Loving and Breathing Fashion
Nadege Ngongo was born in the Republic of Congo, Central Africa. She comes from humble beginnings, where both her parents were into a variety of businesses. When she was very young, Nadege moved to France and was quickly exposed to a world of Art and Fashion. Her mother was an avid fan of the classic Hollywood era and this started providing Nadege with unlimited knowledge of Haute Couture, making her a longstanding fan of traditional Hollywood glamour mixed with her strong passion for vintage and all things elegant and couture-glamorous.
When Nadege moved to France, it opened up a whole new world for her in fashion. An avid fan of that old Hollywood glamour since childhood, now the opportunity was presented. She collected fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Bazaar, Paris Match and made collages of different looks.
In her teens, Nadege wore designer clothing like she had dreamed of – Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Charles Jourdan, Ines DeLafressange just to name a few.
Nadege “LOVES” and ”BREATHES” fashion. In 1996, she had an opportunity to come to the United States where she could follow her dream holding a BA in Marketing &Economics and she speaks multiple languages. Once in America she went back to school to get a second BA degree in Fashion Merchandising and Retailing from CCSU in New Britain, CT.
She has worked for many luxury goods retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Saks FifthAve, Nordstrom and has held positions as designer specialist, business manager, cosmetics manager and personal shopper. She is well equip with 17+ years experience in the fashion industry.
Nadege has traveled the world and is very familiar with most fashion capitals around the globe including Paris, London, Milan, and of course New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.
The following is an Exclusive ADUNAGOW Magazine interview with our latest African Fashion expert of "Ce tres Chic" Inc.
AM: How did you get started in the Fashion Industry? I started back in 1997. While in school full time, I took a part time job at Express clothing as a selling specialist. I do hold a B.A in fashion merchandising & retailing. I have worked for many luxury goods retailers. I have traveled the world and very familiar with most fashion capitals around the globe.
AM: Who are your role models in the fashion design world? I have to say my mother first and foremost as she was an avid fan of the classic Hollywood era and her fashion sense instilled in me. Of course Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier.
When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do? Spending time with my family, I love to cook for them and catch up on my favorite T.V shows.
Tell us a little about your family. I am engaged to an awesome guy and a mother to a 15 year old daughter.
Tell us, how can someone get into the Fashion business? How do you become a personal shopper? Well one of the hardest and most crowded industries to get into is fashion. The good news is there’s not only one solution, but a ton of ways you can get into fashion with no experience. For some people, shopping is more than just a necessity-it’s a passion. While shopping nonstop isn’t good for most people’s bottom lines, it’s possible to actually make money shopping by becoming a personal shopper. Helping clients who don’t have the time, interest or ability to shop for themselves by doing it for them.
Do you have a special market target? No I don’t as I work with all types of clientele and budgets.
Tell us your most memorable customer and what made it so special? I've had a privilege to be hired by a luxury bridal shop to produce their biggest fashion show in central Florida. What made it memorable is the fact that the boutique owner brought me on board without restrictions. I styled twenty models; many clients will not do that. I thought that was super awesome.
What’s hot and what’s not currently in the fashion world for both men and women? Women fashion trends in 2017 expect to see more; Stripes, Sneakers, wide legs, neon colors, updated oxfords and shades of blue. For our men fashion trends in 2017 expect to see; cropped trousers; denim jacket layering; sneakers; double bridge sunglasses and statement coats. What’s not hot in women fashion; when all is in, and it’s all a matter of personal style rather than trends per se, I wouldn’t go dismiss pretty much anything, but I will say that the classic floral prints have taken a step back. Same for our men fashion as we know that men’s fashion do not change that often.
Do you think Fashion can portray someone’s inner feelings? Absolutely! Your style and the clothes you choose reflect and affect your mood, health and overall confidence. One of my fashion quote is no matter how you feeling stay stylish at all times.
How and where do you get your inspiration from? By reading my biblical devotions in a special quiet room in my house every morning.
