The Nigerian fashion industry has gradually outgrown the borders of the country and is now competing with other international fashion industries; thanks to the hard work of our Nigerian fashion designers and our celebrities who have spread their influence by wearing our local brands. While we acknowlege all our fashion designers both established and upcoming, some designers have been able to distinguish themselves from the pack and have asumed the role of mentors to the upcoming designers. In this article, I am going to mention some of these pacesetters but first, I would like to congratulate the winners of the now past Nigerian Student Fashion and Design week:
First Place – Ayotunde Okubanjo with the Brandname: Yoskyrosky
Second Place – Adebimpe Adebambo with the Brandname: Beampeh
I wish you both the best and I hope to see more of you. For a glimpse of their eye-catching designs and to view highlights from the event, visit their facebook page I would also like to thank the event organizers BlackNBold Fashion House for the amazing two-day experience. These are the kind of events we need to uncover the incredible talent we have hidden away in our young generation. That being said, lets get back to the subject at hand. Here is a list of my favorite top Nigerian fashion designers. In no particular order:
Isoken is a lady behind the label OBSIDIAN which was established in 2009. She is also one of the co-founders of L’Espace and L’petit Marche a multi-brand store in Nigeria. Her label deals with contemporary outfits for women.
Tiwa, Teni and Aba
These are three sisters whose love for fashion has enabled them to succeed in this industry. The three daughter of Deola Sagoe, another top fashion designer, have been able to put their own label by the name of CLAN. The unique styles, creativity and affordability of their brands allows a broad range of appeal.
The London based designer is well known for his ability to work and mix a variety of patterns and colors. His designs for male wear has earned him many clients both locally and internationally.
The director of Eki Orleans, Hazel has attracted many because of her knowledge of designs, colors and textiles. She has won different award for her exemplary work and been well featured in the written media such as the Financial Times, Arise Magazine just to mention a few. According to Hazel, her surrounding and butterflies are what inspires her to press on in this industry. Her brand name Eki which means ‘centre of attraction’ has been presented in internationally, in Johannesburg, South Africa and Paris, France among others.
This gentleman has been on the scene since the late 80’s. The guy who started off as a model has developed into one of the best designers in Nigeria. He specializes in wedding designs like bridal and bridesmaids garments. Perhaps his most famous work is the deep V-neck green dress worn by Agbani Darego when she was crowned Miss World in the year 2001.
Fatima Aliyu Garba
From ABFAB to ZAIN and now HOUSE OF FARRAH, Fatima’s label has grown over the years to be one of the top luxury fashion brands in the country. The designer, who has been able to establish herself since 2004 has some fabulous stylings for women as well as men.
As one of the biggest fans of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, I have to include this last top designer. Buki’s graduate collection from London’s Saint Martins college titled “Fela” has been exhibited in other countries in Africa and overseas. Her style has been described as “High fashion meets rock and roll with a cultural twist”. She has an amazing bag collection called ‘Wives’ which is inspired by Fela’s many women. Who is your favorite Nigerian fashion designer?