Lets Talk Fashion with British Bridal Designer – Kosibah’s Yemi Osunkoya

Even though it was almost 8 years ago, I remember vividly the excitement I felt when I decided to look for my dream wedding dress. The plan was to buy something off the rack, an elegant statement piece, one that people would ooh and aah and one that would take my groom’s breath away upon first sight. However, my dress was designed and made just for me, my first haute couture experience.

Shall we fast-forward 8 years as I walk into Kosibah to meet with the owner Yemi Osunkoya. Yemi is an impressive man, tall and charming yet eloquent in his approach. As he guides me through his journey, his labor of love shines through when he describes to me his journey of how he came to be one of the foremost British black haute couture bridal designers, still standing for 23 years. I ask if there is any significance with the name Kosibah. It turns out to be a derivation of his mother’s name. She was born on a Sunday and named Cosiba; he changed the spelling to make it a little more user friendly yet different and Kosibah was born.

'Odile''Odette'

Image courtesy of Damien Lovegrove                            Image courtesy of Alakija Studios

I wanted to know more about this important designer, so I delved into his background and how he came to be a designer. He explains that the compromise he made with his parents when he told them he wanted to be a designer it would be for that reason he would go to university. “If I could have gone to university to study fashion design in Nigeria, I would have done so, but there wasn’t any university offering fashion design courses at that time. So I decided to study textile design because I thought fashion and textiles go hand in hand and it could always come in useful afterwards. So when I came to England, I didn’t want to go through another 4 years of fashion school; I just wanted to learn how to sew, how to draft a pattern, how to cut fabric and other practical skills relevant to creating clothes because I could already design and was pretty good at sketching out my design ideas.” In London he attended a private fashion school called the Paris Academy School of Fashion. It’s closed now, but there he was taught old-school couture: “where you take 26 very precise body measurements from your client, you then develop a body block, from the body block you make a pattern draft and then you do a fitting on your client with a mockup/prototype of the garment you are making in toile; there’s usually some slight fitting issues that are flagged up at this stage because everyone’s body is different so I don’t deal in dress sizes, I deal in body measurements for each individual.”

'Ekatarina'

Image courtesy of Kosibah

After starting his business in casual wear, he very quickly realized his methods of production were not viable and would be both too expensive and labor intensive. His business organically evolved into bridal and special occasion wear because of the way he wanted to make his dresses. “I can create whatever my client wants. The unifying factor in all my dresses is the figure enhancing aspect of them, so regardless of whether I’m using kente, or I’m using ankara or I’m using lace, or I’m using duchess satin, it’s the same couture process I use but it’s all client led.”

Kosibah Real Bride Hadiza
Image courtesy of  Kosibah

Ladies, finally a designer that cares about women with curves! Yemi goes on to explain, “they obviously come to me because they’ve seen something I’ve done. I sit down with them, I look at them physically to see what would fit because that’s my basic ethos. I ask myself what can I do for this person in front of me to flatter them and make them look their best? Sometimes we minimize certain body areas and sometimes we enhance other body parts.” As a woman with curves, I begin to smile and Yemi smiles back in acknowledgment that I like his style!

Kente-Oke BridesmaidMother of the Bride Lady Boateng and Yemi
Images courtesy of Kosibah

Dressing his bride is a service he offers because after working for months on a dress, he wants to see the dress in the right setting and wants to ensure it looks exactly the way he designed the piece. A client who he met through Instagram flew him to Abuja to the wedding to dress her. Ladies, you can bring the designer to you! Yemi is not only a 21st century designer but he is engaged with social media and recognizes how powerful a marketing tool it is for his product. He understands the power of Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, “learning the etiquette of the social platforms he uses” he now has clients he would not have met under normal circumstances.

Kosibah Real Bride TemiKosibah Real Bride Chinyelu I

Images courtesy of Kosibah

I asked Yemi whom would he consider as his ideal client. He explains, “she is a full-figured woman because anybody that is a size 14 or under, people might just assume she’s got great body.” A full-figured woman that wears one of his dresses should expect a significant amount of body sculpting in order to make more of an impact. If you’re not sample sized, it might be more difficult to just get something off the peg which is where getting something bespoke might be your priority. Because of “the quality of the fabric, embellishments that I use in my dresses and the line and the silhouette of the finished gown, I want it to always scream class and grace.” I ask him if he could dress any bride, or create a bespoke dress, who or what would that be? Yemi immediately responds, “if Oprah ever decides that she wants to marry Stedman, she should come and knock on my door, and I will create the most amazing dress for her because she has the perfect figure I’d like to get my hands … ’cause she has an hourglass figure.” I smile and tell him we’ll have to get that message across the pond to Oprah.

