In an exclusive interview with Bimpe Onakoya, the artistic director of Maybelline New York Nigeria. She has been
in the makeup industry for 11 years. She is referred to as the first African based International Makeup Artist for New York Fashion Week. She was the Head of Makeup at Arise Fashion Week ( Thisday Fashion Week) and now she is the Head of Makeup for Lagos Fashion and Design Week.
Olorisupergal had an exclusive chat with her at Maybelline New York Nigeria office in Lagos and she shared her experience with us.
Enjoy the chat below;
Share your experience with us at New York Fashion Week 2014
The experience working backstage at New York Fashion Week was an awesome experience I can’t forget in a hurry. It was beautiful. I lived the reality of my dream in vivid colors. It was amazing. I really can’t explain it except you are a makeup artist who has always wished to work in that type of environment, then you will understand what I mean. It was where I was suppose to be and I just found myself and it was easy for me to blend in.
It was a sweet and sour experience. It was a combination of 11 years of experience, dedication, passion and consistency for Bimpe Onakoya brand. I thank God for Maybelline. They came into my life and everything changed. I had the opportunity to discuss with the President of Maybelline, Spokesperson for Maybelline New York and I also had the opportunity to talk to the team in charge of Maybelline products and I was able to tell them some things that will work for the African market. The conversations was positive and eye opening. I also met Yadim – he is so sweet. Yadim is the Global Makeup artist for Maybelline.
Brands she worked with at New York Fashion Week
I worked with DKNY, Lacoste, Suno, J Mendel, Theory and other fashion designers. I was doing like three shows a day.
Few things she learnt at the Fashion Week
I learnt about team building, having good relationship with people and also managing a team. I love Yadim – he made us all feel important. He encouraged us and never looked down on anyone. I discovered so many secrets about makeup. I have been doing this for 11 years. For everything I learnt, I will apply them at Lagos Fashion Design Week. Sometimes when I watch Fashion TV, I get curious on how they get a particular look but I was privileged to see how they created such looks backstage while in New York. I worked on dark skinned girl than light skinned girls.
On her brand Bimpe Onakoya and Elite Makeup
The label is Bimpe Onakoya. When I started it was ELITE MAKEUP and we had a Modelling agency back then. I registered the name long ago so people used to call me ELITE.Along the line, Elohor Aisien came up with Elite Model Look and I said to myself this will be clashing with my name so I decided to go with BIMPE ONAKOYA for the brand. I trademarked the name BIMPE ONAKOYA.
On her makeup line
Something will happen later but not now because people do ask me when will I produce my own makeup line. If every makeup artist has a makeup line then the market will be . I’ve never been interested in doing that. I’ve always wanted to affiliate myself with the big brands in the industry.
On what to expect at Lagos Fashion and Design Week
You should expect the best from this year’s event. As far as I’m concerned, this event is the biggest in Africa. I have been working with them right from the inception. This year, I will be bringing the spirit of New York into Lagos. Expect some edgy looks, street fashion, high fashion etc. Maybelline is a sponsor for Lagos Fashion and Design Week.
There is a competition going on now with Maybelline New York Nigeria for all makeup artistes in Lagos. This is an opportunity for them to work with us backstage and earn the same amount with every other person with an extra gift. The competition is open to all aspiring makeup artistes.
Advice to upcoming makeup artistes
I want them to pursue excellence and not success. When they chase success, they tend to derail from being excellent in their work. The love of success can make anyone make mistakes but when you want to be the best at what you do, you do all the necessary things. You keep learning and working on being the best at what you do. You can’t start flying without crawling. Be focused in your artistry always.
Thank you for time
You are welcome