Funmi Ladipo started out in the Fashion Business World at a time when not too many people were interested in the idea itself. She had actually wanted to read law but when her mother saw the creative ability she possessed, she advised her to opt for fashion designing.
She studied fashion designing at the Yaba College of Technology and before then was enrolled at the Federal School of Arts and Science. At the age of 24 she won an award as fashion designer of the year, in 1987/1988.
Coming from Ekiti state, a part of Nigeria where you are either a Lawyer, a Medical Doctor Engineer and the likes, Funmi Ladipo’s Father did not fully accept the idea what being a Fashion designer entailed until he attended a fashion show in Washington DC with an American family friend.
When he returned home, he apologized to his daughter and began supporting her having observed that the calibre of people that attended the event were the power brokers in Washington DC.
She is currently the president of the Nigerian Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria for a second term running and is happily married to Advertising Guru Rufai Ladipo.
Funmi Ladipo believes Fashion Designing is different from Fashion retailing as the former deals with production while the latter deals with buying and selling. It is to the latter that members of the Fashion designers association of Nigeria belong to.
According to Mrs. Rufai Ladipo, the producer goes through the entire chain of the production cycle from starting out from sourcing, marketing, photography, modelling, packaging, production, pricing to marketing. As such the existence of production hubs in the country would go a long way for the Industry as designs can simply be sent to such hubs and mass produced for export.