1. Tell us about you?
I am Victoria Damilola Nnanna, the C.E.O of House of DOVA. I am the first of five kids. I attended our Lady of Apostles Yaba and went ahead to the University of Lagos, Akoka for B.sc and Style Temple in Abuja for my fashion training.
2. How did you learn how to design and make clothes?
I got my primary knowledge of designing and making clothes my paternal aunt who used to live with us as a kid, then after I decided I wanted to go into designing after school by attending a fashion course at Style Temple Fashion Academy, Abuja.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a women’s clothing Designer?
I learnt to use the machine because my aunt who was a tailor never agreed to mend anything for me and every time she made me a dress, I would imagine and sketch a lot of dramatic detailing.
In her words, (who get time for this you yamayama wey you draw for the hand) and as punishment, she always made me, sew most of my “yamayama”. From then I started to learn the basics of dressmaking and as time went on, I found myself always sketching more designs.
4. If you weren’t a designer, what career path would you have chosen?
If I wasn’t designing, I would have been a makeup artist. As a matter of fact, I ventured into Makeup for a while after secondary school, worked on the Mnet Let’s dance production set, did orange drugs on set makeups, a few music videos and so on,
I guess you can call me an MUA (I might be a little rusty though *laughs*.)
5. How did you come up with the name “Dova Woman“?
Actually, DOVA is an acronym of my names.
6. Why Women’s clothing?
Hmm, first I’m a woman and having attended an all-girls secondary school kind of taught me that fashion is one of the ways women express ourselves, we’d all try to make the boring uniform stylish in every way possible. I want to be able to help women express themselves in the best way they can with their style.
7. Did you have any fears while starting your clothing line and how did you face them?
I sure did and still do have fears like, how to reach my market audience, where to start from and everything you can think of about starting a business. What kept me going was God, my passion and I also had a wonderful support system (my husband, my family, my sister, and friends.)
8. How have Women’s clothes evolved over the years?
Women’s clothing/fashion has indeed evolved over time. More women are beginning to own their femininity and success, thereby dressing the way they want to without feeling too sexy or too bossy. Local fabrics mixed with modern culture has also become a form of expression.
9. What is the most challenging thing about being a designer?
My major challenges from the onset, as with other designers has been electricity, sourcing fabrics and dealing with tailors. Electricity in this part of the world is very epileptic, most times you’re producing your power 20 out of 24 hrs to ensure you meet up with the client’s order.
Also, tailors can be difficult too, although most of them are very good at what they do but getting them to understand your views and ideas can be a little stressful. Sometimes, I end up designing, sewing and detailing the outfit so that it comes out as perfect as the picture in my head. I guess that’s all part of being a business owner and making sure your views and ideas are properly represented.
10. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from the everyday woman. The mothers who wake up early to take care of their children and still go achieve their goals, the single women who are ready to go out there and dominate in their careers.
11. How do you want Women to feel while wearing clothes from House of Dova?
I want them to stand out and feel beautiful on the inside and out.
12. Do you follow trends much as a person and designer?
I do not follow trends but I can be inspired by them. Even as an individual I try to go off the trend, my style is very unique and I always like to stand out.
13. How would you define your style?
My style is Me. It’s a representation of how I feel. On some days I can be very laid back and some days I just want to go all out and be on the baby girl for life mode.
14. What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is a way of expressing one’s self without having to say a word, it’s a form of expression.