The following is an excerpt of a Punch interview with designer Ronke Ladipo.
How I got into fashion
I had been designing dresses since I was young. People would come to me for advice on what to wear. Then, it was just fun for me. I used to be a model until two years ago. But I went to the Austrian Fashion Week for the Austrian lace exhibition and was inspired by the lace I saw on the models. When I returned from that trip, I decided to move on to designing dresses for women. I make shoes, and leather handbags.
My parents wanted a white collar job
I read sociology at the University of Lagos and they thought I would take up a job. My fiancé was the one that really pushed me into fashion. He works with an airline that sponsored the show in Austria.
I don’t miss modelling
No, I don’t. I still model some of my designs. I love modelling as a brand but not on the runway. I do not miss it. I have done it and I am tired of it.
Fashion, now my passion
If you enjoy doing something, you won’t see competition as an obstacle; rather you would see it as a stepping stone to greatness. I am a brand and any fashion that I like, I go to see how it works and if it works for me, I know that it would work for my clientele.
As a young lady in business
It’s been fun but challenging in terms of breaking new grounds. I went for training at Parson Paris School of Design in France. I am also due to go for a three-month crash course in New York next summer. I have showcased at the African Fashion Week in London and New York in the past. I will be at AFWL which is happening in a few days.
I like to travel with my fiancé. He is half German, so we go to Germany a lot to relax and of course we get the opportunity to go to Paris also. I also like to ride horses. I play polo but I am more of a horseback rider. I have two horses.
I am very vintage but very conservative. I love classic dresses. I don’t like any thread coming out of my dresses.
Read more: Punch