JULY 22, 2012
DOTED ON & LOVED: PRINCESS ABAH FOLAWIYO @ 70
DOLAPO ONI On fashion and major highlights on TV DOTED ON & LOVED:
PRINCESS ABAH @ FOLAWIYO
Bob Philli ps
owland R n le e H A man's heart may have a secret sanctuary where only one woman may enter, but it is full of little anterooms which are seldom vacant. Marriage is a wonderful institution. If it weren't for marriage, husbands and wives would have to fight with total strangers.
He took his misfortune like a man - he blamed it on his wife. Intuition is the strange instinct that tells a woman she is right, whether she is or not.
urray Patrick M
s. MAKE-UP: ELRY: Cepha ollies. JEW DRESS by H . a s us Mo a ss PHY by Mou PHOTOGRA
i Azuka Mord
hen I wrote Princess Abah Folawiyo's biography ten years ago, I was sure I would do a follow-up for her 70 birthday. There was just too much to go into one edition. The follow-up would capture the life of bliss and affluence that she ended up with. But alas, providence had plans we didn't envisage. The man she had hoped to spend the rest of her life with passed on. With the passage of Chief Wahab Folawiyo, things were no longer the same. Understandably, the grand plans that she had hoped for her 70th had to be shelved since the one who plays the tune is no longer her piper. Never one to be put down for long, Princess Folawiyo has picked up the shattered pieces and adjusted to life as a widow. Doted on by her son, grand children and step children, Princess Abah has much to be thankful for as she turns 70 today. The significance of her birthday during Ramadan is not lost on her. She intends to spend the day in prayer with close friends who would be invited to break the fast with her later in the evening. In this special edition of Allure, Aunty Abah, as I have always called her, shares with me her special moments and about turning 70. Doted on and loved: Princess Abah Folawiyo @ 70 is a must read. Enjoy!
Cover: Princess Abah Folawiyo Makeup: Visage Makeover Stylist: Yolanda Photographer: Reze Bonna EDITOR: Remmy Diagbare DEPUTY EDITOR: Jemi Ekunkunbor ASST. EDITOR: Yemisi Suleiman
Oscar W ilde
CONTRIBUTORS: Princess Kate Emiko Jerome Onipede Folake Akinola Bamiyo Iselema Emina
ALLURE JULY 22, 2012
Allure is all about You
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Latasha Ngwube COPY EDITOR: DD William-West CORRESPONDENTS: Fatima Garba - Style Davina Ayodele - Beauty
Remmy Diagbare LAYOUT/DESIGNS: Remi Oguntegbe Isaiah Amupitan
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Photo by Jide Alakija, Hair by Lynn, MakeUp by MJ for Zaron.Green ankara dress from Grey.
e l y t S IQ
Eans with crowns designer jeans
DOLAPO ON On fashion and major highlights on TV
he British born actress and TV presenter, Marcy Dolapo Oni started her television career as the lead anchor on the Mnet show , Studio 53 Extra and soon became a force to reckon with .In this short interview, she gives an insight into her life in fashion. HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A TV PRESENTER OR WAS IT A FLARE YOU PICKED UP OVERTIME? Honestly No. I fell into presenting! I was working as a professional actor in London for 6 years and when I moved back home the opportunity presented itself. Luckily I got the job. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MAJOR HIGHLIGHT SO FAR IN THE TV PRESENTING INDUSTRY? I think it has to be the different people I get to interview from all walks of life. And ofcourse the traveling, I love the traveling.
Jackie sun glasses
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? It has to be my mother. She is my rock, my strength, my champion. She has achieved so much and if in my lifetime I get to achieve half of what she has I will be very happy.
British noble retro designer tote bag
AS THE NEW FACE AND AMBASSADOR OF BRAND NUBIANS, CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS VENTURE? Brand Nubians is an online store that guarantees great quality and customer service. Brandnubians.com is a Pan-African fashion e-retailer focused on providing Africans with access to authentic products across multiple categories including, women swear, menswear, kids- wear, accessories and jewelry. They also have exclusivity on certain brands as well. As their brand ambassador I promote them as much as possible with photos, adverts, webisodes at their launch and so on and so forth. WHAT IS YOUR CASUAL STYLE LOOK? Jeans and a tank top with some flats ,my shades and chunky jewelry to give it a lift. WHAT FASHION ITEM CAN'T YOU LIVE WITHOUT? My turtle shell Brian Attwood pumps. GORG!
