“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” —Edith Head
Meet Helen Chukwu, Founder and Creative Director of Helen Couture.
Helen Couture is a luxury brand that focuses on creating unique designs with contrasting elements of traditional, modern and cultural themes. The garments created by HC is quite impressive. They are handmade and meticulously contoured to perfection to satisfy clients specific needs and body shape.
On November 9th, 2018, HC launched its first store in Lagos, Nigeria with a party bursting with inspiration, creative vibes and eager patrons admiring and purchasing garments from the store. The store is located at 100a, Illupeju Street, Dolphine Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.
HC released its exclusive collection of luxury bridal, bespoke and ready-to-wear pieces in the presence of celebrities such as Toke Makinwa, Denola Grey, Swanky Jerry and others as well as special guests and friends.
The second floor of the store showcased the HC Bridal Collection. In particular, there was a show-stopping dress, an ivory colored bridal dress which was perfectly hand-crafted and beaded with authentic pearls and feathers.
Overall, the experience was unprecedented. On a professional level, I was taken aback by the professionalism of Helen and her staff. The garments exceeded my expectations and the creativity was superb. On a personal level, I am proud of my friend.
After the store launch, I sat down with Helen to chat about her Brand, the 8-year journey and her thoughts about the launch party.
Keep reading to learn more about this talented designer!
- What is your favorite color? — “I would say I don’t have one in particular. It depends on my mood and what’s happening.”
- What inspired you to create Helen Couture? — “Helen Couture was inspired by….you know what, it was embedded into me by God because, it allows me to see life in a different way. I create what I see in my life and that of others because I believe that perspective is important. Every creation comes from an idea to include things I see in the world and things that inspire me. It’s been 8 years and counting and I look forward to creating more.
- Where did you go to school and what degree did you obtain? — “I would say I did not have to school for what I do but, I wanted to do so in order to increase my knowledge and skills. I went to Instituto Marangoni London.”
- What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line? — “My biggest fear was…. well, not necessarily a fear but, anxiety. Not everyone would accept your design. I had to accept that I can’t please everyone. My clients would be people who are generally different in their own way.”
- How do want women to feel when wearing your clothes? — “Absolutely powerful, in charge and not only in fashion, but, in their homes and offices. I want them to be fearless.”
- Do you have a favorite piece? — “Not really. Every piece is different. It’s about the office, factory, studio, art work, decoration, concept as well…I love concept.”
- Where do you gain inspiration from? — “I get inspiration from research. Making sure I’m aware of what’s happening in the fashion industry, art, culture…I get my inspiration from seeing mistakes from the world and recreating a perspective through my garments.”
- What was your experience at the Launch party? — “Happiness, not just because I’m experiencing something amazing, but seeing others experience my creation. People became thoughtful about their environment. From the lobby to the special room, to the display room, everywhere was created to inspire.”
- How did you overcome failure? — “I would say that one thing and one thing only. If it’s not your purpose, don’t do it. If it’s not something you can’t do without, don’t do it. I shed tears…a whole lot of tears. I had to push myself. It took me a while to convince people to get here. The disappointment and the fact that I’m Nigerian so as the first daughter, it would be a shame on everyone if I failed. You can cry, just wipe it off and come out stronger. It’s a cycle of life. I can’t allow it to break me down.”
- What advice would you give to women who want to create their own fashion business? — “You need to be extremely fearless, believe in yourself and recreate your skills. People are scared of copyrights and stealing ideas. Ideas are given by God, so you have to share it. If I impact you, I become a part of your story. People should be able to be exposed. Speak to people and be consistent. Ask questions. Make sure it’s your calling. It’s extremely important that you do not focus on money. I say this because if it’s about money, you would not make money. If it’s about passion and growth, the sky is your limit.”
During our interview, Helen asked her friends Ugochi Amaechi and Chidera Chigbo about their thoughts of the launch party from a personal point of view. Here are their responses:
Ugochi Amaechi — “I wanted to come to the launch party because I’ve seen Helen from the beginning of this dream. Passion, sacrifices, prayers and the times she failed. There is something I admire about her which is the ability to fail forward. She was able to move no matter what. I am very proud of Helen.”
Chidera Chigbo — “My experience was breathtaking and inspiring. Very humbling for me. It was beautiful. I don’t believe I’ve had a friend do anything so for you to achieve your goals at such an early age is quite amazing. Your life is sorted and I know you’re blessed, lucky, privileged and in the right company.
A statement from Helen Chukwu:
“Thank you to everyone who showed up, people who could not show up and people who sent great messages. Everyone who extremely showed up physically and in so many other ways. Thank you for believing in me and trusting my judgement. Thank you for allowing me to put my burden on you. Thank you for being a friend and family. I trust you, you know me and it’s incredible. My mum and dad, I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve you all. Thank you dad, for trusting me with your funds. Thank you! As you’ve made me start, I shall be able to make you proud.”
It was a privilege to be a part of this experience. I look forward to seeing Helen Couture grow to greater heights.
Here are some more photos from the party!
I hope you found this blog insightful and you’re inspired. Thanks for reading beauties! Until next time, you can keep up with me on Instagram @iam_Deborah.