Yolanda Okereke-Fubara is Will Downtown Magazine’s latest cover star!

Award-winning stylist and co-founder of Rani Company and wardrobe hut, Yolanda Okereke-Fubara, is the star of the cover of The will of the city center The latest issue of the magazine.

@yolandaokereke

Yolanda is Nollywood’s go-to costume designer. Her outstanding work over the past 15 years, participating in numerous costume design gigs, has catapulted her to fame. She has dressed various characters in top movies, including the highly acclaimed king of boys and those of Netflix blood sisters.

In this interview, she discusses the intricacies of costume design and the importance of having a support system for such tedious work. It was her husband, Karibi Fubara, who died in 2021. But that didn’t stop Yolanda; she still receives support from her and her family. She says both families have been phenomenal.

Read excerpts from the interview below.

On the importance of costume designers in movies

Being a costume designer is just as important as having a director on set. The truth is, if the makeup artist is there and there’s no costume, there’s nothing to photograph. Also, if the costumes aren’t right, you won’t be telling a true story. So I take that part of cinema seriously because of the way people trivialize it. People say things like, ‘It’s not just clothes?’ For them, it might just be clothes, but for me, I’m telling a story. I have conversations with producers, directors and other departments, even the makeup artist, about how a character looks because it’s crucial to telling the stories. Also, most people are fascinated by being in front of the camera, whereas I’m just happy to be behind the scenes and part of the tool that tells and animates the story. You want to try as much as possible to make everything believable, you might even have access to fancy clothes, but that doesn’t mean it fits the story you’re trying to tell. Your passion is also fundamental. Are you really passionate about this? Because if you’re not passionate about it and you have this understanding – there’s an understanding that goes into doing – then why are you here? Your story will never be beautiful without this understanding as a costume designer. So for every scene, there’s something the outfit says; you have to be true to the story.

@yolandaokereke

On how she develops a character and brings it to life using costumes

The script is like a guideline that gives you the story from start to finish. Then some people give you a character bible that lists all the main and supporting characters. So with that you understand who the characters are and you can start building a character around the character. What I bring is personality. For example, the Character Bible may say that a person likes dark things. So I think about how I want the person to look like and take real life scenarios, and put them into this character and bring them to life. I also try to take the cast away from who they are in real life, except you’re playing a character close to who you are. The scenario is therefore the guideline for building this body of work and creating the character.

On how she finds a work-life balance

I would say I was lucky to have people who were very supportive of me because if you don’t have the right support system, you can’t counteract anything. If your husband or parents don’t understand why you have to be on set after 10 p.m., they’ll never let you out so late in the name of pursuing your career or your dreams. Your support system is therefore vital; it helps balance everything out as they would understand that you are chasing your dreams. It’s what puts food on my table, makes me happy and fills me. And so you are only as good as the people around you. Even Jesus Christ did not walk alone; he had people. Cinema is demanding; anything can happen at some point. So if everyone around you understands and is there to make your dreams come true, you’re good to go.

Read the full interview here.

Credits:
Editor: Onah Nwachukwu @onahluciaa
Cover image: Kunmi Owopetu @kunmi.owopetu
To put on makeup: Lilian Paul @lilianopaul

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