Yoanna Okwesa, also known as Pepper to her pals is a freelance Stylist with a BA Hons degree in Culture, Society and Communications from the University of Birmingham and currently undertaking an MA in Strategic Fashion Marketing & Management at the London College of Fashion. Pepper works as a creative director for runway shows, fashion editorials and commercial projects and has begun working as a fashion brand and marketing consultant. As the former Fashion Editor of FAB Magazine for the past 2 years, Pepper also has a pet project clothing label – Purple Pepper Clothing borne from her love of art, her heritage and photography. When she is not art directing a photo shoot or fashion show she is alongside her sisters travelling and collecting vintage and retro accessories and clothing for the boutique they own named Retrospective in Lagos.
As put by a close friend Pepper is ‘a London girl with Lagos pumping in her veins and Cuba in her heart.’ Pepper has a deep passion for creating visual phenomena, to see hers and others concepts conceived in the mind, come alive through the art of storytelling using photography and garments, contributing her two penny and naira to the global union of fashion, art and style.
Her journey started from the age of 15, when she was always styling and organising school and church fashion shows without having an idea of what fashion styling was, all she knew was that she loved using her imagination, yielding every opportunity to be creative, break the rules, playing with clothes and spending her pocket money on chocolate and fashion magazines (still does). Pepper has since, been exposed to the world and work of fashion and public relations by holding various roles at Pride Magazine, The Mayor of London’s Kulture2Couture fashion exhibition, Maria Grachvogal, The Communications Store working at London Fashion Weeks and working as the fashion workshop facilitator and PR officer for The Bold and Beautiful Fashion Forum in Lagos in 2010. Working alongside industry leading and sought after photographers Suby&Sinem, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Moussa Moussa, Jide Alakija, RezeBonna and Hakeem Salaam she has styled for Arise, BHF, Canoe, FAB, Pride, New African Woman, True Love and TW Magazines. Her portfolio also includes styling celebrities Shingai from the Noisettes, M3nsa & Wanlov The Kubolor, Wiz Kid, Tiwa Savage, Bez Idakula, Omotola Jalade –Ekeinde, Eldee, Eku Edewor, Flavour, Yvonne Vixen Ekwere, Keffe, Shiikane and Duncan Daniels and creative directing and for a variety of designers such as Nkwo, Re-Bahia and Zebra Living.