300-level Medicine & Surgery
University of Ibadan
I: Tell us a little about Akin Faminu.
A: Dr Akin Faminu is a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, where he studied from 2011 to 2018. He completed his housemanship program at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, Lagos in 2019 and is currently in his service year. Akin Faminu is also a household name in the Nigerian Fashion Industry. He has over the years been able to grow a brand that is a major force in the Nigerian fashion space, in the niches of Content Creation and Digital Influencing among others. He has had his work featured on numerous international and national platforms, from CNN Style to Vogue America, Italy & Germany, GQ etc. His brand is currently affiliated with others like Vlisco Netherlands, to which he’s an ambassador, Heineken, GTBank, Nivea, Skechers to mention a few.
I: Did you find medical school constraining for the exhibition of your style?
A: Well, I wouldn’t say that exactly. Of course, when in school, there’s a certain dress code but the interesting thing is that even then, whilst keeping to that dress code, you can still be stylish. That said, there’s also a place and time for certain things, which is why medical school didn’t constitute 100% of my life. I’d save my more dramatic and Afrocentric looks for my editorial shoots, fashion events etc.
I: What or who influences your style?
A: My style is diverse, but on the forefront is the well put-together and dapper look—my profession does influence that. Secondly, I do a lot of research, watch a lot of fashion shows, study the seasons and what’s in trend—that also largely influences me… However, I’m not a fan of copying creative work; whatever tickles my fancy, I interpret, reflecting my own identity.
I: How did you become a face that people allude to fashion?
A: The origin, I like to trace back to art. Growing up, I was very art savvy—I used to paint, draw and the likes. Though in science class, I still offered visual arts until I finished secondary school. On getting to the university, especially medical school that was potentially time-consuming and challenging, I felt I needed something practical to channel my passion for art into and that was fashion. I started off as a writer, contributing to websites like BellaNaija, Stylevitae etc till I started my own platform and brand and it’s been evolving ever since.
I: You’ve just come into your own in the revered profession that is medicine. What is your next step with that career choice?
A: I like to keep every option potent and available. I’m currently in my service year and right now, every possibility is an option. ~smiley face~
I: How big are we talking when we speak of the ‘Akin Faminu’ brand in five years?
A: The goal has always been to be a channel bringing Nigerian and African fashion as a whole to the international stage through content creation. In the past years, the brand has gotten featured on CNN Style, Vogue Italia, GD Manchester among others. The goal is unchanged, however; I hope to increase the scale consistently. There would be a lot more developments and additions to the brand, but this is the foundation.
I: Was there any event in medical school that spurred you on to fully explore fashion?
A: Hmmm, none specifically. Most events that brought about my full exploration were more personal and in the fashion industry itself than in medical school.
I: How did you combine building a brand in fashion and being in medical school?
A: I usually answer this question starting with the fact that what works for one person, may not work for the other; but whatever works for you, certain things must constitute a foundation as they did for me:
– Disciplined time management
– Sacrifices based on a scale of priority
I: During this holiday imposed on us by the novel coronavirus, what have you been doing to pass time?
A: I mentioned earlier that I’m in my service year, so I haven’t been doing a lot of clinical work. However, I’ve been involved in a few volunteer projects for COVID-19—The Covaid Africa campaign among others. I’ve also tried to spend the time developing my brand, doing a lot of research, creating content in the safest way possible—mostly in the comfort of my apartment, etc.
I: Sometimes, looking good can be expensive. Do you have any advice for medical students bound to look a certain, ‘expensive’ way?
A: I can’t argue with the fact that looking good can be expensive, but it’s also a fact that you don’t need the most expensive fashion pieces to be stylish—when I started my brand years back, this was somewhat a motto! It’s important to live within your means, fashion inclusive. Be creative with what is available to and affordable for you, and then looking a certain ‘expensive’ way can be done differently, specially. That’s true style.