The International Women's Day campaign aims to share the stories of hidden female figures in the digital fashion world.
A CONVERSATION WITH OMONIGHO AITO-IMONAH
Omonigho Aito-Imonah is a well-known fashion illustrator and designer with over 15 years of expertise in the Nigerian fashion business. She is considered Nigeria's first recorded, professional fashion illustrator, and her work has appeared in some of the country's most prominent publications and websites. Her experience includes magazine editorials, fashion education, and patternmaking/production.
She is credited with writing Nigeria's first text on fashion illustration and has three other texts to her name. She is the founder and creative director of Naijafashionista Illustrations, one of Nigeria's leading creative businesses focusing on fashion illustration and training.
Can you tell us about your journey in the digital fashion space?
I started sketching girls in pretty dresses at age eight and went on to study pattern-making and garment construction after my first degree in computer science. I was exposed to fashion illustration as an art form during my training and went on to develop myself in the art. I became known as Nigeria’s first professional fashion illustrator because of my feature in Genevieve magazine back in 2009, and have gone on to work with some of the biggest names in the Nigerian fashion industry, such as Lisa Folawiyo of Jewel by Lisa. My agency, Naijafashionista Illustrations, was founded in 2013 and provides illustration services and training to fashion enthusiasts. I’ve written 3 books on fashion illustration and currently run an online community of Nigerian fashion creatives called The Fashion Collective Naija, whilst championing the cause of 3D fashion.
What inspires you every day?
My passion for the craft inspires me. Though little known when I started professionally in 2005, it’s become better known and is projected to be the future of sustainable fashion through 3D fashion.
Have you ever faced discrimination because of your gender, and how did you overcome it?
I won’t really call it discrimination, but rather a surprise that a woman my age could produce such great works of art…. Usually, men are known to be the great artists and illustrators… I took it as a compliment!
How do you empower women in your line of work?
I help to create opportunities for them (women) in my field. I am proud that the ten finalists of The Design Project Naija, a fashion competition I organised in April of 2022, were all ladies under 30. They have gone on to be recipients of scholarships from The Digital Fashion Group, one of Europe’s foremost institutions for Digital Fashion.
What is your advice to young women who want to be successful in your field?
Don’t give up! Be Tenacious! Hone your craft and keep abreast of technology in your field. 3D fashion is hot right now, and there are so many opportunities in the field, particularly internationally.
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