Top Designer Alero Fafowora Opens Up On Her New Collection …The Untold Story Of Ibadi-Aran

Hallero boss, Alero Fafowora in one of her trendy hats.
Two years ago, precisely Sunday
November 18 2012, Designer extra-ordinary, Alero
invited the high and mighty to her flagship store on Bishop
Oluwole, Victoria Island Lagos to  launch
her new brand Heych.  The Heych  arcade which is constantly  stuffed with Hallero brands  ranging from caps, chinos, long sleeve shirts,
t-shirts and sandals all affectionately branded with the Heych or Hallero logo
was the delight of customers for a while.

As her clients and patrons were still
fascinating over her innovative works through her Heych brand, the designer
extra-ordinary hit town on Friday 14th of February 2014, two
straight years away from Heych with a new line of trendy Iro and Buba themed IBADI ARAN. For Alero Fafowora, the debonair lady of style behind Hallero Couture, a leading Couture
outfit in Nigeria with head office on Opebi, mainland Lagos and Bishop Oluwole
on highbrow Victoria Island, it was another time to prove her raw talent and
bravery at dishing out fantastic fashion works that beats fashion enthusiasts’
imagination. The London School of Fashion alumnus is a chip of the old block
with an experience spanning close to ten years in fashion designing. Alero Fafowora’s IBADI ARAN which is
made out of polished cotton, denim and leather comes in a variety of colors and
styles. Existing customers, friends and family came to shop the new collection
and were hosted to finger foods, drinks and music as they picked their style on
February 14. Last Thursday evening, Alero Fafowora who was on her way to the
United Kingdom for the second phase of the IBADI ARAN Launch told asabeafrika
why the new style is gaining admiration among fashion conscious people in Nigeria.
The encounter took place at the water edge restaurant Sailors off Admiralty road, Lekki
by Lekki, Lagos South
West Nigeria.   

Why the Noise is loud for Ibadi-Aran

The Chief
Executive Officer of the leading couture, Hallero opened up to asabeafrika on
what makes her new style collection the best for all “The Ibadi Aran style is a
European concept in Iro and Buba, we only decided to make it
different from what we have been doing. And the reason a lot of people are
going for it is because it is convenient. It is a very simple design that you
can take along with you. It is easy to wear, you can dress it up, and you can
pull it down. People wear it to dinners; they wear it to large social parties.
You can wear it with Gele, some wear it with neck-cloth, it is very, very easy to wear and
you can be creative with it. While designing it, we were thinking of something
that is not too much but solid and easy to wear and the patronage has been so
amazing; hardly would you find a customer that has one. The least our customers
have in the wardrobe is five because it comes in different colors. It comes in
leather, it comes in jeans and it comes in polished cotton”. 
Another Hallero customer picks her Ibadi-Aran stuff
The source of the name Ibadi-Aran

 Mrs. Fafowora who is a passionate designer told us
the idea behind the name Ibadi-Aran “Yes, though it has a
Eurocentric outlook but Ibadi Aran is very traditional and
it is very stylish and sexy when you wear it. When you wear it, it is something
that you keep wearing over and over again. So, that is where we got the name Ibadi-Aran
from. It is a very sexy dress”
Alero in a pose with a couple who came for shopping
Ibadi-Aran, not strictly for the rich

