I Am Creative With Ezinne Chinkata
She literally doesn’t need any introduction going by how much work she’s put into the industry and her rebellious fashion style. From Elan to WOW Magazine and Genevieve Magazine then Vogue, She definitely has come a long way building the Zinkata Brand or do I say the Zinkata Empire. From her informative website to her fashion retail store I definitely felt I would want to hear her story but pinning her down is one heck of a task.
So as fate would define, she calls me up early in the morning to schedule a meeting “Sure I am in the office” I said, so in 30mins she was here to discuss and oh boy it was a lengthy discussion. Our discussion was very private but I couldn’t stop listening to her wealth of wisdom, although she is a bit too serious.
Ironically about this time last year while contributing for Mania Magazine, she did a piece on me so tables turn around and she’s on the other side.
How does a Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate with a Masters in Environmental Management from the Wolverhampton University and a successful banking career in the London become a fashion Stylist/Consultant? Her answers were pretty blunt as expected I mean she’s blunt like that “I studied science because I was good at it. I studied Environmental Management because I wanted to expand my scope and I worked in a bank because I saw the opportunity and I realized I was good at that as well but I have always had a flair for fashion and I guess a tweak of creative gene from my mum’s side who’s from a family of creatives and has a superb taste for fashion.”
“Transition for me was not so hard because it has always been there, I have always lived it somehow and it was only a matter of time before I became a creative. It has been hard and at the same time easy, easy because I kind of took my time planning, researching and learning before finally venturing , got lucky to work my first shoot with the some of the best in the industry, Kelechi Amadi-Obi and Banke Meshida-Lawal while working with ELAN, they criticized my point of view because it was totally different I mean the argument was how do you style a sports themed shoot with heels but I was lucky they agreed with my point of view because I stood my ground. It was also hard because I worked so hard, with every project I handled like the most important project I had.”
“I get inspired by my brief, my mood, my past, Africa, my culture, my tribe, the reality of the economy. I have learnt to tap into my difference, I internalize how I feel and project it as art hence being true to who I am. Sometimes it is more about where I am at a point and how I am affected by everything around me. As humans we go through various things constantly, to me this is art hence it is infinite and progressive.”
As a creative, attitude is key hence i emphasize on discipline, honesty, straightforwardness and taking every project seriously. My word is my bond i don’t take people for granted, time is of essence when dealing with my client. I am punctual hence my client can depend on me. Networking is also key though i am working seriously on that being a very private person. So the right attitude to work, at work, towards people and even at social places.
“My art for me is business so because I deliberately decided to go into fashion styling as a career it was a business from the word go. I actually summed up courage and went to ELAN years ago without knowing anyone and pitched my ideas to them and they were willing to try me out with my first shoot which was a test shoot and they actually paid for it so from then on it was business up the ladder. I actually did attend a fashion styling school in Los Angeles called the School of Style where I took a certificate course.”
“My challenges have been enormous but then I realize I am a product of grace. People sometimes find it really difficult to go with my views and opinion and some other people really appreciate it. My unique selling points have been the fact that I have always remained me, there is a me factor in every of my work, I am true to myself and I ensure that I bring that into my work. I am African more proudly Nigerian, a typical Igbo Lady, a product of my culture, my religion and my history so if you don’t see these qualities in my work then I am anonymous so is my work. I can’t be better than those from the western world if all I think about is the western world because that’s their style and who they are, I can only be better at bringing in my own cultural elements, hence I make it a point to fuse my personality into everything I do, I take from every part of the world and I spice it up with my roots, that’s what stands me out.”
“To styling enthusiast who want to make a career off styling the first word is to be very clear about why they are going into styling it’s not for fame or meeting celebrities, if that’s your reason then you should rethink because you won’t go far. You must be passionate and ready to make a career out of it. There is a need to understand that styling is not about you but about your subject, you aren’t styling to change them rather to make them feel better about themselves hence you have to truly care about those you styling. Research as much as possible, get someone to understudy, take up more courses when you can, read read read, work hard and work smart and pray pray pray…”