First of all, the brand is called 24. The company name is 24 Apparel Limited, but the brand name is 24; just 24. Now that we have that out of the way, Temitayo Eyitayo the CEO of this high flying merchandise talks to Tush Magazine about his 24 brand which is visible on most Nigeria musical videos… Enjoy!
TM: How do you feel today?
Temitayo: I’m very well, thank you. I feel great.
TM: Why the brand name 24?
Temitayo: The name 24 was chosen because it describes everything the brand is about. 24 is a casual fashion brand and depending on the status of the individual wearing it; it fits into society at any time of the day.
TM: Do you make only Snapbacks?
Temitayo: No. Apart from snapbacks, we make different products including: Polo tops, T-shirts, Sweatpants, summer dresses and Maxi dresses.
TM: How old is 24?
Temitayo: The 24 brand is two and a half years old now.
TM: Why did you decide to start up this franchise?
Temitayo: I always had a flare for fashion and knew it was something I was going to be involved in, but I never knew in what capacity. At the time I decided, I thought Nigeria needed its own casual fashion brand. I am an advocate for selling what one knows and can use personally. That way, it is easier convincing people to patronize the brand. I wear loads of casual outfits and as such, it was a no-brainer.
TM: If you had the choice of all designers in the world to work with, who would that person? Your design is very peculiar, by far one of the best I’ve seen out of LAGOS. Tell us about your team?
Temitayo: Thank you for the compliment. It’s very humbling. Our team is very dynamic. I am the creative director, but design processes and approvals don’t stop with me. We work with a range of creative people to come up with our collections. Collections can be as few as 8 items or as many as 24 items. We believe in setting the tone, being strict about our direction, but being flexible and listening to what the market wants.
TM: Looking back, tell us what your greatest fear was launching 24?
Temitayo: The greatest fear of anyone in fashion is acceptance. Now I’m going to go all spiritual on you, so hold tight for one second. I strongly believe in the Bible and the fact that dependence on man is vanity. I knew I had a good client base who would be interested in 24, but I was not certain as their patronage was not tangible, so I could not bank on it. Instead of focusing on my fear, I focused on what I was creating, and I looked to God for acceptance. The result is what we have today.
Temitayo: My Clientele ranges from the student to the executive; from the middle class to the super rich. The brand is casual and doesn’t discriminate. We accommodate anyone who identifies with what we do.
TM: Do you have an office space? If yes, address.
Temitayo: We have an office space, but it is strictly for administrative work. At this point, we do not publicize our office address because it’s mainly for internal work.
TM: How about your online visibility? Do you have an online store?
TM: Would you say 24 is a luxury brand?
Temitayo: The idea of luxury is a function of affordability, which is relative. I will explain. Luxury to one person is basic to another – and this is heavily determined by purchasing power. If the question is in relation to our materials used, attention to detail and design, then 24 is a luxury item. If the question is about our price in comparison to the products we offer, then 24 is a bargain.
TM: What’s a befitting ‘24‘ occasion? (I mean when can a consumer wear his hat to?) A concert, dinner etc…
Temitayo: As the brand name depicts, 24 can be worn at any time, mainly when socializing. It’s a cool brand.
TM: Is this your first collection?
Temitayo: No. This is about our 12th collection now. We have the collections documented, but we aren’t counting just yet.
TM: Describe a 24 wearer?
Temitayo: The 24 wearer has tried many brands and knows quality; the 24 wearer is very fashion conscious and appreciates looking good; the 24 wearer understands that sophistication comes in many forms and when it comes to casual clothes, 24 is the only bet.
TM: If you had the choice of all designers in the world to work with, who would that person??
Temitayo: Over the years, I have been privileged to wear most of the best designers worldwide. I’m sure if there was a contest for naming as many designers in the space of 5 minutes, I will win. I have grown to appreciate many designers for what they do and I am always willing to learn. That’s why I can’t answer this question with a straight answer because I appreciate different designers for different aspects of their creations. It could be little details such as the collars of their tops, for some it could be the threads used or their cut and tailoring, for others it’s their choice of fabric. The list is endless.
TM: Who/What influences you?
Temitayo: My influences come in various forms. The truth about people who are truly creative is they draw inspiration from anything. I must confess; I’m not a fan of seeking inspiration from other people’s works. I see that as copying. I would rather study my surroundings, my clients and tailor my collections towards such stimuli. And that works wonders.
TM: Any futuristic plans for 24?
Temitayo: If given the chance, 24 will build the first house in the sky with no foundation. That’s how much we love to push the bar. 24 is a lifestyle brand so expect to see us show a bit more of lifestyle in the future.
TM: Any plans to get involved in any Fashion week?
Temitayo: If we are invited to any fashion week, we will definitely try to showcase our stuff. But for now, that isn’t our focus. The streets have accepted us, our clients are our models, and the public sphere is our runway. What more do we need.
TM: Closing thoughts?
Temitayo: My closing thoughts are: I hope for a day when in Nigeria, we will experience true competition. When fashion brands can be placed beside each other and customers can choose based on quality and nothing else. When the full potential of our power in numbers can be harnessed and we can place Nigeria on the global fashion map as a collective power house, and not isolating individual designers as spots of examples.