STYLESbyO.D.I. is inspired by Obie’s Nigerian culture. It is designed based on a type of fabric called Ankara which is very popular in West African culture. Ankara is a vibrant, festive, and colorful pattern that is used to express character and personality amongst West Africans.
Obie’s vision is to remake the latest trends using Ankara and while incorporating a unique twist to modern day clothing. Her hope is to one day captivate people around the world with these Ankara pieces and to inspire and encourage all to tell their own story by wearing STYLESbyO.D.I.
Obie Iloka is a 26 year old Ohio Native. She is an Environmental Engineer with a passion for fashion. Obie finds her designing inspiration through daily life experiences and enjoys creating unique Ankara styles for everyone to wear. Check Out my interview with her below
1.What is your full name? And how did the name ” Styles by O.D.I” originate?
My full name is Obiageli D. Iloka. The name of my clothing line is pretty simple, it’s just my initials.
2.Where were you born & raised? Did your upbringing have an early influence on you wanting to design or style clothes for yourself and others?
I am a Nigerian native and was born and raised in the state of Ohio. STYLESbyO.D.I. is inspired by my Nigerian culture. It is designed based on a type of fabric called Ankara which is very popular in West Africa. What makes Ankara so fun to work with is that each piece is so vibrant, colorful and most importantly unique. I originally began making clothes because it was so difficult to find clothes that really represented me. I just wanted something that I was proud to wear and unique to the person I was trying to represent through my clothing. It wasn’t until my friends and family began asking me to make pieces for them as well, that I realized I wasn’t the only one that felt this way. All of the positive feedback I have been receiving was really what motivated me to start my clothing line.
3. Define Fashion? And how would you describe your personal style?
To me, Fashion is expressing one’s personality and uniqueness through their clothing. I don’t feel as though fash
ion is simply following trends, but it’s more of being able to communicate who you are and what you’re about without saying a word. Almost like telling a story. For myself, the story I want to get across is one that involves a lot of fun, a rich heritage, and a combination of different styles and experiences incorporated together. When it comes to the things I wear, I feel that it expresses who I am. I’m not very mundane with my styles. I love mixing it up by adding different colors and prints to make it more unique.
4 . I know you recently had a Launch Party for ” Styles by O.D.I” can you tell me how that went, and the inspiration behind that outfits you chose to display to guests?
The Launch Party went above and beyond my expectations. The love and support I felt from my friends, family, and the attendees was such an overwhelming experience. And I feel really blessed that the night was such a success.
For the outfits displayed, I wanted to give a sneak peak as to what people could expect in the upcoming Fall and autumn months. My designs focused on blazers, shorts, and bomber jackets for men and stylish jackets, maxi skirts, and jumpsuits for women. During the autumn months people typically wear more neutral or darker shades so for my fabric choice, I chose to incorporate darker colors/tones such as blacks, tans, and blues within the fabric.
5. Do you work well under pressure?
Definitely not! Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am a worrier and somewhat of a perfectionist. So dealing with intense time constraints and the stress of putting on shows has been both a difficult and pretty exciting new experience for me. Stepping out of your comfort zone every once and awhile can be pretty rewarding at times.
6. Who are some people in the Fashion Industry that you look up to for guidance, and ways to enhance your craft?
This is a tough question because I get inspiration from so many different places, whether it’s from the famous South African designer, David Tlale, browsing magazines, or even from someone I see walking down the street. For me, inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime.
7. What are 3 words that you would use to describe yourself and your brand? Why?
I would describe myself and my brand as eclectic, lively, and radiant. I feel my style/brand displays creativity, boldness, as well as lots of colors and patterns which are also shown through all my designs.
8. Where would you like to see your brand in 5 years?
Through my passion and drive, I see myself really growing the Styles by O.D.I. brand and building a stronger and larger consumer and clientele base. As each year passes, I hope to expose as many people as possible from all over to these Ankara pieces. I also hope to inspire and encourage everyone to step out of their box and wear something that tells their own unique story. 🙂
9. Any advice for anyone interested in entering this field?
Some advice I would give is to not let uncertainty and fear blind you from your passion and dreams. Just take that first leap of faith and remember that with hard work, prayer, and drive they too can do whatever they put their mind to.
10. How can people get in contact with you?