Alero…My brand has come to stay
Asabeafrika wanted to know if Alero’s Ibadi-Aran
is strictly for rich clients who can afford it but the London trained Fashion
expert said it is a wrong assumption. “Our materials are done with the best of
wools and high quality materials and this is what our tailors will guarantee
you any day any time. We sell quality and panache matched together. But fore Ibadi-Aran,
we tried to subsidize not in terms of quality but in terms of purchase power.
We want everyone to be able to have a feel of our stuff with Ibadi-Aran,
we are considering your purse as a banker, as an engineer, an artiste, a nurse
and even a journalist. I purposely made it very affordable after the launching
because I realized that people were just picking in large quantities, they were
picking in fives, tens and fifteen. In fact we had a particular customer who
picked thirty pieces and it is amazing, it was just amazing the way people fell
in love with the collection. We even had people who wanted to re-sell the
products in other cities like Abuja, Portharcourt, Enugu
and Yenagoa.  It is something that you can easily pick up;
it is not expensive; that is why it moves. It is like a must-have, a fashion
must-have that everybody wants for their outing. We have polished cotton, we
have leather brand and let me be sincere with you, I have not seen a customer
that has just one. This is the honest reality. All you need do is just to give
a trial with one; you will definitely come asking for more. It is very simple
on you, when we started I wasn’t doing small sizes because I thought it wont
really go round but it is amazing that most people we have now are size 6, we
have a lot of size 6 and 8. Then, it could go up to as long as size 24. And
there is a way you wear it and it will wrap round you and it will just make you
look compact, and by the time you add other articles of fashion convenience, it
just make you look smatter than you ever think”.  “Like I said, we have various categories
depending on the materials used but let me just say to you that even if you are
a teacher, by the time you visit our store, you won’t leave without having an
item. Ibadi Aran is for every fashion conscious
woman that understands the theory of style and can as well radicalize it.  It is a style away from style; originality
matched with innovation. Here, we are not talking about price but we are talking
style. And if you value the style, the price will mean nothing to you”. 
Alero Fafowora and a guest
The name Ibadi-Aran is beyond ethnic

 The name Ibadi-Aran theme which
appeals to sexual fittings in the Yoruba dialect seems to relegate the product
to a south western market but Alero Fafowora disagrees with asabeafrika
as she defends Ibadi-Aran  her new brand
 “No, in fact we have a lot of customers
from Abuja, a lot. You see, fashion like music is a universal language. Our
Abuja customers wear it with their scarf and it just suits them properly. It just
suits everybody no matter the frame of your body or the name you bear. Ibadi
despite the name is a universal brand with familiarity to Yoruba
heritage of beauty. We are only saying that we have various ethnic groups that
make our unity diverse in beauty. But we have chosen the Ibadi Aran style as our
beauty ambassador and the fact that the name is Yoruba does not mean that we
don’t have a Hausa lady, Ijaw lady, Itsekiri lady and Tiv lady wearing it. Ibadi
is just a trademark; the fashion sense is for everybody. It is all
about the cut, you can say people will imitate us but there is a way I cut it
that you can never get. It is all about the cut and styling”. 
Kaffy, the singer shopping at Hallero
Ibadi-Aran and the Diaspora market

 Alero Fafowora who was on her way to the United
Kingdom at the time she was speaking to asabeafrika spoke against the
perception that her brand sells more abroad than in the local market. Hear the
fashion entrepreneur “It is very amazing the way they (Diaspora market) are
catching up on us now in terms of fashion because they know that they are a
little bit backward, so it is like they are making a lot of efforts to get to
where we are, we actually started selling it in London but the demand was
actually not that much. But now, it is like (Laughs) it is everywhere. We just
had a call yesterday demanding for hundred pieces of Ibadi-Aran, and today we
have delivered because it is something that is very easy to sell. If you want
to go for weekends treats, if you want to attend a party, you are done
especially for fashionable ladies. It is very easy for them to pick one, wrap
it up in your weekend pack. You don’t need to do much, you can wear it with
heels, you can wear it with slippers and you are done for the best outing. You
can wear it to just anywhere actually, anywhere. Disco parties, a night club, a
dinner party. It is all affair attire”.
A customer picking her Ibadi-Aran collections
Why Hallero is strong and daring

