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MY DESIGN AESTHETIC IS ARTISTIC AND TIMELESS | A CONVERSATION WITH VICTORIA B. WILLIE

Nigerian writer and fashion designer, Victoria B. Willie had a conversation with our correspondent Kathryn Gabriel.

Nigerian writer and fashion designer, Victoria B. Willie had a conversation with our correspondent Kathryn Gabriel. Victoria Willie is that writer who knows how to do fashion. She’s the founder of Ria Kosher — a designer label. Read on to learn more about her writing and label.

Poemify 

Welcome to Poemify Publishers. It’s a pleasure to have you here. Can we meet you?

Victoria B. Willie

I’m Victoria Willie.

Poemify

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Victoria B. Willie

I’m a writer and fashion designer. I run a fashion blog, Svelte Magazine, and a fashion brand, Ria Kosher. I’m also a Content Marketer and Brand Storyteller for fashion and tech businesses.

Poemify

So how did you first become interested in fashion design, and what led you to pursue it as a career?

Victoria B. Willie

Well, I wouldn’t want to go into the exact details of the genesis of my fashion career, but it just happened. As a creative, I discovered I didn’t just want to create stories alone. I wanted my creativity to explore another route, and fashion just happened to be one of them. Let’s just say I fell in love with designing clothes, bringing them to life, and having people wear them (myself included).

Poemify 

It’s nice to know. I see how you merge writing and fashion beautifully. Can you tell us about your journey as a Fiction writer? How did you develop the craft?

Victoria B. Willie

I don’t do fiction writing full time, though my writing career began with fiction. I started writing stories in childhood. I began by developing a penchant for reading and bringing out the pictures I see in my head through words. And even now, as a marketer, I still write stories and imbibe storytelling techniques in all I do.

Poemify 

Your stories look real and can be felt, you’re really doing great in that aspect. So, we know Nigerian fashion is recognised worldwide for its originality and inventiveness. What would you say your design aesthetic is like, and how does it relate to or incorporate elements from Nigerian culture?

Victoria B. Willie

My design aesthetic is artistic and timeless. I’m not a sucker for trends. I love to see every piece I create as a work of art that intends to present the wearer as unique. It’s why I love to add standout details to all my designs. So, even if it’s a plain dress, the sleeves, collar, or hem will definitely say something.

Poemify 

That’s a good way to stand out. As sustainability and ethical practises become increasingly important in the fashion industry, How do you integrate sustainability into your design process and production, and how do you ensure ethical sourcing of materials?

Victoria B. Willie

We operate on a made-to-order basis. This helps us produce based on demand, thereby avoiding waste during production. And when we have leftover fabrics, we integrate them into new pieces or accessories. We also upcycle old designs into new ones, and we’re working towards using eco-friendly fabrics among other recycling practises. That’s our little but mighty way of keeping the environment green.

Poemify 

That’s economical and smart! It is true that Fashion is distinguished by its vibrant colours, prints, and patterns. Tell us: What messages or stories do these aspects express, and how do you use them in your designs?

BOOKS BY VICTORIA B. WILLIE

Victoria B. Willie

Colours are a means of expression. They give more life to your outfit and also represent how bold or daring your fashion choices are. The same applies to prints and patterns. If someone loves to wear colours like black, beige, grey, etc., you can tell the person is more of a minimalist. But if someone loves to incorporate green, orange, pink, and other bold colours in their wardrobe, it’s safe to conclude they’d rather stand out than blend. So when designers incorporate bold colours, they do so to add vibrancy and attention to their pieces. And if they stick to neutral-coloured pieces, the story is minimalist yet classy.

Poemify 

Okay. Collaboration is a significant aspect of the fashion industry. Have you worked with any other Nigerian or international designers, and how do you approach collaborations to create unique and innovative collections?

Victoria B. Willie

Not yet, but it’ll definitely happen soon enough.

Poemify 

Amen. How do you strike a balance between adhering to your artistic vision and satisfying the needs and preferences of your clients? How can you make sure your designs are both commercially viable and convey your aesthetic voice?

Victoria B. Willie

Yes. I understand people still have to wear the art. So I try to tailor my designs to suit my audience’s needs by creating a balance between conservativeness and statement pieces.

Poemify

Customers’ needs are important. In many respects, technology has changed the fashion industry. What technological elements do you use in your design, production, or marketing processes?

Victoria B. Willie

The internet and digital illustration

Poemify

The internet has become the new marketplace. It’s been an exhilarating conversation with you, Victoria. But we have one last question: Can you share any upcoming projects or collections you are currently working on? What can we expect from your future designs, and what are your aspirations or goals as a Nigerian fashion designer?

Victoria B. Willie

Expect more artistic yet wearable designs from Ria Kosher. And we release collections as we keep running. The goal is to become an international brand. And we’ll do our best to make that happen.

Poemify

You’re already doing a wonderful job; I’m sure you’re definitely crushing this goal. Thank you for sharing; we are pleased to have you.

Kathryn Mercy Gabriel
Kathryn Mercy Gabriel
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