We all know them, we all have them. That one friend who dresses immaculately and so on trend no matter the occasion. From birthday parties to festivals, and even Wednesday afternoon client meetings, somehow they always seem to get it right. For me, that friend is Ify Okoye, or as I like to call her; Fifi :)
Over the 13 plus years of our friendship, I've watched as her style has evolved, changed and blossomed into what it is today. Interestingly, her love of fashion has not only influenced her personal style but her career choices too. Currently working for one of the biggest names in fashion by day and as a freelance stylist in her spare time, it's clear why Miss Fifi is making headway against her peers in the fashion realm. Poised with our Starbucks lattes, here's what went down when I caught up with the fashionista herself.
How did you get into fashion/ realise you had an eye for fashion?
From my first job at 15 years old, where would I spend my whole pay-cheque on the latest trends. That’s when I knew I had a "problem" or a passion, as I like to call it! I loved to try out new trends and was known as the risk taker in my friendship group. During this time, I also watched a lot of fashion shows and used to design with my friends.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into the fashion industry?
Follow your dreams! You can be anything in the fashion world, there are no limits as it’s such a fun and creative industry. Also start small with what you have, where you are. Do not be afraid to ask questions and network to get yourself in different internships or experiences you would like. Qualifications also help.
You work in fashion as your full-time role and freelance, which do you prefer and why?
I would definitely say freelance because I can be 100% myself all the time and also work hours I want to work. It also allows me to be a little bit more creative too. Not saying I cannot be myself in my full-time role, but you are limited because you must respond to the needs of the business accordingly, and that takes precedence over your personal feeling or preferences. I love feeling emotions and freelance work allows for that.
With Summer just around the corner, what would you say are going to be big fashion trends this Summer?
Florals are making a comeback! Bright colours are also going to become more popular. Off the shoulder tops with jeans, stripes and also mixing patterns. Slogans and logos on tops, deconstructed shirts and it doesn’t seem like the sporty chic look is going away anytime soon!
What advice would you give to someone who may be struggling to find their own personal style/style identity?
I would start with asking the person, who do you feel you are now and are you happy with this? If not why? How can you change it and how can you grow into the person you would like to be? These are very important questions . I believe the basis of fashion begins from the answers to these questions as fashion is literally an expression of who you are. Your loves, your hates, your passions and emotions.
We pass these feelings into what clothes we wear and how we wear them. Don’t be afraid to try different things, that’s how you find who you are. Try until you find your style. Wear things that make you happy and draw inspiration from style icons. Also, dress more for your shape rather than trends because you will find that you don’t have to buy a lot of different clothes.
How do you stay up to date with current trends?
Social media is a good way to see what is getting everyone excited and what everyone wants to wear and what everyone is loving at that moment. Drapers is a great tool to see retail news and trends. I also research different fashion trend report websites.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Fun, daring, alluring, sometimes boujee, sometimes street but always me!
Who is your favourite designer?
There are so many I don’t know where to start! I love Sophia Webster for shoes, so cute and fun! I love Balmain, Loewe, Balenciaga, Supreme and loads of different high street brands. If I could fully answer this question, it would be one whole page :)
Which celeb's style are you loving at the moment?
Zendaya looks good in just about anything! I love Beyoncé’s pregnancy wardrobe and I have also been loving Rihanna’s recent style. Kim K has also been looking great since she’s been back on social media.
Make sure you follow Miss Fifi on her page @dressedbyfifito keep up to date with her latest fashion loves and style inspo!