Sheepskin flatloafers casual wedding boat shoes
ALLURE JULY 22, 2012
WHAT FASHION ACCESSORY DO YOU THINK EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE IN HER WARDROBE? A simple clean cut black blazer
Spikes & Studs Trends BY FATIMA GARBA
hen it comes to edgy fashion trends, first thing that comes to mind are spikes and studs. Bejeweled clothing is a trend that has always been in vogue therefore spikes and studs give an outfit more details. From clothes to accessories, there's a variety that everyone can choose from to give your wardrobe and style some edge.
he SPIKES look is a little demanding but it can give your outfit an extra vavavoom! There are so many fashion statements in spikes especially on the runway this season. Here is a look at some of the things the fashion world has created for us to indulge in.
Thomas sabo spiked cuff
Burberry spiked jacket
Jeffrey campbell spike shoes
BCBG Max Azria spiked clutch
TUDS is all the rage this season. Celebs are walking around with studded bags, studded dresses, studded shoes, studded leggings, you name it. Studs are certainly influenced by the punk movement, but when worn properly, can compliment any look beautifully.
Novella royale bowler stud bag
hoes ud s t s l l e mpb ey ca r f f e J
Topshop stud dress
ALLURE JULY 22, 2012
DOTED ON & LOVED:
PRINCESS ABAH FOLAWIYO @ 7 BY REMI DIAGBARE
he history of fashion in Nigeria cannot be told without an extensive focus on the role played by Princess Abah Folawiyo and her Labanella Fashion House. Apart from being in the fashion industry, Princess Abah's sheer style and glamour, which has spanned several decades, makes her a true style icon with a retinue of admirers. In the seventies, when nothing good was local, Princess Abah's Labanella Fashion House stuck to all things local. The ankara fabric and lace mixes with linen and cotton fabrics were her stock in trade. With these fabrics, she set several trends, notable of which is the cullote - the wide baggy trousers that became her signature style. She turns 70 today. Heart filled with gratitude for one-heck-of- a-great-life, Princess Abah is, this morning, head bent, thankful for everything. By Remi DiagbareDoted on and loved by her son, Segun, Bola his wife, grand-children, step-children, friends and admirers, she would go this route again and again. In this interview, Princess Abah talks about life without her late husband and what is most important in life.
ALLURE JULY 22, 2012
CONGRATULATIONS AS YOU TURN 70 TODAY. HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING 70? I don't feel anything. I actually feel the same as when I was forty, fifty or sixty. I thank God. I have not seen anything that has pulled me down for me to say that I am getting old. Although, I realise that I am getting older and I have to take it easy on some of the things I do. On the whole, I feel very good and I thank God. TEN YEARS AGO, YOUR BIRTHDAY CELEBERATION WAS A CARNIVAL. BUT TODAY, ALL IS QUIET AS YOU MARK THE ALL IMPORTANT 70. You know, I lost my husband and he is the person that always lifts me up. He encouraged me in so many ways. Whatever I wanted to do he was happy to let me do it. When I had my fiftieth birthday, he did it for me. He did same when I turned sixty. It was the climax. He said, ''Just do whatever will make you happy.'' He supported me through out. Well now, I am alone. I won't say I am really alone because my son is there and my husband's children have always been supportive. Chief has lovely children. They don't make me feel my husband is not around. I have reasons to thank God. What can I do for celebrations? If he were around, it would have been different. This is why I didn't want to do anything elaborate. I really miss him. HOW DO YOU PLAN TO MARK YOUR 70TH BIRTHDAY TODAY? The children asked me what I want to do for my birthday. I said I didn't want anything elaborate. Maybe, we will just have prayers because we are in fasting period and after we break our fast, people will come and join me to break the fast. We will sit and talk because I can't do anything during at this time. Then, I have I been thinking about Ghana. Even my husband knew because I told him that my next birthday is going to be in Ghana. That is where I want to celebrate. I have never celebrated anything there and they agreed with me that in October, we will all move to Ghana to celebrate. HOW HAS IT BEEN WITHOUT YOUR HUSBAND? Well, since he left me, everything has been quiet. Most things have been quiet. I do what I am able to do. Like I said, the children look after me. They are still