Model-Designer Tinu’s Spice Of Life

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[The Fashion Business]

Some people know their chosen calling early in life.

At age five, Tinu, now a model, entrepreneur and musician, was already designing her own bags. “People would stop me in the street and ask me who made them,” she recalls to The Black Star News in an interview. 

She’s come a long way since. Tinu is becoming a leading lady in the fashion and music industry. She is spicy; strong-minded; strong-willed; ambitious; and, independent in thinking.

She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Nigeria. She says her design styles are inspired by the rich culture of her Nigerian heritage.

Yet, she knew that in order to take her natural gifts to the highest level, she would need to be in control of her finances and planning in order to realize her vision. She graduated from New York University with a degree in marketing and finance. Along the way she picked up a few languages. Then it was on to international modeling; and, working the runway for various fashion houses and notable ad campaigns.

With her entrepreneurial spirit, it was no surprise that Tinu launched her very own collection of bags and accessories, which by 2005, were already enjoying commercial success. They sold in major department stores and high end boutiques. “There was an added personal touch,” Tinu says.

Maybe this is why Tinu’s beautifully bejeweled shoe-shaped bags appealed to celebrities such as Supermodel Janice Dickinson, and Actresses Terri Hatcher and Nicolette Sheridan. Her bags gained the kind of recognition every designer hopes for when they were worn at the Academy Awards.

While some people would be content with the success of a product line, Tinu’s vibrantly creative mind sparked with energy.  “On the same paper I’d sketch the designs; I began writing songs,” Tinu recalls. This was the beginning of her music career and in 2003 her debut album “Rhythm of Love” was a great success launching on the Billboard R&B charts. Tinu, who writes her own songs, built a following among music lovers in the U.S.; Europe; and, in Africa. Her music is very soulful and upbeat.  “I go by my mood as opposed to trend,” she says. “I do things from my heart.”

She has a sensuous voice and funk; the soul, rock and pop-inspired beats make for a moving album. She has a new release, "Addicted" due out in October. One of the songs on the new album, “Shoeholic,” expresses her love for shoes and most women can relate to this.

Another song is influenced by the global suffering she’s been exposed to throughout her travels and the inspiration of Barack Obama’s election as U.S. president. “My Beloved Country,” is a track that’s won fans around the world for the positive and optimistic feeling it inspires.

Tinu is truly an original talent.

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