For my next instalment in my series, 3 Questions With, I’m chatting with Vancouver Fashion Designer, Oge Ajibe. Oge started out as an event clothing brand while still under the brand name Fashion Voice. They focused on making outfits for events such as weddings, proms and birthday parties. However, with the on-set of COVID-19, all events were put on hold indefinitely. Oge was pushed to pivot the business towards ready to wear apparel. Considering their clients’ needs even during a global pandemic, they decided to change. They switched to providing their clients with outfits for their everyday wear.
1) How did you get started in the fashion industry?
Growing up, I had many insecurities and low self-esteem. Fashion was the only way I had to express who I was and what I believed in. That people should feel beautiful in their own skin; color, body size and everything in between. As time went on, my self-confidence grew, and I started making my own clothes. Clothes that fit my body and allowed me to express myself in different ways.I no longer felt the need to change who I was. In 2016, I started a fashion blog called “Fashion Voice” and eventually became a fashion stylist. Much later down the line, I finally landed on starting a clothing brand. I wanted my clothing line to have inclusive sizing as well as sustainably made and eco-friendly pieces. In 2018, I completed a fashion program at LaSalle College and launched my brand under the name Fashion Voice. On December 3rd, 2020, I rebranded as OgeAjibe.
2) Where does your passion for plus size fashion come from?
I started sewing because as a plus size woman myself, I was not able to find clothes that suited me or had anything fun. Either stores never sized up a lot or they always designed shapeless clothes. I grew up surrounded by colourful Vlisco fabrics in Nigeria and the lack of patterns showed me a lack in the market. Being able to introduce something fun while still being a slow fashion business with ethically sourced fabrics was how OgeAjibe came into existence. I was able to focus more on my brand development in 2020 after becoming a part of the Incubator and with Jess’ (owner of Free Label) constant mentorship.
3) Is there one piece you have designed that you are most proud of and why?
I love all my designs but I love the comfort of my best seller peace pants. I wanted comfort and freedom, but most importantly I wanted it in my pants. As a designer I started looking at everything out in the market and compared the designs and all silhouettes that can fit my big derrière of 54” and my waist of 39”.I was finally able to come up with two designs and sent them to my pattern maker. She suggested that since I loved them both so much, why don’t I combine the two styles together and thus the peace pant was born!!! It had everything I ever wanted- a loose pair of pants made of cotton, two large side pockets that fit EVERYTHING and still look nice.Peace pants are currently available in snowy, lagoon, black, and yellow made with 100% cotton.
You can shop the Oge Ajibe collection here and follow them on Instagram here.