October 3rd, 2012
Breaking into Fashion, Celebrity Style, Solange Knowles
How to Break into Fashion: Stylist Ogo Offodile of Poodle Pusher
By Claire

Solange Knowles has undergone a style evolution in the past few years, adopting more colorful tones, eye catching patterns, and unexpected designs. Though the young Knowles has quite an eye for fashion herself, she’s also benefited from the help of uber styling duo Ogo and Chichi Offodile of Poodle Pusher.

I caught up with one half of the style squad, Ogo Offodile, to talk about how the Poodle Pushers got their start, tips for achieving unforgettable looks, and advice on breaking into the styling biz.

Ogo says, “Chichi and I are sisters hailing from Nigeria; we come from an extremely large family and vibrant multicultural background [to which] we owe a large portion of our creative influences and strength. Naturally, we both have always had a flare for style and a strong interest in creative expression, so deciding to dabble into fashion styling and creative consulting came as a no-brainer.”

“… The difficulty for us unfortunately wasn’t in deciding to start styling, but on how to juggle our “real life” as we call it and following a passion to create. We both have an educational background and master’s degrees in Information Technology and work as full-time employees in the IT corporate world – Chichi as a Technology Consultant and myself as a Network Engineer/Systems Administrator.”

“… Although grateful for our positions and for having a great source of income, we still felt a gap creatively and really decided to take it upon ourselves to fill that gap. With no formal training in fashion, our approaches with styling were to self-study and do a tremendous amount of research; get as much on the job experience possible and really start from the ground up. Our initial experiences as fashion stylists began slowly with setting up test photo-shoots on our days off, building our portfolio, and networking. Eventually, persistently working 7 days a week started paying off! We formed a routine, gained momentum, and test shoots turned into styling magazine editorials and ad campaigns, working with fashion houses, and building a strong network.”


So how did they link up with Ms. Solange? Ogo explains, “Our first time working with Solange was on the set of a photo-shoot back in 2010. The styling treatment for the editorial was “African influenced” and we were really excited to deliver a different viewpoint on what African fashion is understood to be.”

Solange Knowles for Fash Iz Black Magazine

She continues, “… We went for looks with African or non-African designers that were adventurous, rich in color and pattern, forward thinking, romantic, and still maintained the aesthetics of the shoot. Solange truly was the perfect muse for the project and a joy to be around on set. She understood where she saw her image going and was able to let us creatively depict that using the concept of the shoot as a canvas.

“I would say it was a perfect mix which led to the relationship extending past the set and to us styling her for [New York Fashion Week] in September 2010. Ever since, we have been on call as a go to stylist for her to bring a reflective yet unconventional perspective.”

Solange is known for her adventurous ensembles, so I had to ask Ogo about their creative process. She says, “When styling clients we believe it should be seamless and a true reflection of their essence; our presence shouldn’t be as apparent. We also approach our styling work from a global perspective and are always on the hunt internationally for designers that speak to us creatively.

“…For us styling isn’t just about using the big name brands that constantly deliver beautiful pieces. We also incorporate talented new generation designers from all over the world whose talents are uncanny. At the end of the day, it’s about creating art with clean lines, colors, patterns, textures and a uniqueness we can be proud of. When working with Solange we use this same creative process and she is indeed the perfect client to embrace that. We love that she is versatile, has her own creative ideas and taste, can stand on her own but at the same time allows us to take her to our creative space. It’s a very comfortable process and seeing the end results is always a proud moment.

So what makes someone stylish? Ogo replies, “[It's] less about being on trend with fashion but more about someone that is confident and a risk taker; marches to their own style beat, and has the ability to own any look. With that you can really convince any skeptic, set trends and get people on board your style roller-coaster.

“…A few things every stylista should have in their closet are great accessories and shoes, timeless pieces you will always love, and definitely more separates. You’re more willing to experiment with separates than looks that already come in tact, it also allows for more layering and gives depth to a look.

So any tips for the aspiring stylist? She says, “[A lot of up-and-comers want] to style for the wrong reasons, i.e. fame, perks, or the quick “good life”. Nothing about styling is that glamorous. You truly have to have a knack for it, love what you’re doing, and understand that it’s LOADS of long hours, hard work, and most importantly maintain professionalism. “

“…If this is something you feel passionate about, definitely pursue it and find out more about the relationship you develop with styling. Understand that the fashion industry can be very cut throat at times, so you need to develop thick skin and always keep your goal in close sight.”


