Gen Z in Business
Gen Z in Business: Chozen Apparel

Gen Z in Business: Chozen Apparel

chozen apparel on gen z in business

In this episode of Gen Z in Business, we interview Favour Onifade, a fashion entrepreneur, and Gen Z Creative behind Chozen Apparel. She gives us insight into what it has taken her to run, manage, and grow Chozen Apparel.

Who is Favour?

My name is Favour Omobolaji, ONIFADE. I am a graduate of Food Science from the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State. From there, I graduated with a second-class honours upper division. I love everything in fashion, especially the clothing line. Chozen Apparel is my brand name, which started as far back as October 2017 during my undergraduate days. We deal primarily with female fashion. Over the years, we have rendered different services, ranging from:

  • Corporate wears
  • Cloth bags
  • Cloth hats
  • Bridal wears
  • Cloth crafts
  • Bespoke outfits

Also, we just launched a ready-to-wear line that specialises in making casual wear and cloth bags. We give your apparel an excellent touch only.

What prompted you to go into fashion design? 

My biological mother was a fashion designer who specialised in all kinds of wear, both female and male. However, I never really had an interest in it until I finished my secondary education. My interest in fashion design started immediately after I graduated from secondary school, when my mother stopped fashion designing due to a health challenge. It dawned on me that I had to start sewing my clothes elsewhere, so I just wanted to know how to sew everything possible so I could look after myself and my family.

So I went to a fashion designer in the neighbourhood who had once trained under my mother to start learning for a few months, and then I gained admission into the university. But I never stopped learning; anytime we went on holiday in school, I made sure to go and learn from a fashion designer. I launched my business in my 300 level. Since then, I kept on improving myself through YouTube videos, taking fashion design upgrade courses online, and practicing it.

Can you tell us about your journey into the world of fashion design, especially considering that it wasn’t your academic background?

I can say my journey into the fashion world was born out of a passion for comfort. Clothing is one of the basic needs of man, and I discovered along the way that it�s a business that will keep thriving till eternity. This is why my passion for sewing grew beyond family to all and Sundry. I love what I do, and when I don�t get to see it, I miss it so much. I run fashion design as a side hustle, not a full-time business. My experience in fashion design has been amazing and educational so far.

In the next five years, how do you plan to balance working full-time and running Chozen Apparel? Any tips for aspiring designers trying to do the same?

Balancing my career with running my business in the next five years will be summarised in strategic planning and time management. Gaining mastery in various aspects of my career will make me more proactive and productive on the job, thereby ensuring good time management. Also, having a niche in fashion design will aid in balancing my schedule.

What opportunities did you come across that helped you kickstart your fashion career after graduating from a different field?

I had a free offer to learn from one of the best in the fashion industry during my finals in school. This opportunity became an eye-opener for me. I�m still looking forward to more opportunities and grants that will take my business to the next level.

We all know the fashion industry can be quite competitive. Can you share some challenges you’ve faced and how you overcame them?

Competition is part of life and of every business. There will always be someone else doing what you are doing, and everyone has their own customer base. I got to know this phrase quite early in my business pursuit. For instance, during my undergraduate days, there was more than one fashion designer in the school fellowship I attended. It was quite competitive. However, I overcame this challenge with good relationships with my customers, advertisements, meeting deadlines, keeping promises, the neatness of my work, and accurate styling to their taste.

How about a memorable win or achievement from your fashion career that you’re particularly proud of?

My moment of victory is that each time I try out a new style for the first time, it comes out the same. I have that ability in me, and I�m forever grateful for that gift. I�m looking forward to big wins and achievements in the years to come.

On the flip side, can you recall a significant setback or loss you’ve experienced and what lessons you learned from it?

One significant setback I had in my fashion design journey was relocation. When I was leaving school for my NYSC, it was a great challenge. I had to build a new customer base in another location for that period. Also, after my NYSC, during my waiting period for a new job at my parent�s house. I had a challenge with pricing because people in my neighbourhood had low budgets and seemed too familiar with me. This made them want to pay reduced prices for my services. And these led to a lot of discouragement and setbacks for my business. But in all of this, I took those periods as a time to increase my online presence, upgrade myself, incubate new strategies, and grow my business.

How have you seen the fashion industry evolve in the past five years, and how have you adapted to these changes in your work?

In the past five years, the fashion world has evolved from new fashion trends, new methods of styling, and pattern drafting to social media management for the successful running of the business. I�m adapting to these changes gradually by taking a step-by-step upgrade to fit in well.

What inspires your design aesthetic, and how do you stay creatively motivated over the years?

What inspires my design aesthetic are people, trends, and my creative imagination. My love for what I do and knowing my purpose for doing it have made me creatively motivated over the years.

What advice would you give to young, aspiring fashion designers who may be hesitant to pursue their passion due to their academic backgrounds?

Irrespective of your academic background, you can venture into fashion design, as it�s one of the basic needs of life. It�s a lucrative business that fits into every aspect of our lives, ranging from wedding ceremonies, birthday parties, outings, school graduation, and so on. It has a wide range of niches and creative opportunities you can stay with without having a lot of competition running the business.

If you had the opportunity to sit down with an investor, why should they invest in Chozen Apparel?

As we know, clothing is one of the basic needs of human beings, and everyone needs a change of clothing as they grow and mature in life. I am not just skilled in designing clothing; I add a touch of excellence to my work. People value excellence and will pay for it, no matter the cost. This alone will make profit margins achievable and investments worthwhile.

Finally, if you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice when starting your fashion journey, what would it be?

I advise my younger self to invest more money and time in fashion design. I would have advised her to take social media seriously as a tool for advertising. Also, do not depend on family and friends for business patronage.

Chozen Apparel is one of the brands featured in the premier edition of HoneyDrops Magazine. Get a copy here. If you would like to be featured in the magazine or be interviewed, please fill out this form, and the team will reach out to you. You can contact Chozen Apparel on Instagram and Facebook @ChozenApparel.

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