankers and some Chief Executives, but I am not permitted to mention names. I think it will be wrong to put a name out there when I have not asked permission from the people.

What is the secret of your business?

Let me put it like this. When I started it was for everybody. You could buy my shirt for N2,000. However, overtime, I became overwhelmed with orders. So we decided to reduce the number of people that were buying by increasing the cost just a little bit. We wanted it that way because we wanted everything we did to be awesomely made, well tailored, so we needed more time to make up for that extra attention. Overtime, my platinum strategy is just to make sure that people are wearing this brand and the people that are coming up behind them are aspiring to wear it. At the point when we have enough people aspiring to wear it we can now create a ready to wear brand where people can just walk into a FAB shop and pick what they want.

Do you make designs that are exclusive to a particular person?

Why not? It might not be one off in terms of fabric, but we do one off in terms of design. You can even have a say on how it is assembled.