Mojisola Obazuaye is currently studying for a Post Graduate Diploma in Fashion Buying & Management at DIT College of Business, School of Retail. African-Irish, originally from Nigeria, Mojisola has lived in Ireland the past 13 years and is a wife and mother to two boys. Having started her education in science, with a degree firstly in Microbiology from Nigerian’s Premier University, University of Ibadan followed by a degree in Industrial Biology with Bioinformatics from the IT Carlow, Mojisola is now paving a career for herself in the world of fashion.
Why did you decide to study Fashion Buying and Management at DIT?
I took a career break for a while to raise my young children, in that time I began to consider my future career prospects and my mind seemed firmly set on the world of fashion. I launched a Blog and YouTube Channel ‘Moj In Touch‘ where I share my thoughts and opinions on Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle. From writing the blog, I got a true insight of myself and I became more confident, focused and knew exactly what I should be doing with my life.
I continued writing everyday on the blog and creating YouTube videos which exposed me to gaining an audience from different parts of the world. I went ahead to write a book ‘Use What You Have’, which became an Amazon Best-Seller just a month after the launch. The success was largely due to my following already created through blogging and vlogging. Shortly after my book launch, in January 2017, I started at DIT to help me prepare for the bright future, I was confident was ahead of me.
I was also inspired to join the programme following the success story of my husband after returning to education at DIT. I was excited about my future career prospects from reading a lot of reviews from past students, on how they went ahead to join multi-national businesses and graduates who received amazing opportunities in the workforce and have gone ahead to do great things.
What was your experience of your trip to Paris?
The trip to Paris was one of a kind and I wouldn’t change that for anything. Paris is gorgeous and I got the chance to attend Premier Vision, the world’s premier fabric show which showcases the season’s fashion trends up to 18 months in advance. I experienced fabrics, trends and many more memorable events that will help me eventually, when I start working in fashion buying.
Aside from Premier Vision, I visited many shops in Paris and immersed myself in the Parisian shopping experience, it was great to see what trends were in Paris at the time.
I visited luxury shops like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Dior, Channel, Marni and many more. I also visited some high-street stores like Banana Republic, Zara, Zara home and many amazing shops.
The experience also gave me the idea of what being a Fashion Buyer could be like, because being a fashion buyer involves travel.
Did you find your work placement was a useful part of your overall experience?
My work placement was with Primark (Penneys) and it was a wonderful experience, the feeling is quite different from college life. Working in the fashion buying office opened my eyes to the day-to-day events; it was fast, creative, fun, with lots to do and create, targets to reach, clients and suppliers to meet and so much more.
The experience afforded me to have that creative mindset, it taught me to be hands-on, to work as part of a team, to be able to think outside the box and make decisions, to understand customers and their needs, to be accountable for my work, be a fast-thinker and most importantly, it prepared me to the career future I see ahead of me.
I must say that the Primark’s buying office building is massive or gi-normous like my children would say. The people were kind and the people culture, I believe is why Primark is thriving. And how could I forget the food? The food at the canteen was great and affordable for all.
What do you feel are becoming key components in working as a fashion buyer?
The world we are in now is “social savvy”, most, if not everything is influenced by social media. To be a successful fashion buyer, other than education, I feel you must keep up to date to what is going on in the social world, you must be social savvy and be involved in the social movement. Understanding trends, and reacting quickly to trends is key in order to create products that suit your target market. An understanding of the marketing strategy is required, there is no ‘one size fits all’ kind of advertising these days, everything is niche. Most importantly, you must be truly passionate and love fashion and be willing to work hard, very hard.
What is your dream job when you graduate?
As fashion buying is the reason I came to do this course, it would be a great honour for me to be able to work in a reputable fashion office as a fashion buyer.
However, having worked in other reputable companies before now, I have gained experience and skills on my journey which I can transfer to other roles. And for that reason, I am not going to leave any doors closed to venture into other areas or careers.
I would also be exploring my natural gifts and strength which is to encourage and teach. It would be my joy to take on a career in lecturing if the opportunity comes around.
Another area I am interested in would be social media marketing and management following the experience I have acquired on my journey as a writer and blogger.
Sincerely, I am confident that the opportunities I have are endless when I finish this programme.
What is your advice to anybody thinking of applying for the programme?
I would say, firstly, have clarity on what you want to do and once you are sure, go for it!
If you are interested truly in working in fashion and to have a career in fashion, this course is the best out there, recognised internationally and it would give you the opportunity to do well in this fast-paced fashion industry.
You also must be committed to it, make the most of it and work hard because the course is very intensive both in teaching and training. You must be willing to sit down and study hard.
Trust me, you won’t be talking about shoes, bags and clothes all day. The programme focuses on the business side of fashion; supply chain management, finance, PR, Marketing, the store environment and many more modules that would show you that the programme is worth the investment. Most importantly, there are endless possibilities for you out there after you take the course.
Who inspires you in the Fashion Industry?
My personal style is modern classic with elegance (always), polished and sophistication. So, I tend to gravitate towards brands/labels that cater to my taste.
Some of the brands I like are Victoria Beckham, Saint Laurent and many more luxury brands. My style inspiration are Traycee Ellis Ross, Genevieve Nnaji and many more amazing celebrities.
My mother, who is my greatest role model, taught me that everything and anything is possible, and with hard work, we can be who we want to be. I am also inspired by women who go for gold such as Michelle Obama, Oprah, Ellen and many more women I can’t think of right now.
I am inspired by Primark’s success story and where they are heading. I love Zara because with a little bit more, you get style and quality and there are so many other brands out there.
From your studies, what trends do you see making it big for Autumn Winter 2017/18?
As we all know, trends never go away. They go for a while and then come back again. I am confident that frills and ruffles will be around, not only on clothes but in coats and shoes and other accessories. Over-sized bows will be trending still, along with over-sized and exaggerated sleeves and Gingham and many more fun trends will be around for AW’ 17/18.
Mojisola Obazuaye- currently studying for a Post Graduate Diploma in Fashion Buying & Management at DIT College of Business, School of Retail.