Youthful and elegant Yeside Laguda is the daughter of the Minister of Information, Culture and National Orientations, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. She unveiled her luxury store named MyQ Lifestyle last weekend. The graduate of the University of Reading, United Kingdom, spoke on her designs and family life
HOW would you describe your bridal collections?
It’s two stores in one. The bridal shop is called Blush by MyQ. The parent company is called MyQ Lifestyle. MyQ Lifestyle is the result of my passion for fashion. We used to sew, but I needed to balance my work and family life. So, I decided to do something else. I went into the bridal fashion. The bridal industry cushions the fashion industry in Nigeria during the wedding season. When there is a high wedding season, what happens is that there is a lot of work and when there is a low wedding season, there is no work to do. So I decided to go into the industry. I decided to go into the wedding season which does not take a whole year. I have been in the industry for eight years. This is my ninth year, but with bridals, it started this year. I started planning this in January. What I did was that I started getting franchises and partnering with people. It’s not just a situation of going abroad, picking up dresses and coming to sell here. We partner with a lot of bridal stores. For now, it is the bridal stores, like Vera Wang. Since I cannot afford to be a partner, I go through the secondary market, people like Bridal O, a bridal store in London. I will go to them and explain what I want to do. And they will give them to me. Eventually, I’m selling at prices that they will sell. So we are trying to cut out the middle man. We do everything. Even if you have a dress, you have a veil. You want traditional attire, we give it to you.
What about MyQ?
MyQ is an indigenous dress: the ankara, the caftan and others. We look at what our women want and cater for them.
So all the collections here are yours?
No. This (pointing to a collection) is not mine. I have different designs from top designers, Vera Wang, name it. We have them here. I buy from middle-eastern designers. I produce all my MyQ designs.
Did you go to a fashion school?
I didn’t. I’m a builder and a designer. I have a BSc in Environmental Chemistry and a Master’s in Strategic Management. As regards the collections and designs here, I can go to anywhere in the world to get them. The designs and collections that will suit my clients.
Can you tell us about your father who is now the Minister of Information?
He is someone who is dedicated to his work and family. My father is not driven by money. He will stand by you, if he believes in your cause and sees that the cause is achieved. He’s passionate about this country. He taught me to believe in myself. A lot of times I go to my parents for support and they have always been there for me.
Have you worked for somebody before?
I have been doing business for a long time. We are getting a lot of dresses. When I was schooling in England, I used to supply many boutiques in Nigeria. I bought clothes, sent them to Nigeria and got my money. I have not really worked for somebody before.
Can you tell us about your designs?
My designs are simple, fashionable and not loud. My designs are not bogus. They are not loud.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am married and I have two children. I work and read a lot. I read Environmental Chemistry at the University of Reading,United Kingdom , and I did my Master’s in Strategic Management at the University of Wales, also in the United Kingdom.