Finding the perfect profession can start as a hobby that can later grow into something bigger than just pure curiosity. This is exactly the story of Sharon Ojong, the Calabar-born fashion stylist and creative director of D.E.E.V.A.S. Ojong’s talent and passion has led her to many opportunities such as becoming an associate producer, as well as the in-house stylist at Spice Fashion Channel. Having styled everyone from actress Omoni Oboli to singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage, Ojong shares exclusive details about her career, her experiences in the fashion industry, upcoming trends in 2014/2015 and many more.
Interview by Ope L. Akinyemi
TW: Tell us a little bit more about your work as a fashion stylist.
Sharon Ojong: I am the in-house stylist at Spice Fashion Channel and at the same time I run my media and fashion brand called D.E.E.V.A.S. As a fashion stylist, I get to communicate a lot with designers, as well as style people.
TW: With so many styles, clothing brands, and many more trends on the market, which is the best way for a woman to define her style in this fast-forward fashion business?
SO: The best way for a woman to define her style is to express herself freely. Although, how you feel inside may affect your physical appearance. But as long as you are comfortable doing so, go ahead.
TW: Through your experience working in the media industry, what are the two most important dressing tips for a woman to know prior to making an on-camera appearance?
SO: Firstly, find out what the background of the set is like. You don’t want to wear all white, just like what the set looks like. Hence, all the camera can pick is your head. In short, avoid wearing white, black and stripes when making TV appearances. Secondly, if you’re someone who sits carelessly, then I’d advise that you wear a pair of trousers or a midi-skirt. That peek-a-boo the camera picks up can be distasteful.
TW: Which modern day fashion icons do you look up to?
SO: Rihanna – she has been able to express herself; her style is reflective through her music and personality. She sets trends and breaks rules with her hair, makeup and clothes. She’s obviously someone that doesn’t need anyone’s approval.
Michelle Obama – She has broken every single rule that former First Ladies lived by.
Lady Gaga’s style is ever evolving. However, at the moment I’m crushing on Olivia Palermo’s style! She knows how to rock high fashion from runway to reality perfectly. I guess with all of my picks, you can say that I love and admire rule breakers.
TW: You get to stay on top of all the latest trends! Can you mention some upcoming trends in fashion in 2014/2015, as far as what’s hot in colours, patterns, and styles?
SO: All white, powerful prints and hats! Definitely anything free, fun, flirty and fabulous.
TW: As far as looking one’s best, what are some simple things anyone can do to achieve that look?
SO: You don’t need to go shopping every single day. You can look your best by nicely putting together items from your wardrobe. You can mix and match different prints in your wardrobe to stand out. You can also throw on a beach fedora hat on a classic gown to dress it down, for example.
TW: OK, the pro has spoken! What are three of your favourite fashion items right now and why?
SO: A. Bright lipstick completes any look and can make a statement. A flare midi skirt also works. Anyone who knows me knows I love the 50s and the flare midi skirt is “my thing.” It’s very chic and comfortable! Then sneakers! I work in production. So these days, I find solace and comfort in them.
TW: Tell us about D.E.E.V.A.S.
SO: D.E.E.V.A.S. isa Lagos-based media and fashion brand consisting of a team of dynamic and highly skilled individuals from diverse professional backgrounds bringing their unique strengths to the table. I started D.E.E.V.A.S to empower aspiring young entrepreneurs by creating an umbrella to shelter their creativity.
TW: What would you say has been the most rewarding part of your career?
SO: The most rewarding part of my career so far would be knowledge. I have learned so much from working with various brands and personalities.
TW: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?
SO: I hope to expand my personal brand, as well as D.E.E.V.A.S.