looking after me in the house; making me feel like my husband is still around. I should call myself a lucky woman because in some families, widows have a hard time. Before my husband died, I treated his children as if they were my own. We were very close then; we are still close up till now. Like I said, I have my grand children too. My son who is still very much with me, I go over there (from time to time). Sometimes, I sleep there. Occasionally, I have one or two friends that I visit. Generally, that has been my life. Like you know, I have retired from my work. I just stay home and do the little that I can do, just to keep me going. I am not a lazy person. Occasionally, when I miss my husband, I walk up to the door of his room and turn back remembering he is no more there, feeling miserable the whole day. Somehow, I find a way to keep happy. I either call one of my
Well now, I am alone. I won't say I am really alone because my son is there and my husband's children have always been supportive. Chief has lovely children. They don't make me feel my husband is not around. I have reasons to thank
friends, we go and have lunch or I go and visit. That has been my routine since he died. WHAT HAS LIFE TAUGHT YOU AS YOU MARK 70 TODAY? When I look at life, I see that there is nothing really in life that one has to force one self to do. What you can do, you do. What you can't do, you leave it and move on. That has been my style; moving on and being a happy person. I am a very happy woman, very friendly and I am happy for everybody around me. I wish everyone well. I have some friends that are richer than me. I still relate with them as if we are all the same. I am not jealous of anybody. I am always happy for those who are getting on and those who are average. I mix with any class of friends, whether high or low. That is just me. WHAT ARE THE CHOICES YOU MADE IN LIFE THAT HAS MADE YOU THE HAPPY PERSON YOU ARE TODAY? What makes me happy is cut and sew. All my life, I have been sewing. Since I was thirteen years old and I keep on doing it because it makes me happy. So now I am fulfilled. Designing is the best option for me. It's still inside me, because I was born with it. My mother used to be a seamstress and I took after her. When I was young, I used to help her to sew buttons and hemming dresses. All my life, I have been occupied with designing. DO YOU MISS DESIGNING? I don't miss it because I have not totally retired. I still do bits and pieces for people. My old customers, they don't let me go. They still call me. I think I will do it till I die. Designing is in my blood.
LOOKING BACK, WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE IN LIFE? I have not faced any challenge in life. None whatsoever, none that I have said ''Oh, this has really pushed me down''. As I told you, I am a happy person. You know, when you are happy inside that is what you bring out. Nothing bothers me. I don't bear grudges or keep malice. A lot of people wonder, this woman how does she do it? What type of person is she? I relate with everybody; any class and I love people.
OVER THE YEARS, YOU HAVE MAINTAINED YOUR ELEGANCE AND HIGH FASHION SENSE. DO YOU GET CRITICISMS FOR THIS? If you know my family, you will understand that it is part of our life. I have told you that I am half Ghanaian, half Nigerian and in Ghana, you know how we are. My mum, when you see her you won't believe that that woman is my mum. When she dresses up and comes out gracefullyâ€Ś and that is the way I am. No apologies at all and I will do that till the end of time. I love clothes. I love good things. If I can't afford to buy diamonds and the rest anymore, I am happy. THERE WAS A REPORT, ONE TIME, THAT YOU HAD CONFLICT WITH YOUR HUSBAND.S CHILDRERNâ€Ś No. No conflict at all. Chief was a good man. He was a holy man. What he wanted his children to be and do is what they are and he looked after them. All of his children, they are not fighting each other. They are all content. They are all happy. I don't have any problem with them. We are all happy as a family. There is nothing I will ask them that they will not do for me. They give me my pocket money; they give me money abroad and anywhere I want to go to. WHAT ABOUT THE RUMOUR THAT YOU HAD BEEN RELOCATED TO SURULERE? If they had relocated me to Surulere, I would have been there the day my husband died. Surulere? Can you imagine back to surulere? There is nothing like that. They were just talking rubbish. Maybe, that is what they were expecting them to do to me. Everything is fine. Hundred percent beautiful and I am happy.
