Bukola Are Brings Her Latest Collection HVS DeLuxe 15 To New York Fashion Week
The modern day fashionista: Sophisticated. Self-assured. Playful. Bold. These words are used to describe the House of Versatile Styles woman and the young female fashion designer and creative director of the fashion line itself, Bukola Are. Her new Spring/Summer 2015 collection, HVS DeLuxe 15, features African, European, and American-inspired dresses, tops, and bottoms. But the road to showcasing a fashion collection at New York Fashion Week is paved with more than passion and peplum. There is also hard work, sacrifice, ambition, faith, a willingness to listen to your instincts, and a dash of luck to lean on. We sat down with Are after her recent NYFW presentation to get an idea of how she went from a teen with fashion dreams to the self-made style entrepreneur she is today.
MadameNoire: Congratulations on your Spring/Summer 2015 collection! Where are you from originally?
Bukola Are: I was born in the United States. I went to elementary school back home [in Lagos, Nigeria] and then came here for college for my love of fashion.
MN: What inspired you to start a career in fashion design?
BA: I always had this desire to make things look beautiful. I started my path in fashion design doing a fashion show in college. People gravitated to it and loved it. I received enough support for me to keep going!
MN: What did your business plan for HVS look like? Did you have one at all? Did you start off with a lot of capital?
Are: No, I did not have a lot of startup funds. I actually started with nothing. I was 17 and ambitious. I had huge dreams, so I did what I saw on TV. I created my own board room in my little apartment, in the living room, and gave all my friends a position in my company.
MN: What were some of the business-related obstacles you faced in building your own fashion line from the ground up?
Are: Knowledge. There are so many things I wish I was exposed to earlier on. In order to be successful in this industry, you have to understand the business of fashion. At the time, I was more driven by passion and the excitement of sharing my work with an audience.
MN: What are the major components, in your opinion, that one must have to begin a career in fashion?
Are: There are many opportunities in the fashion industry. It’s important to figure out what area one would like to specialize in. Some people are lucky enough to work in different areas of the industry. For example, in addition to being the head designer at HVS, I also work as a Creative Director at a creative firm I founded called Of A Kind Creatives.
MN: What are the most essential personality attributes, in your opinion, required to be a skilled fashion designer?
Are: I am completely self-taught, and I believe that you must be realistic enough to be honest with yourself and humble, but aggressive enough to get the job done successfully.
MN: Who or what motivates your artistic flair?
Are: My artistic flair…to be honest, right now I just want to make clothing that people desire to put on. It’s all about the business for me right now.
MN: Do/did you have any mentors in the fashion industry?
Are: Tory Burch and Kimora Lee Simmons are my mentors in my head. I appreciate what these ladies have been able to do with their brands.
You can also follow Bukola and the House of Versatile Styles fashion brand on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org.