vans Akere is a fashion designer. The Founder/CEO likewise the Creative Director of Vanskere Fashion House. Vanskere, is one of the most sort after clothing brands in Nigeria that caters to a-list celebrities and fashionistas including Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Richard Mofe Damijo Zack Orji among others. He went to London College of Fashion that was after he had setup his fashion business, the brand and landscape, which he intended to connect professionally since there is a need for him to have background knowledge and understanding. It has been fifteen years now since his business in fashion has been surviving all kinds of storms. Initially, it all started as a passion and hobby, however he eventually find out that it is not just a hobby, but also a business. Evans Akere decided to receive some learning about fashion in other to make it a business-like. For him, acquiring the knowledge has not been easy just as every other business faces their own challenges but it has being worthwhile.
Although, He discovered he is more close to art courses in his school days even as a Law student, but he really did not see a career in law. Along the line, while he was in school he encounters some difficulties trying to fit in, however, he realize that he would not go far as a practicing lawyer. Therefore, at Law School these challenges made him make up his mind to go into the business of fashion professionally. He understand that venturing into fashion will require some knowledge and as well, he did search for the knowledge. Evans Akere had the opportunity of having proper education due to his background, which has given him the edge and scope to startup his fashion business knowing fully well that he does not need to hire a lawyer because he already has the basic knowledge, which has helped him, with no regret.
For Evans, he believes that “as human we all have what we are passionate about – passion can be turn to career, and fashion was what he was passionate about”. He has always been a fashionable person from childhood as a young boy who love colors and sketch. Evans has always being very good at creating art and as such he already have the basic thing that He needed; deviating into something else was just a slits journey” he said. As furtherly defended, Evans made it clear about his decision to become a fashionista was not a parental decision; it is a self-decision. His father was his role model likewise as a successful lawyer, which was what made him choose law because he had always wanted to be like his father, he cherished what his father does and wanted to be like him. As a child with creative art flair back in primary school days, his artwork was published on the Guardian Newspaper, which in turn made his father so proud of him. Initially, he had a reason for not following this path he was at that moment he realized that he is more of a creative young man rather than following his father’s footsteps considering is father as his role model. Now for Evans, the fashion business has changed and review a different perspective to his mindset. His favorite part in fashion as a fashion designer is the transformation, seeing his design on his client gives him the joy of bringing nothing to something. Just as he punched it “when I see a lot of my design out there when people loving and rocking it there’s this joy that you feel as an individual. You know, it like an artist in their quite time then comes with a concept that is being accepted by people. It so fulfilling” he said. He articulately pin point the differences between fashion and style, – for Evans, “fashion is the style to me, while style comes at any given time, there’s no particular time that style is not trending. This is what made style different from fashion. Your style is a way of dressing that which is simultaneously peculiar to a particular race, people or tribe – somebody can have a way of dressing that will appear stylish that might be in the fashion trend; so the style is consistent while fashion is a trend that fades off” As a fashion designer, he believes that inspiration is spiritual like creativity with design; more like creating music and the inspiration to do so it is usually spiritual because when inspiration is acquired, it suits in the spirit. He made it clear that having design encounter can come to anybody at any time, maybe when taking a walk or sitting doing nothing, there’s no specific time for inspiration to come. Therefore, inspiration is not something or anything one can force but something will sure do trigger it. However, for Evans, he cannot say this is the particular time it comes; it comes when it is time to hit him and when he feels that, he writes it down in a form of write-up or sketches. As a creative fashion director, coming up for Evans was not base on any form of training, although having attendant the London School of Fashion. Even though he started a bit late as a fashion designer, he still looked, up to people like Rita Cober and other veteran fashion designers thereby following their brand and trend. Being a successful Nigerian fashion designer, Evans made it clear that to be successful in the creative design industry mainframe; one should have the skill, apart from having the talent you have to be hardworking, perseverance and to be creative, because it will not be good to copy. For Evans, becoming a successful fashion designer, imitation is not an ideal concept; you have to be creative as a person, be original in your brand and style however, if you are not, being a fashion designer or creative director is not a go area. For Evans, he explain the reason why a fashion designer is different from a tailor, he truly believes that we have fantastic tailor that sew cloths who might not be able to create the design, in the same vein, there are good fashion designer that understand tailoring, but it is clear that Fashion designer is a trendsetter. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing both. The advantage of being a fashion designer is that people perceive you more and everybody would want to get in contact with you. Nonetheless, you might be stuck to the machine and might not give enough chance for you to create; which is the disadvantage as a tailor. According to Evans Akere, a secondary school certificate is enough to be a fashion designer just as it was clarified while another certificate is enough to back it up – “it is a creative industry it’s not necessary you go or finish university. It’s here in Nigeria or Africa not finishing with school is a barrier which is never so in the western world” Since the world we lived in is technological advancing, Akere does not stop sketching the old school way, which he enjoys a lot. He still goes around with his pen and pad. Although the efficiency of technology is used in terms of marketing, branding, and the use of social media. Keeping up-to-date with fashion trend, had in one way or the other indicated in his fabrics that he follows up fashion show, engaging more of his time in research in other to know what is trending in the outer world to see new things to see the insight of what is new in the industry. African and western style is different, just as it is known that fashion has western influence, which is the more reason research is necessary to balance up the craft. The ethical value for Evans as fashion designer and being a creative director just as it has been earlier indicated that fashion is something he enjoys to do and proud of. For Evans, spotting him on the red carpet is unlikely just like every other fashion designer or even have the time to socialize but the business is glamorously waxing stronger and better. He made it clear that there are three basic things keep the man alive, which is food, shelter, and cloth. It is so important that everybody needs food to keep feet, shelter over their head and cloth to cover their skin. According to Evans, fashion started in the bible during the time Adam and Eve ever since, covering our body with cloth emerged. Following Evans analogy of the emergence of clothing. More so, fashion trend is a recycle thing there is nothing new in fashion. Looking at it, you will find out many fashion trends today are all throwback concept just that we designer spice it up. Evans does not buy the idea of being weak, so for him, weakness does not exist; in as much as his strength is his creativity so many times people commend him on his style and designs. Describing himself as being a colorful young chap back in school days, it went off while getting older. So right now Evans Akere is simpler in style, dark shade with a simple outlook. He made his cloth himself; clothing for Evans encompasses thought. Fabrics goes with the weather; at his fashion house, they used more cotton, nylon, and chinos materials. Describing his kind of business, Evans acknowledges stress as part of their everyday engagement from the clients to staff and institution. For Evans, handling stress is by going on vacation like two weeks or more and by so doing, he is able to manage stress and pressure. However, if he is not on vacation, he read or watch a program” he said. In Evans advise on client’s complains or arrogance, he said “sometimes clients may complain arrogantly, what you need to do as a business person is be calm, amend on what so ever they complain of, likewise you have to cool down and be tolerance”. For Evans Akere he has not collaborate with any fashion designers, but have worked with numerous professional and nonprofessional models – these professional models come through their agent as well as knowing what to give on set. However, Evans has worked with celebrity models and have never had any issue with them for they are easy to work with and most of them are his clients. “Hardly do Evans have time with my family; he finds it difficult to balance it, but admits that his wife understands considering the fact that she is a fashion person because she knows what it entails to be a fashion designer” he said.