Princess Abah... I don't feel anything. I actually feel the same as when I was forty, fifty or
JULY 22, 2012 ALLURE
WHAT WERE YOUR WORST MOMENTS? I don't have any worst moment in my life apart from when I lost my husband because we were very close and very together; that was my worst moment in life. And that happened to me when I was getting old too. I am seventy now so, what more do I want in life that I have not had. I have had a good time. I have never had any bad time. ONLY THAT ONE MOMENT? Maybe, when I had my son and the father died. It was one of my bad moments but I coped because the Awolowos welcomed me. I was staying with them till Segun grew up and I moved on with my own life. I always hold to myself. Do you understand? Even though his father wasn't there, I was looking after him as if he was there because the family was supportive. I did what I could do. I said: “Thank God.'' Touch wood, there is no way I will sit down and be miserable! There is no way you will see me sitting down, crying and then people will come around to say “What is it now?” AT 70, WHAT IMPORTANT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNT ABOUT LIFE? About life? I don't stress myself. At times, if I wake up and I don't have any money, I don't sit down and think. Sometimes, I call my customers and say “There are some lovely things I have that I know you will like”. And when I call them, they will always come. Other times, when I sit down and say “I am very broke today. I don't have any money”; before evening, someone will knock at my door (and say) ''Alhaja, how are you? I just came to greet you.'' When they are going, they give me an envelope, whether it is twenty thousand or hundred, something comes in. DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS? Actually, if I come back to this world, I will come back and do the same things over and over again. I am happy doing what I do. I wouldn't change anything. LET'S GO TO THE DAYS OF LABANELLA. HOW WERE THOSE DAYS? Labellela didn't make much money then. People were not spending money like they spend on clothes now. New designers now charge you 30, 50, 100 thousand (naira and) you don't shake. Then, it wasn't like that; maybe three thousand, five thousand to make a dress for a customer. When you say ten thousand, it was like ten million then. Money was not flowing because people were not dressing up. I was doing nothing but ankara and people were importing things to wear. Nobody was going to the dress makers to say make me ankara. They were not buying; Nigerians were not interested. I wanted Nigerians to be like the Ivoirians. I had to do something and started mixing linen with a little bit of ankara designs on it. I was then making baggy pants, baggy shirts. I don't like clingy clothes. What I wear is what I like doing for the public. When they see me out there, they did not stop asking “Where is your factory?” Some people will even come and buy from boutique owners; they will take all my clothes to China to copy them and bring them back to Nigeria and sell them. I sold at cheaper rates; they sold for ten thousand or thereabout. Things have changed. People now wear Ankara. I am very happy for that. I thank Obasanjo. When Obasanjo banned importation of fabrics, that was when designer started coming up; everybody now became a designer lawyers, doctors, because it began to move. But before then, it was hard. HOW DO YOU THINK THE FASHION INDUSTRY CAN GROW? I think the government should lift do something. Let the government support us and lift the industry up. Anything we are doing now is on individual basis. The investment needed is so much that individually, you can't make profit. DO YOU THINK HAVING A FASHION COUNCIL WILL CHANGE THE FORTUNES OF THE INDUSTRY? SOME OF US ARE CALLING FOR A COUNCIL TO STRUCTURE THE INDUSTRY. That is interesting but then you still have to talk to FADAN. FADAN has to be part of it because it is the only association of fashion designers in Nigeria, take it or leave it. It is only FADAN that, as a body of designers, has been promoting the industry over the years. ALL THE YEARS THAT FADAN HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE, HOW HAS IT HELPED THE GROWTH OF THE INDUSTRY? When Folorunsho Alakija and Patricia Agbakwu were presidents, they were not sleeping. I was not sleeping either. They were always calling me because they love fashion from the heart. But today, designers want money. They are making lots of money. A designer will make a dress for you for five hundred thousand naira. That is not the way for fashion to grow. We need to do mass production, have the shops put them in their boutiques. That was what we were going to do many years back. I told FADAN, then, that I will look for land; when we get a piece of land, people can look for money all over (sponsors) and build a plaza and let all the designers come under one roof. Everybody will have their own boutique; their own stalls. Then, these designers will have their shops in there so that anybody who wants to contact them, when they go there they get them there. But when you don't have the money, you don't have the land, what do you do? The Presidency can give us land and get sponsors for us. We will have a big mall and have all the designers outlets there so that people can come from abroad to shop there. WHAT'S YOUR OPINION ON THE WAY WE DRESS? People just dress any how whether it suits them or not. You see some short people wearing elaborate clothes that look awkward. When I wear a dress, I don't want people to see the dress. I want them to see me. You understand? See me first. You will not find me wearing something elaborate; only styles that are simple and nice. Mrs. Tinubu has been a good client. I have been sewing for her since she was First Lady. Till today, she goes nowhere else. If you try to convince her to come to you, she says. ''No, it is Mrs. Folawiyo that sews my dresses and whatever she does for me is what I wear and I am happy with that''. She has a beautiful figure and you can dress her up with anything but nothing flamboyant. She won't even take it from me because she is a simple person.
