Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Name: Yoanna 'Pepper' Okwesa

Age: 23

Born and bred in: London via Wales 

Role at FAB: Fashion Editor

FAB part of your job: The whole shebang. Fabbest being traveling and the process of art directing and styling editorial from conception to birth.

Least liked but still FAB part of your job: Chasing up!  

Aspirations/goals: In a pistachio nutshell, to always live a purpose-filled life, continue to do only what I love and am passionate about, using my God given gifts to rejuvenate and reinvigorate African fashion and creative arts industry, to be an inspiration to others to do so to and to successfully give birth to six children along the way.

Inspirations: My travels. I'm forever inspired by new sights and experiences. Fellow creatives who know no limits. Avant garde independent films from east Africa. People who have sacrificed themselves for good causes. Good hearted people.

Hero/Heroine: Can only be my mother. She is fearless. She is stylish. She is wise. She is not afraid to tell me where she went wrong, so I and my sisters can be a better human beings. I love her laugh so much and as a result, I have mastered how to make her laugh. She is caring to a fault. She can drive to Wales in two hours. The first time I heard the saying 'Quality Not Quantity' was from my mummy. 

FAB motto: Quality Not Quantity. You can cut your split ends but you can't cut your roots. A little more sleep, a little more slumber... 

Best piece of advice you can offer: Be yourself and you can never go wrong.  Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

Your kind of music: Outkast especially in their genesis. Music from Mali. Daft Punk. Samba. Bosa Nova. Salsa. Music from the 50s and 80s. Cuban Hip Hop. Soft Rock, Kizomba, Afro Beat, Old Skool, Reggae, Some Jungle and Some Indi.

Your kind of book: Anything that holds my interest for more than a few pages. 

Dream destination: I would love to reach Heaven by the end of it all.

Your style in a nutshell: An eclectic, new age African gypsy.

Kryptonite: Strawberry bon bons, Krispy Kreme donuts and white chocolate crepes from Hampstead Heath.

Pet Peeve: People who feel that they have not done business unless they cheat you. The lazy. Those that spit on the ground. And burps. 

Your USP: Yoanna 'Pepper' Okwesa  

Yoanna Okwesa, also known as Pepper, is a freelance fashion stylist who just finished her degree in Culture, Society and Communications at the University of Birmingham. Pepper is currently developing her own clothing label Purple Pepper Clothing and when she is not on a photo shoot or fashion show, she is travelling with her sisters and collecting vintage and retro accessories and clothing for their boutique Retrospective in Lagos.

Her journey started at the age of 15, when she was always styling school and church fashion shows without having an idea of what fashion styling was; all she knew was that she loved using her imagination, playing with clothes, and spending her pocket money on chocolate and fashion magazines (And she still does!). 

 Yoanna has since, been exposed to the world and work of fashion by holding various roles at Pride Magazine, The Mayor of London’s Kulture2Couture fashion exhibition and at The Communications Store working at London Fashion Weeks.  Working alongside award winning fashion photographers Suby&Sinem, she has styled for various magazines including BHF, Canoe, Pride, New African Woman and True Love magazines. Her work has also been featured in Arise Magazine. Her portfolio also includes styling and creative directing for designers Nkwo and Zebra Living and celebrities such as Shingai from the Noisettes and Nigerian musicians Eldee, Kefee and Duncan Daniels. She regularly contributes to The Style Canteen fashion blog.

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