June 21 , 2019

BACK STORY 3; COLOURS OF WINTER

Who will wear this? That’s what he said to me with a condescending smirk on his face. “Who will wear this?” Four simple words but strung together and coming from him drew out my doubts and insecurities;making me question my WHY. To be fair he meant well, after all he didn’t know my back story. He didn’t know I was 5 months pregnant and had pulled my life-savings to attend a fashion technology course in London, He didn’t know I resigned from a career in banking to become a designer.

I was already intimidated being the oldest and ‘blackest’ in my class, my course mates more intrigued by my marital status than my baby bump. The truth is we both knew he wasn’t really asking a question, he was making a statementt. As my instructor his course was to make me a better illustrator, not to ridicule my point of view or worst still, question my talent. “Where are you from..?” he said protecting his gaze from all the colors on my page and before I could answer he interrupted “….because If you are not designing for London,Newyork,Paris or Italy, then why are you here?”

He returned my sketch to me but not before he quipped “Too much color for this time of the year Tony….” OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!! “WELL Kevin….there is a new fashion capital to add to that list and her name is LAGOS and in my town there is no such thing as too much colour because we got summer all year long baby…….and the name is Tomi……Mrs Rotimi if you are Nasty” SNAP!!!!!!

Anyhoo

Wouldn’t it be cool if I really gave that come back? Yeah my real response was a polite “thank you Kevin” followed by a quick waddle to the rest room for a good cry…….🎵if I could turn back time. Well fast forward 14 years later this is the skirt I sketched. ……..If Kevin could see me now…….yay or nay?

‘Tomi Rotimi

BACK STORY 2-THE EVOLUTION OF GO-TO PANTS

It took me two years to perfect these! Y’all know I love pants. I can pay top dollar for the right pair. Oh! I like a good shift dress but I’m all about pants. Skinny leg, wide leg, boot cut, cropped, Cullotes, jumpsuits… you name it, I’ll wear it (I draw the line at bum shorts. You know I am S.U).

When I felt “led” to design the perfect pair of work pants I knew I would be my toughest critic. These pants had to do everything! These babies had to Cinch my waist, lift my butt, skim my hips, elongate me (like I’m not long enough ) and somehow take me from blazer to tees all in a Lagos minute. Most importantly my go-to pants have to be easy to wear and must be ready to be rocked hard.

I know I was asking a lot from the entire team.the fabric suppliers almost gave up on me and my pattern maker had to relearn patience after I rejected the 5th draft. Guess it it took time because good things are worth the wait right?

I wish I remember the day it happened; the day we finally created what I consider the “best pair of pants you will ever wear” because that day is noteworthy. We created something special and after selling well over xxx pairs they are still bestsellers in every color we bring them in. I love my ‘Go-to’ pants 😊

Anyhoo,

get your self a pair.

‘Tomi Rotimi

PLAYFUL YET STRONG; THE LINEN STORY

My journey to where I am with my brand started humbly. It started with Linen….a fabric I am now convinced chose me. I didn’t fall in love with linen I chose her because I found her readily available but through the years she became more than just a convenience but a friend that helped me express a creative side I didn’t even know existed. Linen has been good to me. She put me in the closets of Queens,on the pages of magazines and in the hearts of many. She opened doors for me that made me prosper….then I left her.

In my pursuit of self discovery I explored new textures, new versions of me. I got excited as I embraced more people and varying points of view. Some of my queens left me; not understanding this new way. So many more were even more endeared to me as I pushed them to new levels of expression. Truth is, I never really left my linen I just didn’t celebrate her as much as she deserved.

With the SUMMER SIGNATURES I’m celebrating an old friend. LINEN put us on the map……quite frankly I think she has kept us there.

Anyhoo
Good things are worth the wait.

‘Tomi Rotimi