BASILO MAKOTEKO ALIAS BASIL OJIJO Is a celebrity Fashion designer, “I quit my job as an accountant to juggle music and fashion”
“I saw inspiration from my elder brother who was a perfectionist in dressing.” Basilo Makoteko, a fashion designer and music artist says that the whole village admired his brother’s dressing, and consequently would borrow his clothes to go for trips. Moreover, his brother’s sense of style sparked the passion in him which later transformed into a money-earning project. As the saying goes, if you are good at something, do not ever do it free. Basilo adamantly said he would not give a thing free. “This is business!”
In 2017, Makoteko Fashion Collection was established after he ditched his job as an accountant at the bank. “I quit my Job to juggle between fashion art and music art,” his designs are made of jeans fabric. His biggest sales are the sweatpants and bomber jackets. They both have a touch of Ankara that underscores a classic look. His understated T-shirts and suits give a dense touch of east meets west. His major clients are gents; however, he works on orders and can give a woman a sophisticated look. He attributes his first time client to Eric Omondi, who is also his biggest supporter in his music.
Makoteko Fashion Collection was started with shillings 800 as capital. He traced this moment as a very difficult time because after buying the four T-shirts, he didn’t even know which print outs to use, so the samples were messed up and this was his first trial and stepping stone. “I realized that I could buy the original fabrics and create my own designs from scratch instead of buying readymade outfits,” that is when he started buying the fabrics and creating his original designs himself.
Some of his biggest clients are family, friends, general clients and public figures. In addition, if you actually get a chance to visit his website (basilo_fashion collection) you might as well grab yourself a classic piece with an old times touch. “My celebrity clients are Diamond platnumz, Bahati, Eric Omondi, Jegede, Master piece, Willy Paul, Vdj Jones and Mavo on the Beat” in addition, he has also dressed artists from Nigeria, which puts him on the map and feels he is going global now.
One of his major dressing tender earned him 250, 000 shillings. He says getting clients in bulk pays him well. The least he has in his store costs 1000 shillings. For a celebrity stylist his charges are affordable.
“I give both music and fashion same energy” he commented sighting that music and fashion interdepend on each other. Makoteko says that the type of clients he serves like both Fashion and Music. Therefore, he complements the two because he cannot prioritize either of them.
Some of the challenges he faces in his business is Piracy, because some people go out to make fake outfits resembling his outfits and sells them at a cheaper price. Unavailability of market for his designs is also another challenge. “Desperate pricing by other designers make it difficult for me to set my own price.” He said that there are some seasons that fashionable dressing is not a priority for instance January; people would rather prioritize the most basic needs.
“I find inspiration from Diamond Platinum; he has influenced me how to think business.” He said that his music role model is 2Face Idibia and P Square.
His criteria for dressing clients greatly depends on the client’s preference: “I dress people according to the occasion, and according to the trends. I create what a client prefers.” He said.
His dressing process involves creating a visual image of what he desires, but ends up wearing a very different outfit. “My uniqueness makes me stand out, my discipline also,” he remarked that respect is paramount when dealing with clients. He describes his fashion line as dressing kings and queens.
“I do not desire to work with any other international brand,” he claimed being content with his design. He believes that he gets his referral because of his great work.
“I count my achievements day in day out” He said emphasizing that being desperate for value makes you end up making a lot of mistakes. He admits having done this mistake before and he learned a lesson to set his own standards. This gave him relevance to date.