One of the young Nigerians really taking the fashion business by storm is Temitayo Ilesanmi Nathan. The once a time student of Nursing of University of Lagos is the creative director of the prominent Nigerian fashion brand, T.I Nathan. The name of the brand is unmistakable, if you followed the maiden edition of the Fayrouz L’Original competition of 2014. Temitayo Ilesanmi was part of Team Elan, the group that won the jaw-dropping prize of $20,000 US dollars and other fashion opportunities.

Temitayo Ilesanmi and the brand, T.I Nathan both share an interesting mutually exclusive relationship. Temitayo Ilesanmi is the main creative brain behind the designs, while T.I Nathan is the brand under which the amazing designs are marketed. Temitayo Ilesanmi and the brand T.I Nathan have both come a long way since the occasion of the Fayrouz L’Original competition in 2014. One of the early successes of the brand was getting to showcase their works at the 2014 Lagos Fashion & Design Week. At the event, Temitayo Ilesanmi won the Lagos fashion young designer of the year. Since then, they have gracefully showcased T.I Nathan wears at subsequent editions of the celebrated event till this day.

Following the success of the brand at the 2014 Lagos Fashion & Design Week, T.I Nathan was selected alongside four other amazing Nigerian fashion designers to represent the country at the high flyers’ event, the International Fashion Show in London, in the year 2015. As you would expect, T.I Nathan designs scored high and enjoyed wide appreciation even on the international stage. It was another remarkable feat for the fast-growing brand and a dream-come-true for Temitayo Ilesanmi on a personal level.

Temitayo Ilesanmi is today considered one of Nigeria’s most creative fashion heads; ironically, he never nursed a childhood ambition of becoming a fashion designer. In fact, he revealed that fashion designing started for him professionally in 2013, during his days as a student in UNILAG. Having been a style conscious individual, experimenting different fashion designs with his personal wears and getting positive comments from friends and acquaintances inspired him to start fashion designing on a professional level.

Since going pro, Temitayo Ilesanmi has lit up the fashion stage in Nigeria. He has shown fashionistas a new perspective of design, one that adds style, confidence and aura to the body it is worn on. The list of celebrities that have been styled by T.I Nathan is almost endless. On the list, you would find Richard Mode-Damijo, Joseph Benjamin, 2face, Wizkid, Patoranking, Skales and many more. The creative sensation of Temitayo Ilesanmi and his team does not just touch on the surface, it reaches the heart. Little wonder Temitayo Ilesanmi referenced personal experiences as the major source of his inspiration. One of the notable works by T.I Nathan was inspired by the J.P Clark poem titled Abiku, another popular design of theirs, the Love & Heartbreak collection was inspired by the personal experience of Temitayo Ilesanmi. In the same manner, most T.I Nathan designs are inspired by personal experiences, which make them relatable and appealing.

There is no doubt that T.I Nathan is a brand on the rise and Temitayo Ilesanmi is poised to become a major stakeholder in Nigerian fashion business in the future. Temitayo Ilesanmi would be fulfilling his wishes, when he gets to style ASAP Rocky and Barack Obama in the future. He also muses about working with the amazing Belgian Fashion Designer, Raf Simons. Like Raf Simons, Temitayo Ilesanmi also has interest in Furniture Designs. According to him, if he was not designing wears, he would be in the Furniture or Real Estate business. For Temitayo Ilesanmi, the success achieved in building the T.I Nathan brand has not come easy, but his passion and dedication has helped him in reaching heights. He looks to do even greater exploits in the fashion business and continue to come up with eye-catching and body-friendly designs, because creation is a practice he just cannot do without.



This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets ; culled from Issue 16

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