We started ‘African Bloggers Killing It‘ to showcase African men and women changing the style game all over the world. From Lagos, London, New York, Milan, Johannesburg etc., African stylistas are unstoppable. In this interview they are taking us into their world to give us a glimpse of what it looks like!
Check it out 😉
Meet Ivy Ekong from Nigeria mother of two, entrepreneur, fashion consultant and fashion blogger!
NAME: Ivie Ruth Ekong popularly known as Ivy Ekong
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? I am originally from Igueben, in Edo State Nigeria, but I am based in London with my family.
SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES: Instagram: http://instagram.com/ivy_ekong
Can you tell us about yourself and your blog?
I am a wife, a mum of two beautiful girls (5 years and 1 year old respectively) an entrepreneur, a style consultant and fashion stylist and a fashion & luxury lifestyle blogger, amongst other things. I attended Ambrose Alli University in Edo State, Nigeria. Where I graduated with two degrees in Business Management and Economics respectively.
My blog is a style and luxury lifestyle blog where I showcase my personal style and a bit of what is happening in the fashion industry to my readers and followers.
How would you describe your personal style?
I am a classic with a bit of a city chic.
What made you decide to start blogging? And how did you begin your journey as a stylist?
Back home in Nigeria, I was a Beauty Queen (Face Of Esan) and a fashion model. This gave me the opportunity to work with top designers and fashion brands, for so many years. This was how I started my career in the fashion industry. When I relocated to London I wanted to continue with a career part which I love and was already used to, so I did Personal Styling & Image Consultancy training through the well-known Colour Me Beautiful Academy. This was when I started my company called IconMode ( www.icon-mode.com). IconMode is a personal styling, beauty, and luxury goods company, which was established 5 years ago. We have branches in London, Nigeria and Dubai respectively. It was my past experiences in the fashion industry and that of IconMode that gave birth to my blog http://blog.icon-mode.com/.
I didn’t start blogging until 2 years ago when a lot of people encouraged me to start a blog because they loved my personal style. Also as a stylist I am privileged to get invited to fashion events and shows which you have to dress up for. It was only natural to create an avenue to showcase those outfits so that people who love my style can shop those outfits by creating direct links on my blog.
Why style, instead of gossip?
It couldn’t have been gossip, because my blog is me, and am all about high fashion and distinctive style. People who know me and those that have met me will tell you that I live, eat and breathe fashion not gossip. My blog has helped a lot of people discover their personal style. I receive countless emails everyday from my readers and fans who have turned their dress sense around for the better through the tips they get from my blog. I believe that fashion fades, but style is eternal, and your personal style is what differentiates you from someone else.
At the moment, who would you say is your number one fashion inspiration?
Victoria Beckham and Beyoncé Knowles have always been my fashion inspiration.
What are some of your current fashion obsessions?
- Vintage Chanel bags and accessories . A must have for every closet if you can afford it. They are timeless and will never go out of style.
- Chunky neck costumes. I am so obsessed with these that I had to recently design a costume jewelry line for my company IconMode. They are big and very fashionable for that woman who is not afraid to be noticed. I named every piece of jewelry after every ‘’fashion Icon’’ I have admired and looked up to since I was growing up. You can view my jewelry line here: http://www.icon-mode.com/shop/jewellery.html
- Black trench coats also comes very handy and are very stylish as well.
- Jimmy Choo heels are definitely an obsession. Once you have a pair you will definitely want more pairs. They fit into a woman’s legs so perfectly.
With celebs and stylistas introducing new trends, what’s your favorite style trend?
I am not a follower of trends, I think a lot of people make fashion mistakes and dress inappropriately because they want to wear what’s trendy instead of wearing what suits them. I wear what suits my body shape and colours that best suits my skin tone without necessarily following trends.
What is your signature look? My blonde hair and red lips. I only wear black hair when I want to take a little break of my blonde hair.
Heels? or Flats? Definitely heels
Favourite TV show? Scandal
Celebrity style crush? Blake Lively
What is your style philosophy? I believe that
‘’the fashionable woman wears clothes, the clothes don’t wear her’’.
If you had to pick anyone to be your muse who would you pick and why?
I would pick Angelina Jolie because she is sexy, sensual, and very beautiful; she is also one of the greatest style Icon of our time. Angelina Jolie can wear a piece of rag and still look great in them. Her self-confidence exudes in whatever she wears.
What are your favorite boutiques in your current city?
I don’t have a favorite boutique, as a stylist am always on the go and I shop wherever I find something that is of interest to me. I love designer brands and a bit of high street brands as well. I love online shops such as asos.com, houseofcb.com, of course my company online shop where you can get good bargains on designer brands, cosmetics, human hair, jewelries and many more.
Name your top 3 African fashion brands.
– Adebayo Jones
– Deola Sagoe
– Jason Boateng
Elegance is the only beauty that never fades. Audrey Hepburn
What is one thing your readers would be surprised to hear?
I don’t get it right all the time when it comes to fashion. Like all fashion icons, they have at some point in their lives appear on the worst dressed list. People think you have to be perfect because you are a stylist. Trust me, I have my days.
What is the biggest challenge about fashion blogging?
The biggest challenge about fashion blogging is getting good images and content for your blog. Especially images, because people want to see more photos and videos on your blog rather than loads of text. Another challenge most bloggers face is being unique and creating a unique brand that differentiates you from other bloggers.
Where do you see your blog in the next five years?
I see my blog as the number one African fashion blog in London and Africa. I hope to partner with fashion brands all over the world and mostly brands in Nigeria who wants to have a platform in London.
What’s the biggest advice you have for an aspiring fashion blogger?
Be you, do not try to be someone else. Let your blog be a reflection of you and your creativity. Do not start a blog because you want to make quick money out of it. Begin a blog because you truly enjoy waking up to dress up, apply makeup and take great pictures. When brands see that you truly love what you do they will contact you and the money aspect should be secondary.
Thank you Ivy for your time with us!
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