Former beauty queen turned fashion designer, Maryam Elisha, speaks about her career and style.
What influenced your decision to become a fashion designer?
I have always loved fashion and when I won Ms. Valentine Nigeria beauty pageant in 2007, I had the opportunity of wearing very expensive and beautiful dresses from top designers all over the world. It was only natural for me, having worn so many beautiful dresses, to want to bring the beautiful look and trend to Nigeria.
I went into modelling…and it did not affect me as a person. I still go to church and I am a worker in the church. I dress decently and I am never seen in the wrong places that my parents would frown at.
Yes it has affected my business a lot. Clients that never bargained before now do so. Sometimes the way they bargain is ridiculous as they slash prices by more than half and their excuse is that things are hard. But if they really love the piece and I feel it is convenient for us, we sell it to them. It has been difficult in terms of getting fabrics too especially because of the exchange rate but we are trying to cope and we pray it lasts for only a moment.