Eight days ago, 360nobs style exclusively announced that Mai Atafo would be one out of two Nigerian designers out of a rough estimate of 30 designers set to showcase at MBFWAfrica(Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa).
Well, one of our favorite designers has hit it big again, as he landed an interview with world renowned magazine GQ South Africa.
Here is the interview below.
GQ: What is your target market and how do your designs cater to that segment of consumers?
Mai Atafo: My target market is male and female, mainly from the age of 16 years and older, an with a special focus on stylish and well-tailored functional clothing for that special occasion: anything from prom to awards nights, parties and weddings.
GQ: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Mai Atafo: I draw inspiration from everything around me, especially from within fashion and general human behaviour and attitude.
GQ: Talk us through some of the finer nuances of your collection. What are you most excited to show?
Mai Atafo: From my SS15 collection I am very excited about the use of soft colours, which tell a relatable fashion story that is very in line with the core essence of my menswear brand. I believe this collection will drive a new trend in menswear. I have always been of the opinion that men can wear colours and look amazing. However, that said I am actually more excited about the womenswear. It takes inspiration from traditional native menswear from the south-south region of Nigeria, with some womenswear influences from south-west and northern parts of Nigeria.
GQ: What is the most African thing about your collection?
Mai Atafo: The heart of the designer is that of the collection.
GQ: Why, in your personal opinion, is it important to represent Africa through design?
Mai Atafo: I just believe it helps us tell our own story – that may be African or European influenced, but it’s important that we are able to tell our own stories.
GQ: Where do you, as a designer, draw the line between an authentic African aesthetic and something that is too cliche or typically ‘Curio’?
Mai Atafo: I really do not know what or if there is an authentic African aesthetic, and I do not believe there should be defining lines in fashion. If you feel, comprehend, and can, then design it. Express yourself. As long as the consumers derive value from it.
GQ: What are the biggest crimes of fashion you often see men committing and how would you change them?
Mai Atafo: Ill-fitting clothes, especially tight suits under the guise of a “fitted” suit (this kills me). I will continue to preach the gospel of a well-tailored “fitted suit” that accentuates the male form and not one that cuts off blood circulation. With my recently received Savile Row academy certification, the next step will be to allow Africa to experience not just the amazing look, but the comfortable feel of a Mai Atafo inspired bespoke suit.
To read more, head to the GQ website.
Photo credit: Konnectafrica.net, informationng.com
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