One thing I have learned over time; Is the fact that having a desire or passion for something is just 20% out of the 100% it takes to actually “follow your dreams “. The other 80% is what counts. They include; the steps you take to making your dreams come to reality. The sacrifices you make, the work you are ready to put in and your determination. Today’s Woman Crush is someone who is a very good example of a go-getter and a hard worker. Let’s meet Nanbyen, the Fashion designer with a strong passion to make a difference……
Hello, I am Nanbyen Lannap. Founder and Idea Chief of House of Haute Vou; an urban fashion house. I am an ardent and your typical Naija babe from Langtang- Plateau State 😁.
Asides being a Fashion babe lol, Nanbyen has a strong passion for making a difference and changing the narrative………
I am passionate about public order and social cohesion and change. I have a diploma in Development and Planning Studies and I recently completed a degree program in Criminology and Security Studies from the University of Jos. One of my core values is keying into the ‘New Africa’ narrative by redefining ideas and knowledge especially the stereotypical ones about Africa. I wanted to change the negative narrative about African women and young people being unimaginative, violent and lazy. I have been involved with the #walkforfreedom social movement, The Voice project 2016 among others. These are human trafficking sensitization projects by a social enterprise called Bosita Made.
I also volunteer to teach kids about fashion during summer breaks.
My goal as an entrepreneur is to make fashion design functional and eco-friendly; ensuring that all my pieces are tailored to serve and add value to my clientele in a way that makes them feel confident and beautiful, and making made in Nigeria products worth consuming.
Having a mother who was a Civil Servant and lowkey Fashion Designer, it is no surprise that she turned out to be the Founder and Idea Chief of House of Haute Vou…..…..
As a young girl, I always watched how my mom literally designed almost every cloth she wore. I was always fascinated by this and I started to imitate that. However, I would say it all started in secondary school. It was a way of filling up my time during those blue days in boarding house, it quickly morphed into a passion for me. It opened my eyes to the reality that we are surrounded by design, and fashion design, in particular, gave me an outlet to express my creativity and add beauty to the world. I mean, I was specific about my compound wear and I would stay with the tailor almost all day to discuss the design😁.
I asked when she finally gathered the courage to start professionally, She had this to say………
In 2011, I got an opportunity to work as an assistant costumer and makeup artist in a movie titled “Europe in My Heart”. Fast forward to 2013, I got an opportunity to intern at a prestigious fashion house in Abuja. Officially, this was the experience that kicked off my journey in the industry. My internship opened the door for me to move a lot of my ideas from paper to reality and more than that, gave me first-hand experience and taught me lessons about dealing with clients, teamwork, managing people, getting work done, and how demanding the life of a fashion designer really is (haha!).
On the idea of being a female entrepreneur and the journey so far…………
House of Haute Vou started officially in 2016. The unemployment rate in Nigeria has been alarming in recent times. It averaged 23.63 percent in 2014 and it’s currently estimated at it’s all-time high of 38%. On the other hand, the World Bank estimates that 20% of freshwater pollution has been linked to textile treatment and dyeing. That effectively puts the health of the entire ecosystem at risk and 85 % of the clothes we dispose of end up in landfills or drainage causing environmental hazards like flooding
House of Haute Vou was birthed to fill these gaps and in addition, it is helping women feel more confident and beautiful and at the same time curbing environmental degradation with design. This may not totally resolve these problems, but it will definitely impact the global perspective of who we are and help stem the current consumerist culture which diminishes the health of the environment due to the waste it generates.
It has been a bittersweet one… I have had my moments. Times where being a student and a startup entrepreneur seemed like a Herculean task. There were times where I needed to be at work and in school at the same time and I had to choose one over the other. There are have been some “seemingly” missed opportunities; Sometimes it appears like men have more chances when it comes to accessing certain opportunities. Regardless, I must say that the high moments were worth it. These are times when things worked as planned or even beyond expectations. For instance, I’ve been nominated fashion designer of the year and even won most creative student designer at the Connect and Chill event last year, the company has been able to make an impact in people’s lives, from our work with suppliers, employees, and clients. In summary, the journey has been an interesting one and I wouldn’t trade it for another or anyone’s journey😁
For future plans……..
House of Haute Vou is a brand that is helping to solve the problem of wastage in the fashion industry by creating multipurpose and fashion-forward clothing. The vision of the brand is to key into the SDG12 which entails sustainable consumption and production patterns. In Nigeria, our women love fashion and the goal is to ensure women love fashion without tampering with the environment and also providing jobs.
We plan to expand our reach beyond Nigeria; in fact, collaboration is underway with a Zimbabwean retailer. We hope to be able to have our pieces in every retail outlet in the world in the next ten years.
You can keep up with her on Instagram @houseofhautevou
Thank you and have a lovely Wednesday!