Fatai Okanlawon Salawu is the CEO of Outfit by Salfaton Nigeria (Salfaton_ng). A luxury brand that caters for the fashion needs of individuals who are in love with luxury. He is also a trained teacher and change creator.
In an interview with ipledge2nigeria.net webteam in Lagos he talks about his luxury fashion brand, how he started his fashion brand, what makes Outfit by Salfaton Nigeria different from other fashion brands, the struggle he encountered when he started Salfaton Nigeria and the future of the brand.
What is Outfit by Salfaton Nigeria about?
We are a luxury brand specialised in making corporate, casual and traditional attires. We started the brand out of passion but with time we realized that. Passion can sustain it but there is a gap in the creative industry for people that have top-notch fashion ideology so we started making our attire to breach the gap. You know making attires here in Nigeria is quite different from local products in comparison to international standards.
How long have you been in this industry, and how has it been?
I Have Been In The Industry Since 2009 That Is For 14 Years.
How will you describe your journey?
Every successful enterprise has gone through a growth phase, you know they are days of little beginnings and now we have a brand that produces luxury fashion items for people all over the world, it has been a phase transition but we thank Almighty God.
When you say a phase transition, looking back 10 years back, what were the struggles, challenges and things you had to deal with to become this luxury brand?
Having a niche in the luxury industry is not a small feat because you have several competitors. So you need a unique selling point for making people come back and see the value you can give to them. We have a lot of designs that do amazing customer experience so sometimes it is beyond the product it is about the experience that the people feel from the product that you give them.
When I come to Outfit by Salfaton, what experience will I have?
Firstly, the personality of the person on the Frontline of the brand matters a lot. It determines whether a prospective client is going to stay with the brand or is going to look for the next available brand. When you have an encounter with the creative lead of our luxury brand, he speaks with you with great insights, and in-depth knowledge about the business and gives the prospective clients options to choose from. He offers professional advice on why we should style particular attire at a particular time or not. All these things are factors that make clients stay with a particular brand because they are getting more value there.
As a creative director, what inspires your luxury brand?
What inspired me was the desire to have a unique identity. I just did not want to wear regular attire in the market. I started drawing my designs and started the production
How receptive are people to your brand?
For every brand, there is a phase and once you have an amiable personality, people will always reckon with you. So it is always about the phase first and the quality of service our customers are getting from the brand.
What makes your brand different from the regular luxury brand we see in the Nigerian Fashion industry?
Firstly it is the magic. The magic is always in the choice of our fabric. They are different kinds of luxury fabrics so you have to know what fabric suits everyone. You know they are people that want to reckon with fabrics or categories of clothing that are brought from a particular part of the world so the choice of fabric, the detailing and then credibility. People don’t want to identify with brands that don’t deliver. So we have a service level agreement for every one piece that we make so our clients rest assured that once their attire gets to us, they can go ahead and drink a bottle of wine knowing fully well that before long their attire is ready.
So How Affordable Is Your Brand?
Luxury items are not cheap and then the value that people get for their money is not for the short period that it takes to deliver that job for them. It is from the lots of experience that you have gathered over the years. So people that do luxury items it is a lot of work that takes time.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Our ultimate mission is to be in every country in the world so in the next five years I am very certain that we will have our attire in Paris, we will have a lot of showrooms all over the world so our brand becomes a global brand.