Beyonce’s Formation video, Kelly Rowland’s consistent slay, the gorgeous Women of Wakanda for Essence, Jhene Aiko, Big Sean and Yara Shahidi. What do they all have in common?

Their style has been blessed by the hands of Stylist and Shoe Designer, Ade Samuel. Very quickly becoming a visionary to reckon with in the fashion world, Ade took some time to chat with Racheal Abiriba about her influences, her beginnings as an intern and climbing her way to the top of the roster.

Who or what influenced your love for fashion?

My mum and granny were my biggest love for fashion and influence as well, they taught me about my Nigerian roots, which
played a huge role in my love for
clothing.

Being an intern is no easy job, and much has been said about the woes of
being an intern in the fashion world. What was your experience like working at W Magazine and Teen Vogue? And what inspired your decision to make the leap into fashion styling?

I loved my experiences as an intern, then assistant to now a solo stylist. It is vital lessons learned when interning for
any major publication. Both W Magazine and Teen Vogue were amazing opportunities to gain experience with. While at Teen Vogue, I was able to have access to Fashion Stylists and when I explored their world a bit, I realised – that was the world I wanted to be a part of.

As the stylist behind Yara Shahidi,
Kelly Rowland, Jhené Aiko, and Big Sean‘s red carpet looks, and working on Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ video, how are you able to curate looks that fit each celebrity’s brand and personality.

I take each client for who they are. For me,
looking at Yara Shahidi, Kelly Rowland and
Jhene Aiko- although they are all my female clients – they all have different vibes and love for fashion, so when deciding to style my client, I work based off of their innate style and then build from there. I thrive off keeping all my clients separate and building off of what their brand is.

Did you find any particular hindrances or obstacles breaking into the fashion industry as a designer/stylist of colour?

There are so many obstacles as a designer/
stylist of color. The biggest challenge is finding your voice in the midst of it all. I think the Fashion Industry is slowly getting a bit better, but we are still fighting as Black Creatives. And I never allow fear to win.

How would you describe your journey into designing shoes?
It’s still a journey! I call my shoes, my baby.
I’ve always wanted to be a designer, and shoes are my first love. I followed my dream and I’m still working to grow the brand and expand the market as a Black Female Shoe Designer.

I can only imagine the amount of
work that goes into being a Fashion
Stylist and Designer. How do you integrate each aspect of your life to ensure that no area is lacking your attention and effort?

I pray! That’s what keeps me going. Being a
Fashion Stylist and Designer are two different careers that I continue to take one day at a time when creating for both aspects of my life. I am also very heavily inspired by my reality and world outside of the fashion norm. To me, I look at my friends, people on the street and find inspiration from old photographers’ work to continue to nourish my brands and keep my mind fresh for both creative parts of my life.

You very recently styled the Black Panther cast for their Essence cover, which quickly went viral. And you’ve
been styling Letitia Wright on her
promo tour as well. How significant
are these jobs for you as a stylist in promoting “Black Girl Love” and
increasing representation.

VERY IMPORTANT!! I say that with so much emphasis. As black female stylists, we are not granted the same opportunities as a stylist who is privileged to be connected within the industry due to their class, social or financial status. Being a part of projects with Essence and working with black women is what I choose to do because I can’t complain about a problem and not try and change the narrative.
Black stylists are just as important and our
representation within our own community is very important as well. I think people forget about that.

This excerpt is from our March/April 2018 Issue.

To read the full interview purchase the March/April e-magazine HERE

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