My name is Chinonso Aladi. I am the founder of the brand “Nonso Aladi”. The brand name originates from “Chinonso” which is a native igbo name meaning ‘God is with me’. I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. I am proud to come from a family of entrepreneurs who love fashion. This my early childhood experiences influenced my decision to go into fashion.
The Nonso Aladi brand was established in 2007 and it was born out of a sheer passion and drive to design. I was so intrigued by fashion that I dreamt about it almost every day. Fashion to me is a reflection of what I see around me from nature, colors and the rich-African heritage with diverse cultures.
In my early adult years, my parents wanted me to become a Lawyer, instead of pursuing my passion in Fashion. When Law wasn’t forthcoming, I was enrolled into Redeemers University in 2009 where I studied History and International relations. Whilst at Redeemer’s University, my fashion drive continued! I started my first business where I sold handbags to make some extra income for fashion school. I was able to save up to $1000 from my bag sales and “pocket money”. I used this money to enroll my first fashion school and sneaked behind my parent’s back to do this. I was able to purchase my first sewing machine and practiced sewing my designs late into the nights.
I moved to the US in 2013, perplexed on where to start from despite having a first degree from Nigeria. I decided to enroll into Kent State University in 2014, for another 4 years BSc degree in Fashion Design and Entrepreneurship. While in college, I realized there were not enough black brands that made Ready to Wear (RTW) outfits, with bold African prints. Prints that I wore and I saw my mum, grandma and aunties wear all the time back in Nigeria. This further led me to develop the RTW outfits with a fresh take and concepts to bridge the gap and meet the customers’ demands in the market. The Nonso Aladi brand, as the name implies, ‘God is with me’, was created to reflect one’s fierceness through the African bold prints, vibrant colors with a blend of contemporary flare.
At the moment, the brand has transitioned from making customizable pieces to what it is now- a RTW clothing company, with a secondary interest in Leather luxury goods brand.
To be honest, I believe there is so much more that the brand is yet to do, but the most important thing to me is to consistently serve my customers by continually meeting their needs and demands as well as proffering solutions which are sustainable in the long term.
Love & Light……..