What do you think of Fashion and Branding when it comes to pricing products? The apparel industry consists of designers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers dealing in clothing and fashion accessories targeted at different consumer segments. Its many niches are mostly saturated, creating a fierce price competition among others.
Are prices justifiable? An effective pricing strategy in the fashion industry is one that can be justified based on the quality of goods being sold, location and competition. Since the fashion industry is extremely competitive, Budget pricing, Luxury pricing, Value pricing and price promotions are all sales tools.
If you had a choice of providing your fashion consulting service to one top celebrity, who will it be? Rihanna, beautiful girl, killer silhouette but some of the outfits are too baggy and boyish style, still love her.
How do you promote your service? Through social media, our website, networking, word of mouth and interviews such as this.
Tell us about your Company. Any upcoming events? Yes, Ce tres Chic Inc. is my other baby. I opened it two years ago, even thought I have been in the industry for the past 17 years. Our mission is creating new looks & enhancing your image. We are a full service consulting company specialize in wardrobe styling, image consulting, personal shopper, closet edits, fashion shows production and our VIP concierge service. Our concierge services are recommended for our Africans delegates and leaders that travel to the United Stated of America, we are here to make your trip more enjoyable and relaxing while we take care of everything; Hotel, rental car, luxury fashion expedition just to name a few. We have an upcoming “Retro photo shoot” coming next mouth, we are doing a casting call about all natural hair models and we will be featuring the ‘60s and the ‘70s fashion style to showcase that you can wear natural hair and still look chic.
In your opinion, what’s the number one issue to deal with in Africa? What’s your take (solution) on it? While I am an optimist with regard to global poverty alleviation, my optimism is sorely tested when it comes to my beloved birth continent, Africa. Especially after my last trip. #1 economic growth rate is far too low. The lives of most Africans are marred by poverty, hunger, poor education, ill health and violence; sorry I couldn’t help it with this question. Solution; Africa is not poor, others made it that way so Africa needs to fight back to take control of our continent to overcome all these issues. May God bless the continent of Africa, one LOVE.
About Africa: what will you keep? What will you change? Definitely will keep our values; culture is very important. What I will change is violence, and of course, ending poverty.
Can African fashion make it big in the USA? Why? Why not? Absolutely. For the past decades, the African fashion has become much more prominent. For instance, there was an entire issue of L’UomoVogue to re branding Africa while the IHT luxury conference have discuss the potential of Africa. Africa has serve as an inspiration for fashion collections. with large international fashion retailers like Mango, Zara, Levi’s and Gap already active in Africa and ASOS offering free deliveries to the continent, perhaps it’s time to ask the question: could Africa be fashion’s next frontier? Why not: China, India and Brazil that currently present the greatest growth opportunities as emerging consumer market. Therefore, this can be some of the issues.
Tell us, what is the craziest thing you ever done? Coming to America..(smile). I was very young and adventurous.
Other than the Fashion world, are you involved in any other projects? Yes, I am involved in the youth education for the generation to come and the one woman association in Cameroon for skills exchange project.
How do you stay in touch with Africa? I stay in touch with Africa, my beautiful continent, in many ways: I eat African at least once a week; all I listen to as far music of course is African; and I do have family back home in my home country of Congo Republic. Last year, I traveled to Cameroon for fourteen days. I had the privilege to visit schools, young people association to stop delinquency and the women associations. I was rather impressed how my dear sisters have come together and created these associations to empower each other in many ways, from the rural woman to the professional one to exchange skills.
[THE MIC IS YOURS]
Work hard, become resilient, remind yourself why you love your job every day, and most importantly, be nice to everyone. In anything you do in life remain humble….
We can be contact through many ways;
Ce tres Chic Inc - P.O.BOX 580843, Orlando, Florida 32858 - www.cetreschic.net - 407-690-7280
Thank you Nadege for taking the time to chat with us.We wish you plenty of success and wisdom in your career.