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Female Entrepreneur Focus: Meet Iyanu Akinremi, Founder Doo By Iyanu

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Doo By Iyanu was founded on a step of courage taking by one young lady, Iyanu Akinremi. Beating all odds to actualize her dreams, Iyanu studied at University of the Arts London, with a foundation in creative design. However her love for fashion emerged love during her career in visual merchandising, beautifying the London, west end window displays. She discovered she had an excellent eye for detail and a creative flair that had all passers-by captured by her window displays. She knew this was just the beginning.

The dream of bringing a western and eclectic twist to the Nigerian (African) fashion, was what lured her back to Nigeria. This new adventure, Doo By Iyanu, led Iyanu once again down the path of education.  Learning to sew was a must so she took to four different sewing courses in order to prefect her craft. She has developed her knowledge base and skill set and works hard to build the same capacity in her team.

 

May we meet you?
Iyanu Akinremi. I studied at University of the Arts London (LCC), graphic design/illustration. With a strong background within the creative area all things design came natural to me. I enjoy meeting new people, understanding others peoples point of view. Being beside the ocean and travelling always makes my heart so full, thankful Lagos is an island I really get to enjoy this.

 

Before Doo By Iyanu, what where you inspiring to?
For my life the aim was to make some kind of impact on the world, giving back to my community and the parts of the universe that have given to me. I am always aspiring towards this.

 

How and when did you know this is it! This is what I want to do?
I must say it took a while to believe I could actually create a pattern first talk less of sewing a gown. A pattern is a template used to cut around, creating shapes of the pieces used to sew up an outfit. Once I got my head around this process and finished actually sewing a dress the feeling was amazing, the more I sewed the more I knew this is for me.

 

How has the journey been so far? What are the challenges on the job?
An interesting journey so far trying to figure out what my brand is and message I’ll like to share with the world. Finding our identity in a fashion consumed industry. The first challenge I faced was to understand what clients really wanted, putting aside my personal style to achieve their overall look. Next would have to be the management of fabrics and amounts needed. Lastly the other would have to be building the right team. As without these key areas the brand is lost. Over all it has been a growing experience I wouldn’t change anything.

 

 

What is Doo By Iyanu?
Doo By Iyanu (DBI) is a distinctive high quality clothing brand catering to both the male and female audience. However our primary focus is women, from the working class to the women of leisure. The brand services cover custom made garments (Bridal trains, evening gowns, traditional, office and causals). Launching of the limited edition line (ready to wear) is in full swing for the near future. We celebrate our “made in Nigeria” production.

 

Where does the company name come from?
The meaning of Doo is love and it also can be referred to as beautiful in the native language Tiv. Tiv Land is located in Benue State where the word originates from.

 

 

What informed the need to start this outfit?
The many disappointments from local tailors, their lack of time management, attention to detail and poor finishing. Another problem we noticed was the irregularity/inconsistency in the sizing in the Nigerian Market… Whilst it is important to offer custom made pieces, the ability to crack the “ready to wear” market presents a huge opportunity for any fashion house in Nigeria. On the plus side many professional tailoring services are now popping up all over Nigeria, offering a better experience for their customers, so we are in good company.  We join these professional game changers but with a twist offering high quality unique products but for much less than our competitors.

How would you describe the brand?
Doo By Iyanu styles are influenced by many things, but 3 women were instrumental in influencing the message of the brand

Marilyin Monroe – Sexy for the shapely woman… Her style covers the sexiness of the DBI woman, the fear not to show off her shapely body with confidence and grace.

Audrey Hepburn – Classic …Her style represents the classic DBI woman, as less is more she wears each garment and it never wears her.

Rihanna – Bold &Edgy -Her style represents miss unique, each piece shouts out loud her current mood for each particular day.

 

What are the challenges of a fashion brand company?
For us right now is finding our identity in a fashion consumed industry. The other would have to be building the right team. As without these two key areas the brand is lost.

 

What makes Doo By Iyanu unique?
Unique is who Doo By Iyanu is. Her custom made garments showcases this every time!  Our cutting edge quality designs adapted to appeal every woman’s unique sense of style. Quality designs with price in mind.

 

What’s next for DBI?
Our next steps for the company is mainly around promotion, building the awareness of the brand which translates into a healthy client base for us. We believe a strong foundation is key, so we plan to take our time in this area.

 

Who are Doo By Iyanu’s favourite designer(s)?
Versace
Alexander McQueen
Zara
Iconic Invanity
Deola by Deola Sagoe

 

Is there a market for the custom made/ready to wear industry in Nigeria?
There is a market for both. The company’s aim initially was to focus only on ready to wear until we entered the market and realised the custom made industry cannot be ignored, we all know the number of events taking place each week.  What feeds this parallel market is the African Woman’s love for fabrics… she doesn’t just want a good fit, she wants to choose her fabrics too!

 

What advice do you have for clothing brands and those looking to explore the fashion terrain?
A lot of research is needed. Do not rush or feel pressured, take as much time as you need… but move!
How you enter the market is the true birthing of the brand.

 

What is your take-home advice for clients looking for the best tailoring services?
To find the best tailoring service for you, look at their style of making clothing it will really help you understand their abilities and strengths. You could have one tailor for making gowns and another for casuals etc.

 

 

 

You may follow her social media pages for all things fashion.

Instagram: @doobyiyanu

Facebook: @doobyiyanu
Twitter: @doobyiyanu

XOXO

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