He operates from Ibadan, but his designs are seen all over the country. Alhaji Bashy Kuti is a celebrity designer who has been doing what he knows how best to do for decades. Like an old wine, he gets better with age. No wonder why many male celebrities go for him. They see his designs on their friends and they pick up their phones to call him for his services. And trust Bashy he takes off promptly to meet up his clients anywhere in Nigeria. Though he hardly advertises, his clientèle base has been growing for years. And his list of clients reads like all the who is who in Nigeria. He sews for Politicians. He sews for Businessmen. He sews for young celebrities, he sews for the older ones. He sews for the super rich and he caters to the not so rich. But all his clients are made up of members of the upper middle class of society.
They love his stitches. They are crazy about his designs. At the last count he designs for about 4 Governors, 10 top Senators, 5 House of Reps members and many other politicians. He designs for 5 traditional rulers. Of course, many of the stylish celebrity men in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti States wear his designs. But you will never know. He never talks about his clients. He never mentions his client lists but there is no hiding place for his designs. Once you see his designs you will know its a BKK design.
Many have wondered why Bashy attends parties a lot. What they don’t know is that this is where Bashy gets clients. City People gathered that he gets an average of 5 clients at every owambe party he goes, as all the new celebrities and even the old all want Bashy to do at least 5 designs for them each. Once they see his designs and rock it to parties, they want more and more. And Bashy is at their beck and call. As a rule, he offers personalised service to all of them. He doesn't send his Boys to them. Whether they are in Port Harcourt, Abuja or Kaduna, he travels down there by himself to personally deliver it to them. And he takes a bow after each delivery. He gives them what he calls royal treatment.
Many don’t know he started BKK label 19 years ago. We bless God, we have come a long way, he explained. “Spending 19 years in my field is not a joke. I thank God for where I am today, and I am still looking forward to where God is taking me too. I also want to give it to all Nigerian designers. We are many, but it depends on how you handle your own label, I really thank my clients, as well as the media. I appreciate them. It has been a long journey, a very rough one. It has been so tough, with a lot of ups and down. But we thank God for where we are today.”
How did he get into Fashion? “Fashion is a passion for me, he once explained. “It is in-born and it has really worked for me. 19 years ago I ventured into Textiles. I went to learn more about textile, before I went into fashion, fully. Fashion is not what you can just jump into. You have to know the reason why you are going into it. And what statement you want to make through your creativity, because it is that creativity that people want to appreciate in you. I have lots of clients that I can tell you are so passionate about what they are putting on. And we also have so many upcoming that also depend on your creativity because they see you as their role model. I started 19 years ago, it was in Lagos, while my family lived in Ibadan. But when I weighed it and felt the stress involved in it, I moved back to Ibadan. You know Lagos and its hustle and bustle. It was not easy at all. Then, I relocated back to Ibadan to learn textiling, although it was a family business. That is why I said it’s an in-born thing. After learning, I now decided on what other way I can make my own statement and carve a niche for my. Then I moved into fashion designing. That is what brought about BKK as a brand now”.