Saturday, January 20, 2018

I had the pleasure of interviewing the C.E.O of Climax Clothing Charles Obiagwu, a young, innovative and creative designer who has made a name for himself in the Northern part of Nigeria and is ready to hopefully take on Nigeria entirely. 
He recently won an award for the best male designer during the Northern Fashion week. 
We discussed how fashion designing all started for him and what we should expect from his brand. So guys, have a lovely read

    DVF: Welcome to the DvfStyleCollective Charles, tell me about yourself?

Charles: My name is Charles obiagwu ... I'm a guy who loves nature, loves working every day on bettering himself and I have an aim to one day be a household name worldwide. I am from Anambra state but I live in the Northern part of Nigeria, Kaduna to be precise. I am a fashion designer and also an entrepreneur 

DVF: Why did you choose fashion designing?

 Charles: Fashion has always been my dream when I was a kid, my mom was a tailor, watching and helping her back then always made me happy, so I naturally took interest in it and fell in love with  fashion but back then it was just in the general terms of  "looking good" but not as a designer, I didn't consider that aspect until I met  Mally, he's a designer, he opened my eyes to my love for designing because I was kinda more interested in modeling then but I wasn't too serious with it.

When I started I didn't have much so I'd just make stuff for myself and also for my friends and their responses were really cool, almost everyone received my designs really well and from then on I became a serious designer and started growing and growing and that's how Climax Clothing Nigeria began and how we got to where we are today

DVF: Wow that's so nice... what are your areas of specialization in fashion designing?

 Charles: Mostly men wear but I am beginning to try my hands out at lady's wears and so far it's been okay but I will need more time before I can really focus and major in that aspect, we make suits, casuals native designs, sandals and shoes

DVF: Sandals too ... That's really nice

Charles: Yes, thank you

 DVF: I had no idea that Climax produced those other ranges of things asides clothing, so what according to you is your favorite part of being a designer?

 Charles: The part I love most would be the personality, a person's personality comes alive when they have really good clothes on, I believe that " your style defines who you're!" and as for my style and Climax that means designing and producing corporate wears and matured looking clothes. I want to make clothes for men "classic and matured minded men"

DVF: Who or what inspires you when you're designing and creating clothes?

 Charles: Well I have some many people I look up to but when it comes to inspiration, it's definitely my mum's love for fashion that inspired and continues to inspire me

DVF: Lovely, but surely you have other people that you look up to for design inspiration, so can you name a few of them?

Charles: When it comes to other designers I look up to creatives like Coco Chanel (internationally) while locally I also love Mai Atafo's work, Vodi, Mike Mally, MoZe apparel and G-Nation, some of these guys are major Nigerian designers based but on a low profile.

They might not be way up there yet but I love them for their talents and way of life .... plus

DVF: That's awesome, In designing what would you say are your greatest strengths and what you would like to improve more on?

 Charles: My greatest strength is God...Well I need to be consistent ...... because if I am consistent, I equally begin to improve myself  and that creative improvement will reflect in all ways

DVF: How would you deal with a client who isn't satisfied?

 Charles: I will be very humble and try to understand what he or she wants...

DVF: How would you describe your personal style?

Charles: Classic, simple & significant

DVF: How did you come to name your designs "Climax Clothing" ??

Charles: I came about it through Usher .... my favorite song of his is titled Climax and I really didn't want any name that would be too personal ... I want a very strong brand with a name that is easily marketable and anyone will be able to boast of partnering with in the future

DVF: How cool, I love that song too, do you have knowledge of tailoring or do you just base on the creative design aspect of things?

Charles: Yes I do, well now based on the things I need to look after I can't share myself ... so most of the time I have staffs working for me while I focus on the creative and design aspect of things

DVF: Yes that's understandable but you certainly make sure they are giving every piece their best yeah?

 Charles: Yes... cause if they don't, they're risking the brand's name and I can't afford to risk my brand name ... I know the kind of costumers I have, they are very detailed and I've also got an eye for detail and high quality😉

DVF: Yeah, as expected so how old is Climax clothing?

