In Ondo, Nigeria, life is traditional but simple. My father was an architect and a tribal chief and my grandmother was a traditional tailor. I wanted to be out playing with other kids, but I had to sit next to my grandmother and watch her sew beautiful attire for the women in our town. This is when I started to discover the power fashion could have. A brand new outfit allowed a woman to reinvent herself, to metamorphosize into a version of herself she could have only dreamed about. This sparked my life-long love of fashion.
After fashion school in London, I arrived in New York in the early 90s and started my career as an extrovert sales associate at Charivari. The clothes I wore back then were quite unique and many customers would comment on my style. The President of the company, Barbara Weiser also noticed, and she allowed me to sell my designs in then store. Eventually, Barbara guided me as I arranged my very first fashion line. I was off.
Fashion was good to me. I traveled the world, met the most interesting people and saw my name and face on the industry’s biggest magazines. I was one of the few black women doing this work in the early 1990’s. I was honored to have one of my designs appear in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute
After moving to Milan for three years, I returned and experienced my highest level of commercial success. My designs were sold in some highly reputable department stores and boutiques worldwide. It was after five years of this high tempo of work that I began to feel I wanted something more, something different, something that would allow me to be completely authentic.
I took a hiatus during which I learned hard lessons about myself and about the human condition. I learned what was important to me and what damage the fashion industry has done to the environment and to traditional societies. That is what inspired me to create Lola Faturoti Loves, a sustainable brand that celebrates tradition, joy, and responsible manufacturing.