The brand name “Laaliyah” was gotten from two names, my sisters’ and mine. Laaliyah is aimed at making every woman look and feel beautiful with our modest and affordable easy wear clothing line. Laaliyah also believes less is more, hence simplicity is key.
Tell us about yourself, growing up, family background, education and all.
My name is Laila Suleiman, I’m Hausa from Kaduna State Nigeria. I am from a family of four and I’m the first born, was born and raised in Lagos Nigeria. I lived there for 11years before moving back to Kaduna. I am a graduate of Business and Human Resource Management from Middlesex University Dubai.
What else do you do for a living?
Apart from designing, I also love to cook. Trying out new recipes, reading cookery books and watching food network. Cooking is therapeutic to me.
Please fill us in on your rise to fame and how did it start?
It all started in June 2014, after my youth service year when I received my last allowance. I thought to myself why don’t I use the money to start up a business since I love sewing. I decided to solicit my mums’ advice and then she told me “I am proud of you, do what you are passionate about and don’t let anyone discourage you, we will support you no matter what”.
I did a survey on what I was about to venture into and what will also penetrate into the market regardless of the age, and then it occurred to me that I could do modest dresses. That was it. I couldn’t believe how far my Boubou went. Everyone wanted it. I was so overwhelmed.
Which of your many jobs excite you the most?
I don’t have a particular one that excites me the most, what excites me the most is I’m actually doing something I’m passionate about. This was practically a dream, which is now reality. That is indeed exciting.
What other areas of your career are you looking to explore?
Well, for now I think I’ll concentrate on this first. Let them yield and then I can think about exploring other areas.
What has been the highest point of your fashion career?
That will be definitely introducing the Boubou designs. I never expected that it would be such a huge success. I am most thankful for that, Alhamdulillahi.
What has been the lowest so far?
Well, we all know how business can be sometimes. It also has its advantages and disadvantages. But that doesn’t mean we should give up. Instead it prepares one for what lies ahead.
What are the plans for the future, short-term goals, anything new?
For the future, I’ll want to make my designs available in different states and also plan on eventually starting up something for men. Then I plan on participating in fashion shows as much as possible, and probably have my own fashion show and showcase other designers as well.
Do you think fashion is underrated?
No I don’t think fashion is underrated
What’s your day like in the fashion world?
It’s more like orders in and orders out. And also striving to introduce more designs, so brainstorming is always a part of my activities.
What’s your style preference?
I love me some simplicity. To me less is more, it is unique.
Do you have a style icon?
Definitely. Her Royal Highness Sheikha Mozah of Qatar.
Are you a trend/ designer buff or does anything go for you?
Not exactly but at the same time I love quality.
Have you ever suffered a fashion faux pas? if yes tell us about it.
No I haven’t, I’m very simple but at the same time not shabby at that.
If you had an opportunity of swapping wardrobes with anyone, who would that be?
Her Royal Highness Sheikha Mozah of Qatar again. I love her, she’s such a fashionista and yet so modest.
What’s the most expensive fashion accessory you own and how much?
Self Confidence, definitely. Confidence itself is the result of a history of success, which is summoned whenever one wants it. That alone is expensive and cannot be quantified.
Talk about being young and enterprising.
Recently, the promotion of entrepreneurship is smiled upon. This serves as a source of empowerment and also job creations for youths. I never thought I’ll be where I am today, never expected it to turn out this way but at the same time I am happy about where I am today. Alhamdulillah. Nothing is ever too small to start with, and no one is too young to empower his/herself.
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