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I walked into Fashion and Art Academy at House of Henri on the 1st of February, 2010 to commence classes in Basic Fashion Design. That was one of the happiest days of my life. I was excited because my dreams were beginning to take shape.

Prior to that, I had scouted a number of fashion schools in Lagos but FAA ticked all my boxes. My priorities in deciding what fashion school to attend were:

  • The ambience/working environment had to be extremely comfortable
  • The student/teacher staff relationship
  • The feedback from past students

FAA appealed to me in all these aspects. Prior to resuming, I had absolutely no idea of operating a sewing machine, pattern cutting or sewing. It was all fresh to me. However, I was taken through every step, from learning about the minute parts of a machine to the intricacies of pattern cutting and joining.  Emphasis was laid on detailing and finishing.

Our teachers were perfectionist. They won’t take any half measures from you. However, they were quite patient. This made me always yearn to be better. After 4 months of intense basic and intermediate fashion training, I was given the opportunity to showcase my own designs at a fashion show with judges and mentors who were industry gurus. This further broadened my spectrum to a wider knowledge of the fashion industry. Soon after, I had to leave to the UK for my masters. In school, I engaged the skills I had acquired to make clothes for friends. This provided extra cash for me.

3 years down the line, I established a fashion brand called TAYE TAYLOR. Since then I have showcased my designs on major runways including Lagos, London and Los Angeles and styled international and local celebrities. I have also retailed my clothes both locally and internationally and have been featured on several local and international publications. All this I attribute to the Grace of God, my passion and the preparation at Fashion and Art Academy.  I constantly thank Mrs. Henrietta Agboola, for her love and dedication to fashion lovers.  She has never been hesitant to give a listening ear and to answer my questions and to help.

On moving back home, I was granted the use of the school space and facilities and even got the support of the staff for my business operations before establishing my own place. I will forever be grateful to Mrs. Agboola and her entire team at the Fashion and Arts Academy and House of Henri for helping to mould me to who I am today. God Bless!

Taiwo Okunuga

Creative Director Taye Taylor Ltd.