Popular actress, Iyabo Ojo, tells Ademola Olonilua about her fashion and style
What influences your style?
I try my best to stay updated with the trends in the fashion world. I watch fashion shows a lot on the television. I also shop a lot and when I do that, I have an idea of what is in vogue. I have a designer who makes all my clothes and makes sure that I am up to date with the latest fashion trends, my designer keeps me in check and tells me what colour is in vogue and the latest designs. Generally, I just make sure I update myself with the happenings in the fashion world and when I do that, it influences my style.
How would you describe your style?
It mostly depends on my mood but whatever I am wearing, I like to reflect my personality through it. I like to be very casual except when I have to be at an occasion. My dressing also depends on the occasion but naturally I like being casual. I match colours a lot in my dressing. I am just a very casual person.
What kind of clothes do you feel most comfortable wearing?
I love my jeans and tops; I am always very comfortable in those. Sometimes I love to wear long dresses and sometimes it could be short but it depends on my mood. I am not one who sticks to a particular kind of dress code. Today, I could be girlish and tomorrow I could choose to be a tomboy, so it depends.
What do you think about Nigerian designers?
I believe they are one of the most creative people on earth. Nigerians are very fashionable. I have a fashion designer who is up and coming and she is very good. She does very creative designs and she is very stylish. Nigerian designers know how to meet the needs and taste of their clients.
I noticed you have a golden tooth, is it part of your fashion signature?
Actually it is a silver tooth. It is not part of my style, I lost two of my teeth and they were very close to each other. The gap was too much so I decided to put a silver tooth there instead of having the usual fake tooth to replace it.
What are the things you consider when stepping out?
I usually consider my perfume, I love to wear them a lot and I use both male and female perfumes. I don’t have a favourite as I use all the brands, I am a perfume freak. I also consider my shoes depending on where I am going to. I have to know if I should wear shoes with high heels or flat ones. Those are the two things I consider when I go out. I don’t wear make-up except I am going for an occasion, if I am not going for an event, I don’t wear make-up at all. I just try to make sure that I am wearing a nice perfume and comfortable shoes.
It is difficult to believe you rarely wear make-up, why don’t you like it?
It is not that I don’t like make-up; I just feel that there is no need for that if I am not going for an event. I just like to have my normal looks; I don’t think I have to wear make-up every time I am going out except when I am going for an event.
You have a beauty palour, what inspired you to venture into the business?
It is because I am a very fashionable person and I’m someone who is very careful about health issues. I found out that people say I love to look good and I check my health all the time to ensure that I am in perfect condition. I noticed that what I do is good for both my looks and health but people take little things like that for granted especially in a place like Nigeria where everyone is always busy. I love relaxing and I found all these things interesting so I decided to educate Nigerians on the importance of taking care of themselves, that is why I chose to run a spa and a beauty salon.
What is your weakness when it comes to fashion?
I would say perfumes and shoes. I have over 50 bottles of perfumes and they are all designers while I have about 200 pairs of shoes; I have actually lost count of how many shoes I own. I know how it sounds but I am a shoe freak, it could be high or low, it could be slippers, sandals or sneakers depending on what I am wearing. I love shoes generally and I just can’t stop buying them. I also love my perfumes.
What is the most laughable fashion mistake you have ever made?
There was a period that I used to wear what was referred to as the ‘she-devil make-up’, it is when you have to draw a very long line on your eyebrow and you draw it up at the end. I used to do that type of make-up but now when I see my old pictures where I was on that make-up, I just laugh. I ask myself if I actually did that. I think things like that change with age and time.
What is the most expensive fashion item you own?
I cannot say how much I got the item but what I know is that it is a piece of jewellery.
Who would you say is more fashionable between Nigerian men and women?
I think the women are more fashionable because a man can just wear anything he likes but women have to do their make-up, make sure their head gear match their bag and shoes. I feel Nigerian women are more fashion-conscious than the men.
What is your favourite hairstyle?
I like fringe and I also love the low cut hairstyles that I do. Whenever I am on that hairdo, I always get compliments that I look good and different.
Can you go bald?
It depends. I could but because of my petite stature, going bald would make me look really small and that might not go well with the kind of movies that I shoot. So I am not sure if I can wake up one day and decide to go bald, But if I have to do that because of a movie, then I don’t mind doing that especially if the movie is very challenging and it would propel my career.
How many tattoos do you have?
I have three.
Why, do you find them fashionable?
I love them. They are creative and I admire it when I see them on people. I love it on myself too; They’re just something I love but cannot explain why I love them.
Were you a fashionable child while growing up?
I was actually a tomboy when I was growing up because I grew up among boys. I was always on jeans and tops and I was not really that fashionable when I was young.
At what point did you change your style?
I think it was when I started acting. They began to give me roles that I had to be girlish and I had to interpret them well. For instance when shooting a club scene, I have to dress the way a girl would dress to club; I could not wear jeans and t-shirt. I also got to a point in my life when I used to go out a lot; I used to club a lot and I could not go to the club dressed like a guy. My work actually influenced that.
Is any of your children taking after your fashion sense?
Yes, my daughter is very fashionable. The way they dress now is not the way we used to dress back then. She is an actress and she has been nominated at Best of Nollywood awards although she has won one before. She is both an actress and a fashionista.
Why are you more prominent as a movie producer than an actress nowadays?
I have always wanted to be a movie producer, acting was just something I enjoyed doing by the side. We make more money producing and I like making money. I love producing my movies because I get to be more creative, I get to feature a lot of up and coming acts from whom I also learn a lot.
What are you currently working on?
I just shot another movie, Beyond Disability. I shot one early this year. I am launching both movies on my birthday in Lagos. It would be a two in one event.