Evelyn Kofon: The Material Girl
As one of the most innovative garment creator of the 21th century, the creative director Evelyn Kofon speaks about her passion for fashion and the reason behind Perfect Finish Garment.
When and how did you develop your passion for fashion?
Well I think and correct me if am wrong that every woman is interested in fashion one way or the other. As for me far back as I can remember, I have always been fashion conscious. For example I would want to wear fashionable shoes, go out to check magazines and stores to see what others are wearing, trying to keep up with the trend and all. I realized I could actually marry my love of fashion with business. I started my first business at the age of 7 and it was a huge success and I am proud to say it was a success because someone even bought into the business when I was 10years old. Finding out that I could marry my love for fashion and passion for business was a turning point for me.
In 2002, a friend of mine took me to her friend’s boutique and we had an agreement that I could take some of her things, sell them off and give her back the money. Now to me that was low risk business because I had no capital and anything I didn’t sell I could always return. I was making money without having to invest anything. The downside I can say I faced was not getting paid on time. So I ensured that I sold to people who were basically honest and whom I knew could afford to pay for the clothes.
Prior to now where you in any other business?
Yes I have. Doing business has always been a natural thing for me. But before now I had a professional career, where I worked in a bank.
How did you pick out your business name?
I have always shopped from the United Kingdom
bringing in and selling top quality clothes. So I started thinking to myself that what is the point of importing clothes? What if something happens and we can no longer shop, what happens then? I have always considered UK garments to be top quality having the attention to detail on every design. Also they are very discerning, very critical of substandard products. So I started thinking these clothes are not even made in the UK but rather made in china, India and Bangladesh why can’t they be made in Nigeria as well. Then I started thinking hard, asking questions and conducting research to see what has already been done in Nigeria.
I know Nigerians are very fashion conscious people and we have good garment production outfit. Some quite large, some just call them mushroom organisation and I got to find out what they had put in place, the machinery, statics and business process and then I said to myself “Evelyn you can do this as well” and I just knew I had to do it. I know it is very important that the name reflects what the business does for me it’s very important that we are not just producing garments but producing them up to UK standard. Which I think is one of the highest standards you can come across. These garments should be finished perfectly and that is how I came about the name ‘’Perfect Finish Garment’’.
What excites you the most when you wake up in the morning?
Coming to work.
What are your favourite vacation spot?
United Kingdom, India and Singapore or Malaysia
What is an ideal lazy day for you?
It’s either am watching detective series back to back or reading a novel.
What is your favourite fashion accessory?
Shoes. I don’t even have to think about it.
What is the one motivation line that keeps you going?
It was a discussion I had with my former boss Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi during an interview process. Well at the end of the interview I asked him what he would say was his success ingredient and he said to me “Getting things done involves three things, first of all you need to have an ambition, secondly, you need to have a plan and the final thing is that you have to have courage”. These three things redefined me gave me purpose and caused me to strive for greatness.
What makes you unique from other Nigerian tailors today?
I think it’s the global perspective that I have. A lot of fashion designers and grassroots are focused on Nigeria, which is still okay but for us at the perfect finish garment, our ultimate goal is to actually be in a position to produce garment for other retail stores both internationally and locally.
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