Nigeria’s fashion industry will soon rule the world -Rhoda Michaels,
Through Vivian Onyebukwa
Rhoda Michaels is CEO and Creative Director of the Rhoda Michaels Fashion Institute, Lagos. She has a degree in Biochemistry and Nutrition from the University of Lagos. She also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Liverpool, UK. Michaels is a certified management consultant and content marketer. She has been in the fashion industry for over a decade.
In this interview, she revealed her journey into the world of fashion business. She also spoke about fashion in general.
How did you find yourself in the fashion industry?
School started with not being able to find good hands for my work. I used to be a designer. So I trained people to get them to work for me, but when I started I enrolled in business to get the business knowledge of what I do – teaching young entrepreneurs how to create wealth, the business part the fashion.
Some say fashion design is for dropouts. What can you say about that?
Fashion is a science. It’s math. You can’t be here if you can’t do math. We teach pattern drawing which is similar to technical drawing. If you’re not intelligent, you can’t handle it.
Do you still design clothes?
No. Now all I care about is building lives and making sure that many people have my back. And if you want to be a leader, you can’t share the same space with people who trained you. So let them shine. Wherever they go in life, I go with them. If you are successful, it is automatically success for me. So right now, I’m just concerned with making sure my students grow in the right way, not competing with them on any scale.
Where do you see the Nigerian fashion industry? in the next five years?
The Nigerian fashion industry has developed tremendously. Gone are the days when you saw older designers. Now you see young and intelligent designers everywhere. I see our designers competing on the world stage. They will excel because they have been properly trained. In the next five years I see us in strong competition in the global world.
Looking at the current situation Do you think the Nigerian economy can largely survive in the fashion industry?
The good thing about fashion and the Nigerian economy is that our fashion is largely available. We have many custom made items Sowing in Nigeria. As an industry, it’s one that’s opening up. Young people in particular are now being integrated because they can now see that Nigerian customers are among the best in the world. If you treat them well, they’ll keep coming back. Nigerian customers want something very unique. So what I’m saying is that we’re really going to rule the world.
How do you deal with the challenges of the industry?
The challenges are what they are. Whatever the challenge, be it environmental, economic, etc., your job is to study the challenges, but that cannot affect our success. So we create opportunities in the middle.
It is claimed that Nigerian women are the most fashionable in the world. Do you agree?
Yes. I really agree. Nigerian women are the most fashionable around the world. I am a Yoruba woman. We are very fashionable.