Mr. Adewale Adegbaiye Kiji, popularly known as Kijipa, is a Lagos-based fashion designer. Gifted and goal-oriented, he is currently vying to preside over the affairs of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria.
Capable and dependable, he shared his vision for FADAN with YES INTERNATIONAL! MAGAZINE. Enjoy…
Tell the people you are seeking their votes a little about yourself.
My name is Adewale Adegbaiye Kiji. I am a fashion designer/enterpreneur, marketer, writer and founder at Kijipa Couture Ltd, an iconic fashion and lifestyle brand that majors in menswear and i also run a charity initiative known as FNCLS (Feeding Needy Children Living in Slums) in patnership with reputable companies, professionals health practitioners, etc. I am happily married with with three lovely kids.
Can we have a peep into your educational background?
I attended Sacred Heart Private School, Ring Road, Ibadan for my primary education and moved on to the prestigious Loyola College, also in Ibadan for my secondary education. I bagged a HND in Marketing from the Lagos State Polytechnic and relocated to England in 2004, which was a couple of years after graduation. I worked at M&S store, at Scot Arms, Up North England as retail store supervisor while i studied at Wallsal College in the West Midlands, North England.
What is your assessment of FADAN at the moment?
FADAN, at the moment and under the leadership of my amiable and passionate outgoing President, Mrs. Funmi Ajila-Ladipo and the executives (which I am part of) is a built over time body of creative and intelligent professionals making statements in different areas within the fashion space. We run on a mission to surport member designers, advocate for the general interests of the industry, and also raising standards and making positive impacts within the association and the Nigerian fashion space.
So, why do you now want to become FADAN President?
Over the past decade, FADAN has come a long, been successful and through thick and thin, like any other promising organisation and I have not only been a part of these experiences but have also been groomed through the psychological and mental process of dealing and associating with creative minds and individuals. I am convinced it’s now time to build a more robust FADAN that identifies the potentials of member designers, harnesses these potentials and utilises them for the growth of the association. Every single member’s interest and growth is paramount to me and it’s time to use them in the interest, development and growth of FADAN and her member designers.
Could enlighten us more about FADAN membership?
FADAN members are currently categorised into two – the established designers and the baby designers (the student designers). To be a FADAN member, you must first be a professional fashion designer/enterpreneur, practicing fashion in any chosen area of speciality within the fashion space. You must indicate your interest by obtaining a FADAN registration form; your registration form will be processed and you will finally be contacted and absorbed by the office of the General Secretary. Importantly, you must be a dues-paying member in order to enjoy the enormous opportunities of being a member.
How do you intend to move FADAN to the next level?
Like the saying goes, “the more the success, the merrier”, of course. When I become FADAN President, by God’s grace, what will be paramount for me and my exco will be to create a system that ensures that established member designers work sincerely to mentor and surport young and upcoming ones in order for us to groom more equipped and successful member designers/brands. The more successful designer brand owners we groom in the association, the stronger voice to make the desired positive change and achievements within the Nigerian fashion industry. We have a lot on our sleeves, but we need to get every member designer on track in order to move towards development and at the speed of light.
It’s time to build a FADAN of Champions and thrive further by creating logical and working ideas and again negotiate for consistent partnerships that will benefit our association and patners.
What can you point to as your achievements since delving into fashion designing?
Since 2017, I have used my growing influence within the fashion space as a tool to feed and care for needy children living in slums through the FNCLS charity initiative (Feeding Needy Children Living in Slums), in patnership with reputable companies, professional health practitioners and a percentage cut on proceeds from a line of my company’s fashion products just to put smiles on these less privileged kids’ faces.
In November 2019, I was specially invited by the Stanbic IBTC Bank as the only Nigerian designer to showcase the distinct process of production of two of my iconic designs and their unique and Afrocentric influence on today’s style. This was at the bank’s 30th anniversary gala night.
I have been invited by style icons, captains of industry and I remain a personal designer to numerous successful gentlemen till date. I have really, really been contributing my own quota to the advancement of the fashion business and if voted in as FADAN President, I will take the business and its practitioners to the next level. The welfare of fellow designers will be uppermost in my agenda.