In closing, she says, “You can do anything you put your mind to. If you can dream it, you can live it. Hard work always pays off. With passion, time and space should feel seamless.”

Wise words that couldn’t have come at a better time.
What do you think?
Learn more about Poodle Pusher at www.poodlepusher.com. See more of Ogo’s personal style at www.strokesonhercanvas.blogspot.com.

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52 Responses to “How to Break into Fashion: Stylist Ogo Offodile of Poodle Pusher”

  1. Lolodoll11 says:

    Great interview Claire! I love these sisters and kudos to them for such great work!

  2. DBShuneek says:

    I love the fact that they were determined to get to where they are. U gotta love the ambition!

  3. I have not read the post yet but I can already say…
    I nominate this one post of the year! Love solo and her style so it it awsome to read the creativity behind it.

    Go Fashion Bomb! You are what’s up!!!!!!

    Thanks Claire that must have been a treat for you as well.

  4. fashionista says:

    Amazing!!! Love them. She speaks with so much depth. How did you get them to do this interview?

  5. Great interview. Loves their styling for Solo, she’s definitely killing out here.

  6. Faith says:

    Love this!

  7. Enigma says:

    Love this post. Great work Claire

  8. Noirre says:

    Great interview. I wish the sister’s much success.

  9. Added: I knew there was a reason why Brandy’s style has evolved!

    Ogo and Chichi Offodile you are blessed at what you do.

  10. Autumn says:

    Great post! Did Poodle Pushers do all of Solange’s styling in the pics?
    It’s good to see stylish sistahs getting shine!

  11. Claire you know you are wrong for biting my shit, You know Charles Wade made her. Why are you playing?

  12. wendy says:

    ugh at the notion that somebody hired to help “makes” a person, but nice interview.

  13. i am truly inspired by this interview…i have a personal style blog and i hope to transition into styling. i will definitely be using the tips on how to break into the business! thank you so much for this interview :-)

  14. wendy says:

    And from what I understand, Solange USED TO work with Charles Wade but doesn’t and hasn’t worked with him for a while. This girl Ogo or Poodle Pusher, is CURRENTLY working with Solange, so I see nothing wrong with Claire’s article. Could she have mentioned Charles once did? Perhaps, but why? The interview isn’t about or with him, it’s about and with Ogo.

  15. Monica says:

    Ignorance is Bliss @ fashionistachik don’t get mad cus u didn’t do ur research correctly and Claired did. Amazingly inspiring interview hope to follow in their footsteps someday. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Lisa says:

    Ok miss fashionistachic, bring it down a bit. This post does NOT bite off of yours…trust me, I read it. It is about the stylist, not Solange’s personal style. If you read carefully is does not credit the stylist for Solange’s change, but the lending of creative styling.

  17. tt says:

    thefashionistachic, you seemed to be a bit pressed w/the notion that charles wade “made” solange into the style icon she has now become being that you mentioned it 101 times on your blog. i saw on his twitter where he said that he has worked (past tense) w/solange, but artists work w/many w/in the industry & that you were “off base” w/your tweets (his words, not mine). charles wade didn’t seem to be upset like you are w/poodle pusher getting credit for styling solange. therefore, i have to come to the conclusion that solange works frequently if not exclusively NOW w/the offodile sisters who have helped her evolve style wise so, claire’s article was on point, entertaining, as well as informative about 2 hard working, educated women who are pursuing their passion in fashion. nice job claire.

  18. ChanelNoir says:

    Omg great work claire so happy to finally read an interview with the girls. I follow them closely on twitter, and their Facebook pages and have witnessed their fantastic work on Solange from the begininning till now and can honestly say they are one of my favorite stylists. They appear humble and intelligent and I love that about them.

  19. Cam says:

    Great interview Claire. Very informative and inspiring.

  20. JanaejaQuel' says:

    This has definitely inspired me even more, thank you so much Claire for that interview! There were so many great tips and key pointers that will benefit me and so many others out there who have a sincere PASSION for FASHION!

    - JanaejaQuel

  21. Miss Understood says:

    Great article, Claire!

  22. Miss Understood says:

    And y’all know @thefashionistachic did that for page views, right?

  23. Wonderful article! I wish Poodle Pushers all of the best. Great work with Solange and Brandy!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Great article! It definitely did come at the right time and has definitely inspired me. Thanks Claire and FBD staff!

