Patience Torlowei is a fashion designer whose work ranges from bridals, couture to ready to wear. Having lived in Belgium since 1989, she has brought her wealth of fashion ideas to the Nigerian woman, with the launch of her lingerie line scheduled to take place in January.
In an interview with the Bayelsia born woman recently, she said, “Patience Please' is the name of my Lingerie line. I realised in Nigeria, we don't make underwear and people have to travel to England most of the time or buy whatever they find. I also realise that a lot of women are subjected to buying second hand under wear. I personally felt bad about that.
You can wear second hand clothes if that is what you can afford but to be compelled to wear second hand under wear because you have no choice? I thought that is robbery for the female person.”
She added that though she enjoyed doing bridal wear, she also loved switching to designing the not-visible aspects of fashion.
“I try to create something for the invisible part of our dressing which is essential for every woman from age 13 or even 12. Now I'm trying to introduce the making of lingerie in Nigeria. There are high standards set by Victorian Secrets, Marks and Spencer but we can make better. Since I've lived in the francophone part of Europe, my ideas are quite French and most of my raw materials come from France”.
Torlowei, a graduate of Textile Arts and Technology at Yaba Technology, has worked for several fashion companies in Europe and also worked as consultant to many fashion companies. She has also had trainings abroad to brush up on the experience she has gotten in the fashion sphere.
“I will not say I studied fashion in depth. I learn by looking and ideas flow in my head but I had to go and fine tune what I knew .”
She said the reason many Nigerian designers walk away from the Lingerie field was because not much fame comes to makers of underwear.
“ No one knows who makes the underwear inside and with human nature, we all want to be known. Also we don't have the raw materials in Nigeria.”Advising women to try to look beautiful at all times, she said, “Nigeria women are more beautiful than most, we are well formed, we love to look good. Lingerie is the most important item of clothing that we wear, because at the end of the day every woman is looking to seduce her man. Every woman wants to stay in front of the mirror and admire herself. I want the woman to know that she may be big or small, she is beautiful and I want to play my part in dressing the woman up”.