Margret Doris Alabi simply known as Meg Alabi is an ex-model, CEO/Head Designer of Alabi Couture, however, a journalist by profession. Let's meet her...;)
How did you get into modelling?
I remember that my first job was a photo shoot for my aunt, Sefinatu Mohammed. She owned a fashion house called Xremis collection, at Federal Palace Hotel then. My elder sister and I went to visit her; coincidentally she was having a photo shoot with two models. Immediately she saw me, she said she had been looking for me so that I could model for her. I told her no but she was persistent and I finally agreed. We had photo shoots of different outfits including swim suits.
Can you recall any particular experience as a model on the runway?
Years back I modelled for Nikki Khiran. She gave me this lovely jacket with a very short skimpy skirt with this long purse which I wore high heels even with my height. The purse had this long chain handle so while modelling I was playing with the handle of the purse. Incidentally, one of the handles fell and got hooked to my heel. I was the only model on stage, so in the process of walking I knew that if I had taken another step, I would have found myself on the floor. I stood on one leg, raised my other leg and removed the handle of the purse. I stood for about two minutes and I did not realise what I was doing but I was still able to comport myself and at the end, I was applauded by the audience.
Also in another show in Abuja, being in a hurry, I forgot to zip up the skirt. While I was leaving the stage, I realised that the skirt was slipping down my waist and was already on my hips; I had to use my hand to hold the skirt and quickly ran back stage.
What has being a model taught you in life?
Modelling for me has really been an eye opener because it has helped me to have confidence given that I used to be very shy.
For how long did you model?
I modelled for about 16 years.
Were you ever sexually harassed?
Oh yes, you get that every time. I think as a woman it should be an expectation to be sexually harassed wherever you go to. It may not be at your place of work. I won’t mention the name of the designer but I remember at a time when we had to go for a casting with a well known designer and. He said we should take off our tops, which means he had to see our breasts and ascertain whether they were still standing for us to model for him. A lot of us knew that this was not part of the deal. Some of us left while some models showed their breasts to him and his friends.
Define your own kind of style
The definition of my own style is stylish and comfort. For me, I could wear bathroom slippers but still turn heads with what I am wearing. I tell people, let one item on your body speak for you. For me it is comfort but it changes from time to time. It could be chic and sexy today but the basic language that I look out for when I dress or want to design clothes for myself is comfort.
So, what kind of clothes do you love to wear?
I usually say I am a jean and T-shirt person but I have not worn them for some time now. What I like to wear are clothes that I could just slip into and be comfortable in. I love fitted, short gowns (a little bit above my knees) because I have good legs. I cherish long gowns as well because it is good for you to dress according to your age.
What kind of jewelry do you love to wear?
I like chunky, big earrings and sometimes small ones, depending on my mood. Then, normally, I like long chunky chains and bangles. But, I love my rings any time any day and my leg chain. I am just an accessory person.
With your height, do you still wear heels?
Yes, I do. I am 6.2ft tall and people cannot understand why I still wear heels. Heels give grace and elegance to clothes and don’t forget as a model most times, we wear heels.
What were those childhood dreams you had while growing up?
When I was growing up I wanted to be a nurse; this was after I witnessed an accident some years ago while seeing off a friend late in the night. I went close and saw a man on the ground groaning in pains and bleeding, I called people to come and help so that we could take him to the hospital but nobody wanted to help. The next morning when I went back to the scene, he was still there but dead. I then said I was going to be a nurse, but my passion for modelling changed all that.
What fashion item can’t you do without?
I cannot do without my black eyeliner. I have these slanting eyes so it is what pops up my eyes.
What’s your greatest fear in life?
My greatest fear is not trying at all because there is the fear of trying and failing. I recognise the fact that I am human, I can only do the much that I can but if I don’t try at all, I am choked up with the burden of what if you had done it and you have succeeded. Not trying at all scares me. And then I fear rats.
As a fashion designer, what are some of the blunders women commit in fashion?
Thinking that the more you wear the more glamorous it is. You can’t go wrong with this statement: less is more. I don’t believe in over-burning a dress with so much design and accessories. I give it to Nigerian women we are so fashionable. They are the most fashionable people.
How do you relax?
It is either I go to the movies or I could just take a walk on the beach. I also hang out with friends or my mum because she is a great companion, or I play with my nephew and nieces.
What is your philosophy of life?
What is worth doing is worth doing well.
How do you like your make-up?
It is usually light depending on where I am going to. I try as much as possible to make it very light.
Which women do you admire most?
I admire Heidi Klum. She used to be a model. My favourite model is Christy Turlington and for designers, I love Deaola Sagoe. She is fresh and has a way of reinventing herself over and over again. She is very current because it is very rare to see designers that are current.
Who is your ideal man?
He must be confident, trust in God, hard working, humble and must be a good friend.