Tayo Ishola is a name everyone should familiarize themselves with and watch out for because this woman is set to blow your minds with her designs. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
The Miami-based former Nigerian model is the brand owner of Eido Swim/Resort wear, the Wonder Woman Initiative; and the co-founder of Gem Talent Agency. She started her career as a young model in 2006 when her mother got her registered for pageantry, Miss Elegant International Nigeria. Although she didn’t win the competition, she was amongst the runners up and that was it, her journey into her modeling career had begun. Shortly after her mum got her to intern with an Uncle of hers, who was a designer and had a Menswear line. She recalls how she was so excited about the internship, and she confesses it also had to do with the fact that her Uncle always gave her 200 naira to buy a native Nigerian dish(“Amala”). In 2008, she was scouted by a modeling agency based in South Africa; hence, she relocated to further pursue her career as a model. She eventually fell in love with Miami, Florida, after one of her visits there and she decided to stay.
The word “Eido” is of Greek origin and means “to know or to be aware.” Eido Swim/Resort wear is described by this creative as “a brand that caters to the woman who is undoubtedly aware of who she is and is totally comfortable in her skin.” Her interest in swimwear was sparked when she participated in a pageant show in China. The intricate designs she saw on the pieces moved her to start her own line. Everyone knows how Nigerians can be quite conservative, even on the beach but this wasn’t going to stop her dream. Therefore, she created the resort wears for those who prefer to be a little conservative but still want to steal the attention of everyone at the beach or even at the pool. Like OMG! You look amazing. Her bespoke pieces consist of bikinis, one-piece suits, dresses, kaftans, and scarves. She has something for every woman, literally. Eido pieces come in “simple and structured pieces, with complex patterns.” Each carefully crafted piece tells a story, each thread on every fabric, a word. Tiger eyes are present in most of the designs to depict a strong woman; dominance. She draws inspiration from where she comes from (Nigeria) and from every woman she has the opportunity to meet. Oprah Winfrey, Diane Von Fusternburg, Alph Lukau are her role models. Mara Hoffman, David Tlale and Chanel; with dreams of working with David and Chanel.
Just by having a conversation with her, I could tell she was an Artsy person. Tayo admits she handles most of the pictures taken for the brand and the graphic designs. Asides from being really good at what she does, she also has an attractive personality. Her passion for women and their well-being pushed her to create the Wonder Woman Initiative, which consists of series and projects that help to awaken and uplift women in the society and the world at large. Women in business, women survivors, less-privileged, are spotlighted and showcased through conversations that are held at organized events. The initiative partners with charities to help organize fundraisers. She strongly believes that women can be whoever they choose to be, irrespective of the standards the society has set. The Gem talent agency is “a boutique model and talent agency that has a mission to inspire, encourage and enhance the abilities of their talents to express art.” The age range of the majority of their talents is 18-25 years.
Her morning routine includes taking a 22-minute’ walk whilst listening to Christian music. This way she works on her body and mind. A lot of people get surprised by her Faith, but it’s not something she hides; she’s actually proud of it and doesn’t dim it down for anything. Tayo enjoys listening to messages and audio books, her favorite book being “Who you are when no one is watching by Bill Hybels.” She prefers local food to the “tush” food.
This Wonder Woman doesn’t have plans on relenting; instead, she someday hopes to have at least one store in all the cities of the world, selling her designs. Her definition of success goes beyond having flashy cars, outfits or houses. Although that’s not a bad idea, success to her is more about her reaching her set goals. If she ever gets to style Michelle Obama, Mo Abudu or maybe Funke Felix Adejumo, that’s a success! She goes on about how she would love to showcase at the GTB Fashion show that comes up yearly in Lagos, Nigeria. She would be showcasing her designs in the upcoming New York’s Fashion Week and if you get the chance to watch it, look out for her!