Meet Nigeria’s Best Male Model Video 2015 (Campus Heat Awards) and style blogger Lawole Ikoghene, a 20 year old 300 level undergraduate studying Biochemistry Caleb University. At a time when Nigeria’s blogosphere lacked originality and creative content, this young man known as The Official IK on Social Media took to creating posts on fashion and style, in a way that had never been seen before. However, Fashion and style blogging is not the only thing he does.
PB: Please tell our readers a bit about yourself.
IK: I’m ikoghene Lawole. A student, fashion blogger, model and Singer. I’m from Edo state and the first child of four children.
PB: What was Growing up like for you?
IK: Well, I grew up like every other Nigerian child. I was like a nerd at that time. No social life and the rest, but I guess its a good thing now because I was brought up right and I know how to be a responsible young man.
PB: When did your journey with style blogging begin. What inspired you to start your blog?
IK: About a year ago. Late 2014. A lot of things inspired it. People telling me how much they loved how I dress and asking me questions about how to wear this, where I got this or that, that’s one thing that led to it. Also I have an eye for fashion and I’m a style enthusiast, I decided to utilize my talent and put it to good use.
PB: What was it like setting up? Did you have any professional help or did you create it yourself?
IK: At all. I just had to think and I mean think hard. I also checked a few people around doing the same or almost the same thing I wanted to go into so that I could learn a few tricks here and there.
PB: What have your experiences been like since you began?
IK: A whole lot. The fashion industry isn’t what it seems at all. It isn’t as glamorous as everyone thinks. It isn’t as easy as everyone thinks also.
PB: Please go on.
IK: To be honest, I really can’t explain, but humility and dedication will definitely get you there.
PB: You’re a style blogger and model. How do you combine both?
IK: That’s the easiest part. Style blogging is just like modeling clothes, they both correspond.
PB: Any endorsement deals so far?
IK: Not really. Not officially. I just have fashion designers that I work with and I get paid monthly or when they have a new item. Depends on what we agree on.
PB: Recently you created the #IKpose hashtag that went viral on Instagram. What inspired that?
IK: *laughs*. Funny thing. Someone buzzed me and told me about how I pose for pictures which I did unconsciously. So, I decided to start something from that.
PB: Did you think it’ll get this big? Especially on Instagram?
IK: Well. No and I don’t even think it has gotten as big as it can be.
PB: Since your blog began, have you done any collaborations with other fashion and style enthusiasts?
IK: Yeah. A number. I actually had to go check my Instagram.
PB: Who are they?
IK: Your Closet Girl, The Style Attorney, Charlene Keya. Most of my collabos are with photographers.
PB: How would you describe your personal style?
PB: Who or what inspires you Fashion Wise?
IK: Blake Scott, Pharell, Beckham. Those are classy men with style.
PB: What sets your style apart from other style bloggers?
IK: I guess class and appeal. Most bloggers buy very expensive clothes, for example, some buy suits of 50k upwards and I wonder how many Nigerians will buy a suit of 50k. Most fashion bloggers are trying to follow the footsteps of those bloggers abroad, but they don’t know the economy is different. I can afford expensive items but who am I kidding? I’m a student, what will I use it for? So I guess what sets me apart is that I blog in relation to my country.
PB: What are some of the stores you visit when you go shopping?
IK: Well. Asos, Next, Yaba (*laughs*) and other affordable stores.
PB: How many IG accounts do you manage?
IK: I have two. I manage one. Sometimes I go to the other just to see what’s happening there.
PB: Awhile ago news spread that internationally acclaimed style blogger Blake Scott, liked an outfit posted on one of your Instagram pages. Is there any truth to that?
IK: Yes! And I gained over 200 followers just like that. *laughs*.
PB: How did you feel when that happened?
IK: Blown away. It’s one of those things you just have to get excited about. It’s a stepping stone.
PB: Of all the outfits you have on your blog, which one is your favorite?
IK: I really can’t say. I love them In different ways.
PB: What new pieces have you picked up for fall that we haven’t seen on your blog?
IK: Sweaters, bags, and I’m gonna be focusing on street wear fashion for a while. So, I’m gonna be putting my fall favorites on the blog soon.
PB: Tell us about your music.
IK: I love music. I love singing. Recorded a couple of songs. I have one on iTunes. I’ve also had radio airplay. Although fashion has really taken a whole lot of my time, I plan on doing something big in 2016 concerning my music.
PB: What is the track on iTunes called?
IK: African Girl featuring Lumi C ( of Babcock ) and Karma (of Sound Sultan’s Naija ninjas group).
PB: What radio stations aired the track?
IK: Unilag FM and Cool FM.
PB: Wow. What did it feel like, hearing yourself on radio?
IK: Amazing. Its a great feeling. You feel your efforts are not in vain and someone somewhere is recognizing something great you’ve done.
PB: You have school, your blog, modeling and music going on. How do you juggle all three?
IK: Very hard. It ain’t easy at all. I have some school issues like some bad grades, I guess everyone has something that they ain’t doing well at but, like I always say we will survive.
PB: Besides blogging, modeling and music, have you tried other ventures?
IK: Not yet.
PB: Do you plan to do so in the future?
IK: Yeah sure. Maybe TV or radio personality and also fashion designing/styling. It’s going to be a Lotta work, so I gotta make sure I can handle the heat.
PB: What do you do for leisure?
IK: Sleep and Eat.
PB: *laughs*, really?
IK: Yeah. I eat a lot. I don’t know why I ain’t fat though but I eat very very much.
PB: Now the question on the minds of your female fans. Is there a lady in your life?
IK: *laughs*. Yes
PB: Who is the lucky lady?
IK: One girl like that .
PB: How long have you guys been together?
IK: Close to a Year now.
PB: How did you meet?
IK: I really can’t remember. All I know is that we didn’t like each other at first.
PB: You have an uncanny knack for finding amazing pieces that are extremely affordable; what should your readers look for to get the most out of their budget?
IK: Quality and affordability. Don’t buy something that’s way outta your budget. Especially when you know that you ain’t gonna wear it much. One thing about fashion is that you can never have enough clothes. Every year, something new and better comes out so buy something classy, affordable and stunning.
PB: Being a style blogger, do you receive privileges; free outfits?
IK: That’s one of the best parts of it. Free clothes. Even as a model. Some designers who can’t pay up to the amount you’re asking, give you the outfit plus the amount they can afford.
PB: On average how much do you charge per shoot or collaboration?
IK: *laughs*. I guess that’s personal.
PB: 2015 has seen you bag 4 awards and very many nominations. Did you see the year going this great for you?
IK: 6 now . Not at all. I expected 1 or 2 but 6…. That’s huge. And I just started. Even people who have been here long before me haven’t gotten so much. That’s why I am indeed grateful.
PB: Wow 6! What’s your secret?
IK: God. Real fact, no lies.
PB: What next should the world expect from IK?
IK: Something huge. I have this creative mind and push for more mentality. I always try to do better than how I did the previous day. It’s that drive that gets you going.
PB: Finally, any advice for upcoming style bloggers?
IK: Be real , be nice. Its a hobby and lifestyle, not a competition.
So there you have it! Our personality of the month 😀
Twitter >>>> @the_OFFICIALIK
And check out Facebook >>>> TheOfficialIK