  25. JJ says:

    Ya know I’ve held my tongue because I try to keep it positive but I’ve seen a few comments left by this fashionistachic person and 98% of the time she’s rude and crass. Now I’ve had the chance to take a peek at what she has going on over on her site and after viewing one of her videos one could say you need to find the nearest speech therapist to assist you with that lisp because you’re giving off a Sylvester the Cat type vibe but that would be mean now wouldn’t it. You need to bring it down a notch or two dear.

  26. asia says:

    i really like them and i enjoyed this article.it was very informing.i hope they continue to do well!and it’s always a plus to see ms.knowles;).

  27. Anonymous says:

    I have been waiting and requesting for this interview for quite some time. THANK YOU CLAIRE and Fashionbombdaily.com for making this happen! This interview was absolutely AWESOME! These women were professional, articulate and gave some real insight on how they got started. I’ve followed their work for quite some time being from the DMV. At the end of the day – It’s Hard Work and staying focus – if you can dream it, it can happen!
    Hats off to the Ladies of Poodle Pusher! Awesome job ladies and continued success.

  28. Anna Rozier says:

    Awesome article! Great insight that gets to the point!
    I love that she says this: “[It's] less about being on trend with fashion but more about someone that is confident and a risk taker; marches to their own style beat, and has the ability to own any look. With that you can really convince any skeptic, set trends and get people on board your style roller-coaster.”
    So true.

  29. Nakia P says:

    Great Post

  30. Claire says:

    I scheduled this post for when I was (and still am) flying back to NYC from Europe, so didn’t see the mini drama that erupted here and on Twitter.
    @TheFashionistaChic I’m friends with Charles Wade and would never do him ‘dirty’. As he said, he worked with Solange in the past, but the Poodle Pusher team work with her now.
    @Autumn Yes, Ogo supplied the pix, so they did style all of the looks.
    @fashionista I asked!
    And glad you enjoyed. I think we all need a bit of encouragement sometimes in this crazy industry, and these ladies are nothing less than inspirational!

  31. Mikaela Joy says:

    Great article! So awesome to see a couple of 9-5ers break into the fashion world like so many of us are trying to do. Definitely gonna keep up with these talented ladies.

  32. amazing says:

    She is a beauty.Tthanks so much claire for this post. It was motivational and a great read too. She is a great role model for young budding stylists like myself. Also good to finally see the genius behind some of Solange most memorable and best looks.

  33. Dobe says:

    I definitely enjoyed reading this! They put some great looks together, and I love that they are committed to their passion, even while working in the corporate world. That gold blazer is amazing, btw!

  34. Bisi says:

    I follow these girls and know that they keep a low profile and not about the hype. So great job on getting this interview from them!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Wow great post and very inspirtional..i work in an office as well and have a BA but I have a secret passion to work in the fashion industry #hopefullyoneday

  36. Tonic says:

    Fab! Love it!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Love. Thanks Claire

  38. MiMi says:

    Thank you so much for this interview! I’m a full-time college student and an aspiring stylist and this helped a lot.

  39. SHAQ NICHOLE says:

    Soooo inspiring!! Truly! Thank you so much Claire for doing this interview! I am a aspiring stylist working in the menswear fashion industry in hopes to do a career switch up!

  40. Pam says:

    Omg these girls are awesome! Talented, beautiful and intelligent!

  41. Kim M says:

    Great article! The collaboration between the stylists and Solange is like a match made in fashion heaven. They have really taken her style to another level with some incredible and unique pieces while seemingly remaining true to her own personal style.

  42. Q says:

    I almost had an internship with these ladies but i happened to be away at school!!! :(

  43. Nina says:

    Love them !! The same chicks praising Solo for her sense of style should really be praising them. The same heffers who probably thought Gwen Stefani didnt have a stylist also. #WAKEUP

  44. nino says:

    Love these comments..and thumbs up to my Naija sisters…Igbo Kwenu, you guys are killing it

  45. Tawanda says:

    I love that they still work in a different industry! It shows you can do your passion on the side, be freakin awesome!…and work with Solange Knowles! (Solo groupie)

  46. Siyam says:

    Claire these are my favorite posts!!! Keep them up ( as much as you can while jet setting )

  47. BriP says:

    Great article Claire! Very inspiring and informative. Thanks!!!!

  48. J says:

    Great interview. Solo is by far my fav. and only fashionista. I absolutely love the way she dresses.

  49. Rosalie says:

    Like everyone else said, these post are very inspiring. Thank you!!!

  50. Christopher mitchell says:

    Solange is Hot, good look ladies!

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