Everyone keeps screaming “NIGERIAN MUSIC TO THE WORLD!” which is great because our music is great. But what we also should be screaming is “NIGERIAN FASHION TO THE UNIVERSE!” because our fashion is also great.
How’s that for a climax?
From Beyonce to Anika Noni Rose, tons of foreign celebrities have rocked outfits from Nigerian designers, proving (not that we needed their validation) that our designers indeed sabi the work and that the future of Nigerian fashion is bright.
Here are 5 Nigerian fashion designers that we believe will be instrumental in bringing about that bright future.
1. Lisa Folawiyo
Known for her label, Jewel by Lisa, Lisa Folawiyo is renowned for the way she mixes modern tailoring techniques with traditional West African fabrics and her fabric line that also produces accessories (purse and jewellery).
Her label, which always aims to showcase the best of Nigerian culture, is a blend of Afropop and urban designs. With showrooms in Nigeria and New York, some of her foreign celebrity fans include Beyonce and Eve (the rapper).
Though new on the scene, Deco is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. He quickly carved a niche for himself by appealing to the younger generation with his hip and stylish patterns of male traditional attires (particularly, Agbadas). Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Noble Igwe are just a fraction of the celebrities known to frequently patronize his brand.
3. Adebayo Oke-Lawal
Adebayo Oke-Lawal treats his brand not just as a fashion label but as a movement. Adebayo is the founder of Orange Culture, an androgynous fashion brand that aims to break gender stereotypes in Nigeria while also celebrating its culture.
He has been profiled by Vogue Magazine and is the only African to have been nominated for the Woolmark prize.
4. Hafsah Mohammed
A fashion blogger and influencer, Hafsah Mohammed has shown everyone that it’s possible to love fashion and your religion without guilt or compromise. Her label, Elora Collection, is dedicated to redefining “modest fashion.”
5. Tokyo James
Tokyo James is a British-Nigerian designer that has combined elegance with streetwear since he debuted his self-named brand back in 2015 at South African Menswear Week. Before shattering societal norms with his unique style and futuristic collections, James started out as a Creative Director and stylist from London and was an Editor-in-Chief for a few fashion magazines. Now he’s one of Nigeria’s most celebrated designers.
HERE’S SOME EXTRA TEA:
Two of the designers on this list, Adebayo Oke-Lawal and Tokyo James, were picked by Budweiser to design pieces for The King’s Stitch collection.
The King’s Stitch is a movement (started by Budweiser in their latest campaign) that seeks to safeguard the Nigerian youth who are often misunderstood when all they want is to be their true selves. It’s a platform where youths looking to show their personalities can engage and be engaged.
Pieces from The King’s Stitch Collection are currently available for purchase on Budweiser’s website. Click here to check it out and join the movement.