The Nolcha Shows festivities continue and this week we have London based, luxury hand bag and footwear brand, OYSBY (Own Your Style, Be Yourself). Of course shoes and handbags are a girl’s best friend along with diamonds, so OYSBY make all their products with genuine leather to ensure when you are strutting your stuff down the road, you are all authentic.
In 2014 Dolapo Otunla decided to set up OYSBY London. Having studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos with a Master’s of Process Technology and Business Management at the University of Warwick in the UK, we are curious to know whether Dolapo has had to use her Chemical Engineering skills on her brand yet.
Your brand is fairly new, what are some of the skills you feel an independent designer should have to progress in the business of fashion?
I think the most important skill any entrepreneur needs is an understanding of the finance and business management. Creativity comes naturally to most designers but learning the figures generally seems daunting to most. If you can’t master your figures, find someone to teach you how to do this or pay someone competent to do it. Be very careful not to end up with people that claim to be helping you when in actual fact, they are just enriching themselves. That’s why it’s usually ideal to have a business partner that complements your skills . I’ve learnt that fashion is a very tricky venture, so one must also learn to differentiate substance from mere glitz in order to be able to manage your finances and brand strategies better.
Before OYSBY, you had your retail footwear business selling brands like, brands like Guess, Ralph Lauren, Sam Edelman, Nine West and Liz Claiborne. It seems like you have always been business minded. What is your business mantra?
“Own Your Style, Be Yourself” this has a deeply rooted meaning than just being true to your style. It also suggests being true to oneself. I’ve always been a very restless person, hence, very keen on experimenting new ideas. I wasn’t always allowed to express this creativity with the jobs I had before I started my business. I learnt in business that every step (be it a success or perceived failure), takes you closer to where you’re supposed to be. You just have to keep believing in yourself and reinventing yourself or business whilst staying true to your core values.
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You came up with and made a solar bag capable of charging mobile phones on the go. Do you fancy a career in the Energy industry?
I spent a significant part of my life working as an Engineer so the profession is one that will always be very close to my heart. For now, I would like to focus on OYSBY and continue to find ways to marry technology and fashion in all my business ventures. The solar bag is one way in which I’ve achieved that and I would like to keep pushing the bar at every possible opportunity.
How can we keep up to date with OYSBY?
The Nolcha Shows are a leading award winning event, held during New York Fashion Week, for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers. www.nolchashows.