Check out Yemi at the following:

http://www.kosibah.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/YemiKosibah
http://www.twitter.com/yemikosibah
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/yemiosunkoya
http://www.yemikosibah.com

 

Michelle Lowe is the travel editor for World Bride Magazine and is based in London, UK.

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The Business Of Hospitality- Dubai Ramada Plaza Visit

“You can’t please everyone.” We’ve all heard these words since childhood. As adults we need to believe them to survive the harsh competition and to find success in our field.

While pleasing everyone may not be my ultimate goal, for a hotel franchise as large as Ramada the very theory can and will destroy a business while simultaneously killing an economy if ignored.

In this new age of technology the options for travel are endless. With over a hundred sites to help you buy tickets and reserve hotel rooms from cheap stays to the royal treatment, you are bound to craft a journey specific to you and businesses will need to cater to your needs.

We caught up with the managing director of Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach Residence, JBR, Terak Hayder, who shared with us the three formulas of building a successful hotel stay for your guests.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION

The red carpet treatment upon arrival was an understatement. From the moment we arrived our every needs were met. The location is conveniently located within a five-minute walk to the beach and easily connects to a private pool on property. The streets nearby are nothing short of a restaurant mecca. And the hotel itself is equipped with a wig spa, three restaurants and a bar that provided entertainment, both live and stemming from a jukebox that contained variety of tunes.

WINING AND DINING

The hotel is armed with the capability to host not only meetings or luncheons but entire weddings. Guests can choose to enjoy the magnificent city view from a private, intimate setting of 30 all the way up to parties of 160.

The selling point of the restaurant lies within its renowned executive chef whom I promise will not disappoint. This French born food artist is not only charming and pleasing to the eyes ladies, he also has that appetizing French accent that will definitely make an impression in the beginning of your experience for your occasion. The wait staff of women is equally as beautiful and accommodating.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

As always, I am a stickler for manners and customer service. With the exception of the shortage of front desk help that made check-in a bit slow, the offering of refreshments and acknowledgement of your presence makes it tolerable. But I guess when your hotel is at full capacity that may be not such a bad problem to have.

I don’t remember ever pressing a button once we were on the elevator. Security personnel on each main elevator were there to assist me the entire time and I was definitely spoiled.

The hotel staff serves complementary breakfast, snacks, and happy hour beverages to preferred customers leaving nothing to complain about. Except for maybe gaining too much weight after the constant eating you will be doing. Hunger calls at 4am? There is someone in the kitchen ready to serve you. Bon Appetit!

The hotel room itself and the view more then made up for any discomfort experienced at check-in. The property provides parking and a concierge desk for all your needs. There is even a shop for souvenirs and small needs.

So maybe you can please just about everyone. Or come darn close to it.

World Bride Magazine in London

World Bride Magazine are launching into Europe and its all exciting as we approach the amazing event taking place at The May Fair Hotel in May Fair London on Saturday 12th December starting at 5pm.

World Bride Magazine’s event is hosted by Betsie Dsane Britain’s Super Model featured in the latest Project Catwalk and H & M by Madonna – Check out Look Book Factory

We have some amazing designers who are flying in from around the world to be part of show. Yes the designers will be at the event to meet with you whilst their designs are showcasted.

  • Jane Wilson Marquis from New York, comes home to London as she has made some fantastic designs especially for this event.
  • Isabel Zapardiez from Spain, wow what can i say she is awesome and the designs speak for themselves.
  • Jasper Garvida from Project Catwalk is extremely talented and the designs will be showcasted for the modern and quirky brides.

Plus we have some great sponsors such as :

Mizani L’oreal, John Lewis Gifting, Kim Rix (Wedding Planner), m2m damorejon nail collection, Celebrity Session Stylist Eugene Davis designs a Bridal Wig Collection for Shuly Wigs plus more.

 This is just to name a few of the exciting people and companies that are involved. This will be an event based on experience which should not be missed.

Win a Free Nights stay the May Fair Hotel*on the night

Win a Wedding Coordinator for your most important day by the amazing Kim Rix. Book sometime with the planner via bookings@freelancetheworkspace.com

Tickets are now on sale so book quickly as to avoid disappointment. BOOK NOW

Brides we are looking for you as we want 7 amazing brides to be featured in our next issue.

Everyone is welcome to come as this is not your traditional bridal show as we would like to meet with you all.

Look forward to seeing you there.

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