Creator Focus: Meet Fioye and Oye of VL by Virgoslounge
Fioye and Oye have the ultimate fashion success story! They've been able to break boundaries that every fashion entrepreneur dreams of - their brands have been stocked by Asos, Namshi, Topshop and many more. Being raised in Nigeria, they've proven to us that boundaries live only in our minds. They share style, work, and success tips that you don't want to miss. Grab a glass of something, enjoy!
Why did you start Vlabel?
Both: We saw a need for glam day occasion wear that was great quality, and not breaking the bank. We stuck to our ethos of being elegant and avant-garde.
Any advice for upcoming fashion entrepreneurs?
Fioye: Research, ask questions, get a mentor and always aim to be different.
Oye: Build a community around your brand and stay true to your brand identity.
How did you find inspiration for your designs?
Fioye: Looking at everyday women who just wanted something different. Our watch word has always been affordable!
Oye: I’m inspired by real women and their personal styles. My Nigerian heritage has a big influence on the designs. Particularly our love for colours and rich looking fabrics.
What kind of woman do you want to wear Vlabel?
Fioye: Every woman regardless of your age or race, VL The label caters to everyone!
Oye: We cater to a wide range of women from all walks of life, who are unapologetic and not afraid to stand out.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fioye: Fashion means expression and daily theraphy!
Oye: I love it! It’s my hobby and my job at the same time! I can’t see myself in any other industry.
How has being sisters impacted your business?
Fioye: Amazing because we know our strengths and weaknesses and respect them!
Oye: It’s been great, we have different strengths so we are happy to let one another focus on what we are best at.
What are some of your favourite Nigerian brands and why?
Fioye: Banke Kuku- Pure luxury, For Style Sake- Chic feel good pieces, KAI- For my does of baddie fashion!
Oye: There are so many amazing Nigerian brads! I Love how Banke Kuku infuses culture into her pieces in a very fresh fashionable way. Some others I love are Imad Eduso, For Style Sake, Andrea Iyama, Wanni Fuga, Rendoll, Kilentar to name a few!
What do you hope to see happen in the Nigerian fashion industry?
Fioye: The ability to scale up and clothe the world! It requires infrastructure, diligence and control. The talent is in abundance, we just need the facilities to match.
Oye: I would love to see more Nigerian brands exporting their pieces and selling through major international distribution channels.
How can brands gain international coverage for sales and PR?
Fioye: By striving to remain relevant, building contacts and continuously exposing your brand, ensuring your are pricing your products properly. Never give up! The 'yes's' are few, but when you get there, it will be worth the wait.
Oye: Social media is an amazing tool to get your brand out there and it’s mostly within your control.
How do you both balance work and family with 2 WHOLE children each? (LOL)
Fioye: A good support system on the home front is essential- grateful for a hands on partner who shares the responsibility of raising our girls . Also, planning, delegating and prioritising get me through the days and months.
Oye: It’s difficult, but having a good support system both at work and at home is essential!
Give us a tip on looking stylish on a budget?
Fioye: Always have one statement item in your look. My absolute fave is a bronze necklace i found in a tiny shop in Ibiza. It goes with everything, and always causes a stare.
Oye: Investing in key pieces that will go with most things is a good place to start .
Describe your personal styles, does it affect your designs?
Fioye: Statement but relaxed. For me, my personal daily style is about pairing statement pieces. For occasion-wear, i love to go full on glam H2T!
Oye: It really depends on my mood, I love fashion so much, I can’t pigeon hole myself to just one aesthetic! However I love anything with a vintage feel to it.
Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
Fioye: Still serving more women the world over, and with greater international presence!
Oye: Hopefully we can continue to grow with the strong community of women who love our pieces, and more visibility with retailers all over the world.
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