Calabash_Issue 9 Apr. 2014 - Page 9

business Calabash: How do you explain your interest in fashion designing? Mr Lolly: Well, this started off with me working as Manager of Pardis, where I was engaged in promoting showbiz events in Sierra Leone since 2000. This was at the Pardis International Beach Bar at Aberdeen Road whose owner, Mr Paddy Warren, had passed away leaving the business in the hands of Mr Alexis Heroe who was like an adopted son. My inspiration came from meeting various showbiz people while serving as host presenter and producer of beauty pageant shows. I also tried to get our local tailors and designers involved in such shows by giving them contracts and sponsorships to enable them to come in and display their creations and showcase their abilities. This also enabled me to spot local talents in the fields of showbiz and fashion. Lollypo Calabash: This leads me to my next question which is; what do you think you have brought to the field of fashion designing; how are your creations different from all other existing ones? Mr Lolly: That’s a very interesting question. My innovation was to design my all my own stuff using mineral stones: crystal, ruby, sapphire...these are the things I work with. Sorry, that for security reasons I can’t bring out samples to show you...but a showbiz person, a footballer or anybody ,for that matter, who has to attend a special event can come in or put in an order to design his clothing with the stones and design of his choice. Whatever the event or wherever they are, anyone who is wearing my designs will be the most eye-catching and certainly the hottest personality in that place. I also use industrial grade diamonds which are relatively cheap. I send them to my factory in the Middle East where they can be woven into beautiful, eye-catching designs. I love fashion, but my real passion is in the use of these stones. I also do hats, footwear, belts...(here my attention was drawn to some lovely samples of the said items on display, and they were truly eye-catching). Calabash: Would you agree that you are only pandering to the bling-bling culture? Mr Lolly: Of course, it’s all about bling! In fact, I specialise in bling artwork. Calabash: I know this is a very competitive market; how do you manage to keep up with it? Mr Lolly: Well, I cater for a very broad clientele which includes footballers, artistes from Africa, the Caribbean and even the general public. My prices are very competitive so a lot of people are attracted by what I have to offer. At this juncture, in walked a smartly dressed young lady who imperiously tapped a well manicured multi-coloured nail over a pair of shades with the question, ‘how much?’ Mr Lolly: Seventy five... At which point yours truly quietly took leave of Mr Lolly. issue nine | Calabash Magazine | 7