Young Designer Of The Week: Laura Ahman
Laura Ahman is an emerging Nigerian Brand. It was established in February 2014. We specialize in designing and making luxury slippers. All our products are made in Nigeria using our local resources by skilled craftsmen. We sell our products on Uk based.
TELL us about yourself, growing up, family background, Education.
My name is Laura Ahman. I am the creative designer for the brand Laura Ahman. I am a 23year old graduate of law with management from Aston University Birmingham. An Indigene of Kebbi State, born and raised in Kaduna. I was born into a family of five. My Father Brig. Gen Sule Ahman and my mother is a practicing Barrister Hafsatu Ahman.
Growing up, my dream was always to become a lawyer. Raised amongst lawyers. It was almost a family tradition and I was determined to chase that dream. However last year I developed a sudden interest in shoes especially slippers.
What else do you do for a living?
I am a graduate of law with management from Aston University Birmingham. I am presently doing my Nysc.
Please fill us in on your rise to fame, and how did it all start?
Like any business Laura Ahman started as an idea. The aim was to make international standard designs in Nigeria with our local resources providing products with the same quality but at more affordable prices. Laura Ahman was established in February 2014.
We started very small and it was merely a side business with just one craftsman. As the months passed our demand increased
less than a year on. Laura Ahman is now a well known brand in Nigeria. We are now on www.shopthreesixfive.com and offer interstate as well as worldwide delivery.
Which of your many jobs excite you the most?
Shoe making has to be the most exciting of them all. There is nothing more exciting than seeing what you have designed actually coming to life. It gives me great joy.
What other areas of your career are you looking to explore?
Well for now I’m happy to concentrate on shoe making. A business like this requires a lot of time and attention. So I’m going to channel all my time to it.
What has been the high point of your art and design career?
As a new brand we are still in the process of growing so I still feel like there are bigger moments coming our way. The highest point in my fashion career so far has to be the last few months. I can say we have officially blown. We have gone from a small brand to an international one. The way I see it, it’s like raising a baby. U can’t really see when it’s growing until one day you just realize the baby has become a kid.
What has been the lowest so far?
The lowest point for us was at the very beginning. Before we got a hang of things. It was hard to keep up with demand and at some point I didn’t think we could handle the pressure. But we have overcome all that now.
What are the plans for the future, short-term goals, anything new?
In future we want to expand and go into making other accessories like belts, wallets, handbags. We already have plans in place.
What’s your take on art and design and the industry?
My take on fashion is that everyday is a fashion show and regardless of your style and what you have u can try to look good in your own way. That is what I like about Nigerians. We are naturally fashionistas from the stylist at my local salon to the senior executive at a big company. We all try to look good. No one gets left behind.
Over the past 5 years our fashion industry has grown tremendously.. We have Stronger Nigerian brands and more Nigerians are willing to patronize our local designers. This is a big step for us and I am proud to be part of this evolution.
Do you think the Nigerian fashion industry is overrated?
Nigerian fashion industry is a bit underrated. We have a lot of young, fresh ideas and potentials waiting to be tapped. But we are on the right track we will get there eventually.
What’s your day like in the art and design world?
My days are usually busy. I find myself answering emails, sorting out orders and deliveries and making sure we have constant supply of all the materials we need. When I’m not doing those things, I am usually thinking of ideas and inspirations for new designs.
Define your style?
I like variety and I’m always open to new things so I don’t have a style preference at the moment. Anything goes as long as it’s nice and I like it.
Do you have icons you look up to?
Oh yes. My style icon is my mother, Hafsatu Ahman. Right from day one she has always had so much style. In her younger days her friends called her “Hafsy Gayu”. “Gayu” literarily means “fashion/ fashionable” in Hausa language. The name stuck.
Are you a trend buff or does anything go for you?
As Gianni Versace said “ Don’t be into trends. Don’t let fashion own you, but you decide what you are”. I like to stand out. I like being different from the crowd so I hardly ever follow the wagon. I like to look good in my own way. I go with anything i feel comfortable in.
Have you ever suffered an art or design faux pas?, if yes tell us about it.
No I’ve never suffered a fashion faux pas. Well never a serious one but we all have those outfits we used to have years ago that we wouldn’t want to be caught dead in today.
If you had an opportunity of swapping your talent with anybody, who would that be?
If I had the opportunity to trade wardrobes with anyone in the world it would be with the late princess Diana. She was very classy and sophisticated and I think it’s the closest to my style. Plus I can always sell those Crown Jewels and buy the things that I want.
What difference would you love to create with your talent?
My most expensive fashion accessory has to be confidence.
To me it is more important than any handbag or any other accessory.
Talk about being young and enterprising.
As a young adult i am proud of where I am now and my achievements so far. I’ve always had the enterprising zest and energy. I have always felt like it would be a disservice to myself if I don’t contribute t the development of our society by sharing my ideas and skills in any way possible. I want to serve as an inspiration to the younger generation.