ELAN PERSONALITY: Ade Bakare
Mr. Bakare studied fashion at Salford University College in Manchester, graduating in 1990. Looking back, he realises that being a “mature student” had its benefits. “I was more than ready when I started fashion college, so everything that I learned, I took in very quickly and with great relish because I had waited for almost four years before I went to study fashion which I wanted to do from secondary school. So to have waited that long, I basically absorbed everything.”
Today, he’s clear in his belief that fashion designers ought to study fashion design, and not attempt to ride on talent or genius alone. “I totally believe that you have to study it, if not you have to study under someone. I believe when you look at designers you can tell those who have training and those who don’t.”
While at Salford, Bakare won a number of student competitions, which were early confidence boosters. One of these was a bridal wear competition. After graduation, his friend, Dolapo Oki, who had accompanied him to receive the bridal wear award, asked him to design her wedding gown. She wanted a dress she could wear again and again.
Other than the student award, Bakare had no experience in bridal wear, having restricted himself to day and evening wear. But with encouragement from one of his outworkers, he went ahead and made a ball gown dress (with a detachable part) for Miss Oki. That successful venture turned out to be “the first of many to come.” The bridal range launched in 1993, and since then the brides have not stopped trooping in.
From creating eye-catching fashion, Bakare is now in the business of creating the fashion-designers who will rule over tomorrow’s runways.