Nigeria has constantly been trailblazing in many areas and one of them is the fashion industry. For years now, Nigeria has maintained its relevance by contributing to the endless fashion shows with timeless pieces that have been worn and celebrated, not just in Africa, but globally. These pieces express the culture, spirit, story and diversity of Nigeria and have been woven, sewn or knitted by some celebrated Nigerian designers that have been recognized both home and abroad for their art.
Below are some Nigerian fashion designers that are steady representing the country and constantly showing off their works of art on social media. Check them out:
Born in Lagos, Folake Folarin-Coker launched her fashion brand Tiffany Amber in November 1998. It was the first ready-to-wear label in the country at the time. Several years later, she has earned global recognition by becoming the first African fashion designer to showcase her talent at the New York Mercedes Fashion Week two years in a row.
Folake’s brand was born out of her love for unique fashion designs that appeal to women of various tastes and preferences. Her collections have been showcased in some of the most prestigious cities like New York, London, Milan, Paris. she is one of the iconic Nigerian Women, to make it onto the Forbes Power Women in Africa list. You can check her designs on Instagram @tiffanyamberng.
Deola Sagoe is the founder of The House of Deola, a globally recognized brand that has garnered praise from big names like Oprah Winfrey and Will smith. The House of Deola is known for its use of lively and colourful African prints. A quick look at the brand’s Instagram page, @deolasagoeofficial shows a wonderful blend of traditional Nigerian wears with western aesthetics.
Sagoe has shown off her couture collection at Cape Town and New York Fashion Weeks. She also won the MNET/Anglo Gold African Designs 2000 Award and got appointed Nigeria’s ambassador by the United Nations World Food Program for “Catwalk the World: Fashion for Food.” This was aimed at raising funds to reduce, by half, the number of starving people in the world, especially children by 2015.
She believes the African fashion industry still has plenty of room for growth. “Just in Africa, there is a huge market, without even going to Europe… and the US, there is a huge market there,” Sagoe states.
Celebrated for his famous and luxurious female gazar and organza sweep coasts, the UK born Nigerian fashion designer started his brand in 1991.
The Ade Bakare brand screams high sophistication, has been on display in many parts of the world namely New York, Vienna, Mozambique, Morocco, Paris, and Cape Town. His Instagram account (@adebakare) is one place you should check out if you are looking to buy exclusive evening gowns, stylish wedding gowns, hats, and fragrances.
Launched in 2005, Jewel by Lisa has become quite the fashion brand attracting enviable clientele like Beyoncé and Tasha Smith. She was recognized at the African Fashion Award in 2012 and featured in Vogue Italia 2012. Two years later, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) named Folawiyo among the eight emerging talents. In 2015, BOF500, a prestigious list of international brands, featured the designer among top fashion brands making an impact on the global scene.
If you are having problems on where to get outfits that blend Ankara and western Fabrics, then @lisafolawiyo is where you should be checking on Instagram. Lisa also makes bags and purses that you can rock with any outfit!
Olowu has established himself both home and abroad with his unique designs. He is the first designer to be named the New Designer of the Year at London Fashion Week without staging a catwalk show. At the African Fashion Awards in 2009, he was named the Best International Designer and was one of the six nominees for the Swiss Textile Federation’s top prize of 100,000 Euros. Both British and American Vogue in 2005 named his waist patchwork “Duro,” as the “Dress of the Year.”
He says, “My job is not dictating to women what they should wear; it is presenting them with beautiful options.” If this doesn’t say self-expression, we don’t know what else does. His Instagram page @duroolowu gives you all the options you need to express yourself in the best possible way.