In-Depth Interview with Ese Azenabor

MunaLuchi Coterie member and elite fashion designer Ese Azenabor has been in the fashion industry for over five years. With a background in accounting this self-taught fashion-savvy entrepreneur brings an educated business sense to her intricate, culturally inspired designs. Ese Azenabor fashion has been turning heads since the official first line launch in 2012. Luxurious, extravagant, detail-oriented, unique, timeless - just a few of the words that come to mind when exploring the Ese Azenabor collection catalog. Working with brides for four years, 2017 marks the launch of their first bridal collection. The craftsmanship quality and fresh originality of every wedding dress design would leave any bride feeling perfect on their most special of days.

Learn all about Ese Azenabor in this insightful in-depth interview.

"Seeing something that doesn’t exist come to life! That is my biggest high..."     
                                                                          ~ Ese Azenabor

Describe your business. My business empowers women. Everything I do is inspired by the arts and my Nigerian culture.

What did you do before starting your business in the wedding industry? I was actually working my way up the corporate ladder as an employee of Deloitte. I graduated from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada and majored in accounting. I eventually moved to Dallas to pursue a Master’s Degree at Southern Methodist University. I knew accounting was not my passion so I took a detour to follow my dreams and started designing handmade dresses for friends, family and myself.

How long have you been in the wedding industry? I’ve been in the wedding industry for about 4 years. However, my ready wear collections have been my primary focus. I made up in my mind to launch my very first bridal collection in 2017.

How would you describe your style? I would say my style is daring, luxurious, extravagant, and shows my artistic side through my beadwork and intricate details.

What motivates you? My mother motivates me. I watched her raise my siblings and I as a single woman. She always made us believe that anything is possible as long as we put God first in our lives. My fiancé is also my biggest fan and pushes me to outdo my past.

Why should brides choose you? We are into the craftsmanship that goes into our work. We pay very close attention to detail. My dresses are timeless and there is not one bride whose dress is the same. Every single dress is unique.

How does your company define and measure success? I measure success on the satisfaction of my clients. Seeing the smile on my client’s face is great success to me.

What do you enjoy most about your work? Seeing something that doesn’t exist come to life! That is my biggest high. The creation behind my pieces is my enjoyment. I can stay up all night listening to my jazz music working on my works of art.

Describe a proud moment while working in the wedding industry. Our bride from 2016, Jessica Chinyelu really trusted me to get my point across through her wedding gown. Witnessing her walk down the aisle to making her grand entrance into her reception just made me too proud. I hope to have more brides like Jessica that will trust my ability to bring out the confident bride in them.

What’s the best compliment you’ve received for your work? It’s so hard to just pick one. But this one stands out to me the most…. “My designs do not match my age.” Many young designers design trendy pieces. I focus on timeless. I have many older clients that ask my age and how long I’ve been designing because of my mature designs.

What are your business goals? We all want more growth and I don’t ever want to stop growing. I would really like to grow internationally especially in Nigeria, Dubai, South Africa, Milan, UK, Canada and Australia.

What’s your favorite part of the wedding industry? I absolutely love it when brides find their dream dress. Everyone is typically most excited about the dress reveal on the wedding day! I’m always eager to share pictures of my clients wedding gowns.

What’s your least favorite part of the wedding industry? I could give you a lot! Planning a wedding is a very emotional experience. Obviously, I know because I’m planning my own wedding right now. But, I really dislike dealing with indecisive brides. However, I’ve learned it comes with the industry so I’ve mastered how to handle this type of brides.

Describe your vision of the “perfect” wedding. Everyone has an idea of their perfect wedding. It is seeing everything you envisioned come to life. Literally every single detail.

Where do you find the most inspiration? A lot of my beadwork stems from different cultures meshed together such as Nigerian and Indian. I’m also inspired by beadwork and fringes on dresses from the 1920’s and 1930’s. I try and combine all of this to create my designs.

Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know? Custom is the way to go for a bride that is very specific on what she wants. We provide just that!

Follow Ese Azenabor here!

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