JULY 22, 2012
Princess Abah... What makes me happy is cut and sew. All my life, I have been sewing
SS ILL ME
DW O O
FOLA W IY
Signed Mama Opral Mason Benson OON, F.IoD, C.Dipl Iya Oge Of Lagos
FOR PRINCE S SS E G A
sincerely congratulate and felicitate with you on the occasion of your glorious 70th birthday on 22nd July, 2012. As you celebrate the goodness of God during this great and momentous occasion, I am happy for you and with you and I thank God for keeping you alive to mark three scores and ten! It is my fervent prayer that God will continue to shower you with abundant strength, wisdom and good health; and, grant you many more fruitful years. You are a shining star, a beacon of light and a true friend to me. Abah, may the remaining years of your life witness more joy, happiness and abundant blessing. Once again, I wish you Happy Birthday and many happy returns!
To an Elegant Celebrity@ 70!
PRINCESS @ ABAH FOLAWIYO
Special Birthday Wishes to my dear ‘Mother’, Mentor, and Friend
s a teenager, my first glimpse of Princess Abah Folawiyo was on the pages of the newspapers where I thought she exuded elegance and confidence. Fashion, then, for me was about style. And, she was The STYLE! When I became First Lady of Lagos State (19992007), I guess I became her muse. And ever since, she has clothed me. I am proud to say that her styles communicate such simplicity and finesse that reflects excellent taste. Just like her impeachable dress sense, her works have continued to impress and inspire me and I am sure many others. As you turn 70 today, I join your immediate family, well wishers and friends to wish you a long, healthy and fulfilling life. I am also using this occasion to thank you for your friendship, understanding, support, love and care all of which you have showered on me over the years. I am truly grateful. I pray that God will bless, guide and protect you as you remain a pillar of strength to all your loved ones. A very Happy Birthday Ma!
Our Dear Princess his Special 70th Anniversary marks a significant milestone in your life and it affords us an auspicious moment to let you know how much you are loved and appreciated We celebrate you as a loving wife, a caring mother, a kind-hearted and accomplished business woman, and a nationalist You have remained a Model to younger women as your life and generosity has continued to inspire many. Within and beyond the length and breadth of your social circles and spheres of influence locally and internationally, your philanthropic and humanitarian activities have continued to resonate far and near You have made your marks, touching lives of thousands of people with your radiance, humility, love, strength of character and humaneness As you gracefully and gingerly step into the septuagenarian class, on behalf of myself and my family, I join the Illustrious Folawiyo family, your loved ones, friends and well-wishers, to say Happy Birthday to a Graceful Amazon and a Mother of the Nation May the good Lord continue to give you good health, long life and more prosperity in the years ahead. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND MANY HAPPY RETURNS, OUR GREAT AUNTY!
Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire Deputy Governor, Lagos State
untie Abah, you have been richly blessed by the Lord, to have reached the landmark age of three score and ten.
As you attain this age, with your trademark, charm, grace, and elegance, please remember that you have greatly impacted my life in so many ways over the years. You have been my ‘mother’ and mentor, with your loving kindness, support, advice and endearing protection. May the Lord continue to bless you in health, grace, vigor, charm and riches, as you bask in the glow of ‘RUBY’, the precious gem of July. Have an amazing celebration. Regina Nyantekyi – Owusu.
ow time flies! It seems only yesterday when we were at Girls' Modern Academy and became childhood buddies; a relationship which transcends our families, especially our mothers. In fact, we are blessed to share both mothers. To casual onlookers, we are unlikely bed fellows. You are the flamboyant extrovert, soaking all things bright and beautiful. You, indeed, love life and living it to the fullest. I, on the other hand, belong to the 'minority of minorities' as my late hubby always reminded me. Damn too serious, even for my own good! But, guess what, it takes all creatures to populate the earth! On this important occasion of your 70th, I thank God for your colourful, eventful life. May you live longer in good health and continue being your good self. You are a friend who is silent with one in moments of despair and confusion. You are a friend who cares enough to tolerate and face with one the reality of ones powerlessness. Abah, as one of our favourite songs goes, "Don't go changing .... I LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!!
rincess Abah Folawiyo has lived a richly eventful and visibly fruitful three scores and ten years on God's earth. She has made a positive mark on the fashion industry through her dedication and hard work. Her success is evidenced by the creation of the LABANELLA fashion label, which is one of the most easily recognisable names in Nigeria today. As Princess Abah marks this landmark 70th birthday anniversary, I wish to commit her to the Almighty's continued guidance and protection.
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