 In the last 15 years, Hallero,
her mother brand has struggled to be one of the leading fashion brands in
Nigeria, how did she succeed despite market challenges? “Well, it can’t go
because it is my brainchild. It has always been what I had always wanted to do;
so it is not all about what is in vogue or what is happening but here we are
talking of passion to do something new and unique. We are driven by passion
that is our secret. We come out with different things all the time. And I
believe that no matter what you do, you must not sleep. You can’t afford to sleep
because when you are a pace setter, you always have people following you. You
always have people trying to outdo you and you have to be able to maintain the
trend and uphold the tempo so that people will not catch up with you. You can’t
relax, there is no way you will just sit down and relax.  Ibadi-Aran is actually one of our
numerous innovations; I mean we are planning two other collections before the
end of the year. So, you have to be on your toes all the time. It is like a
rolling stone and it must not gather moss”. 
More Collections of Ibadi-Aran
Hallero’s partiality to foreign
market & other issues

 When we accused her of being biased
with supply of her brands which fashion makers says is much tilted to the
European market than local market, the fair complexioned and sexy Alero laughed
before education us “well, I won’t say it is true because this is my base and
it will always remain my base. Yes, I have a lot of orders from London and
America which I can’t turn my back to them now because I actually started with
them at the beginning. I started the entire thing from London before relocating
to Nigeria. So, I have a base there and it is growing really, I always deliver
to them every other month. It does not affect our market demand here because we
have stores here and I have people that can assist me whenever I am abroad”.
More Celebrities storm Hallero for Ibadi-Aran
 The Hallero brand in the next 5 years

 A very hardworking and innovative
enterpreneur, Alero Fafowora does not like playing God in her affairs and
that was why when asabeafrika asked her to define where her brand will be in the
next 5 years she choose to go philosophical by saying “Well, I think for me,
the Lord is my strength and the sky is the limit and I am not going to be the
one to give myself the limit because I don’t know where God is taking me to.
And I believe that everything that I do the credit is in the hands of God and I
know that He will do the best for me. He will manifest Himself in my life; so,
I won’t say this is where I want to be in five years, I just believe wherever
God is taking me to be will be where I will be”. 
More Nigerians falls for Ibadi-Aran
The CEO’s philosophy

 Alero’s philosophy can also be likened to a
campaign and it says “Always have knowledge about whatever thing you want to do
either you are into fashion, you are a media executive, you are a musician or
anything. Always have knowledge and be on top of your game in anything you do”.
Some of her T-shirts
Books and me
“I hardly
read, I only read when I want to sleep. I am always in the factory and that is
the best thing I do. I love to cut. (Laughter)”
The CEO’s fashion sense

very simple and sensible”
Hallero Couture boss, Alero Fafowora
Fashion accessory you will not catch
on me on a good day
(Laughs) “You
won’t catch me wearing any skimpy stuff. Not me, I am a very simple person when
it comes to fashion. You might also say I am conservative”.
The CEO’s normal day begins with….
“My normal
day starts in the morning, obviously I start with my normal devotion and then I
start the better part of the day with cuttings. I don’t have any other thing in
the morning; you won’t catch me anytime, anywhere than the factory. Unless it
is very important; I cut in the morning and after that time I attend to my
clients. It is a good thing that my workers now know what I want and they do it
for me the way I want it. So, it gives me a little bit of leeway to be able to
do every other thing
CEO’s hobby

“Cutting, I
cut all the time. I also love to travel going on holidays”. 
Some of the Hallero jewelry brands
CEO’s Last word on new product

“Ibadi-Aran” has brought us back a lot of old
clients. It is quite amazing, clients we have seen in the last 5 and 6 years
are now coming back. I thank God for the innovation; I want to sincerely thank
all of them because without them we are not there. I want to say a very big
THANKS to them for the patronage. We will continue to be innovative with our
style and Nigerians should expect more from us”.
The Hallero Slippers
Linens from the stable of Hallero
Hallero the brand that is gaining momentum
Alero in a pose with two fanns of Ibadi-Aran | Kaffy, Alero and a guest in a rare pose
Alero and a customer model for Hallero
Here comes The ‘Ibadi-Arans’