Charles: it's almost four years old now

DVF: That's nice... soon it'll be hitting the big five (5) lol .... okay, so back to your staff for a little bit, on what criteria bases do you select them?

Charles: My workers are of different religions and tribes but all work in one place and I'm thankful to God for them and the fact that Climax Clothing serves as a place where Nigerians, regardless of their tribe and religious beliefs can come together to function as one creative unit. So firstly they must be creative, clean and have apt knowledge and understanding of tailoring

DVF: So is it a unisex line or is it just for men?

 Charles: For now, most of my clients are men but we also design pieces for the ladies but that's based strictly on order

DVF: So far, how would you say your experience has been and what are some of the bad experiences you have had as a fashion designer?

Charles: Well not too far but by God's grace I will get there I have spent a lot and also been cheated for fake fabrics

 DVF: Really??... That's awful, hope it hasn't occurred too many times?

Charles: Yeah, that's life.. you live and you learn

DVF: Speaking of fabric, how do you usually decide which material is right for each design?

  Charles: I try to always use the best I don't use Ankara for my business clothes... I go for the best and the price will determine how good it is

DVF: So tell me when you're getting married. .. are you going to design your wedding suit yourself or get one from another designer you love?

Charles: Yes, I'll design it myself, it doesn't take much nothing for me to design and make my own suit, what I think will be the tricky thing Is the suit color to choose... that's all lol but time will tell on all of that

DVF: Lol that's nice, speaking of colors... what is your favorite color?

Charles: Ash, navy blue, white and black... what's yours?   

    DVF: Lol black is currently a front runner but I also love purple, blue and red

Charles: I do like red also 

 DVF: So I saw that you did a kimono line?

Charles: Yes and it currently on sale for now

DVF: That's nice, so did you design all the pieces in the collection yourself?

Charles: Yes I did

DVF: What inspired you to do a kimono collection?

Charles: A female friend of mine, her name is Julie Nwafor... she inspired me to do this and is also helping Climax Clothing market them, she has partnered up with Climax Clothing on this kimono line and for further female collections that we'll be working on

DVF: That's really nice, I love the designs, okay so Nigeria has lots of amazing designers obviously If you had the opportunity to do a collaboration with one of our topmost designers.. who would it be?

Charles: Mai Atafo

DVF: Awesome pick, I love his work too.  

DVF: What inspired you to start designing for kids?

Charles: Well growing up as a kid, I always wanted to look good or look the best that I could because my family, we really didn't have much back then so now that I can help make other kids look really good for prices that aren't exorbitant or crazy expensive, I love to do it because I just love to see kids looking well dressed and outstanding especially when they are rocking my designs, it makes me feel really good and kind of reminds me of myself as a kid and how happy looking good made me feel

DVF: Alright, that's really nice, I love that. Tell me, is there a major difference with designing for kids versus designing for adults or is it just basically the same process but making the clothes in smaller sizes?

Charles : There are definitely differences, it is time-consuming and surprisingly even more technical to sew considering the amount of intricacy that goes into the cutting and sewing process while with an adult's clothes you already know the measurements and how you will cut it from studying their physique. 

Secondly, kids love and appreciate a lot of color mixtures while with adults in most cases they just stick to basic color hues.

DVF: I didn't know that much work went into children clothing,
 I thought it'd be way easier

Charles:  it's definitely not as easy as you think it is lol


DVF: So you recently presented your latest collection during the Northern fashion week, the one at Zaria precisely and you won the award for the best male designer, Congratulations on that win. 

Now, what does winning that award mean to you?

  Charles: It means a lot to me, it's such an honor, I am thankful to God, my hardworking staff, everyone who has been there for me through this journey at one point or the other and also everyone that has been a source of inspiration to me especially my loving family, The Obiagwu's

DVF: So what are your future plans for Climax... how do you see the climax brand progressing?

Charles: My plan as the C.E.O of Climax Clothing Nigeria is to become a household name, worldwide

DVF: Well that's great and I wish you the best with everything, thank you so much, Charles, for your time and this awesome interview

Charles: (Laughs), it's no problem. Thank you too.


Contact Climax Clothing....

  Whatsapp- 08131540415, 08112871055



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