When I saw Sam Smith wearing a latex jumpsuit (it looks like the male genital to me) to the Brit Awards, I had second thoughts about fashion and what it means to people.
Is it just about wearing anything to catch people’s attention?
What would you consider to be fashion? Is it your everyday oversized shirt and cargo pants plus Airforce 1 ‘drip?’ Is it your ability to wear the latest designer shirts and shoes? I’m a fashion designer and have designed and sewn traditional dresses that makes my customers beautiful and happy. So, I understand fashion to be the art of expressing beauty through clothes.
Fashion in Nigeria has become spectacular and unique. The sector is currently one of Nigeria’s most thriving sectors. Nigerian fashion brands have taken over the continent and also spread their horizons to the international fashion sphere.
Nigerian fashion brands and their designers are bagging international recognition and awards. Seeing how the fashion industry has evolved, one cannot help but feel proud. Our ancestors wore leaves and evolved to tying wrappers. Now, we see exquisite designs made by indigenous hands, well-crafted masterpieces put together by fashion brands that attract the world outside this country. Truly, Nigerian fashion brands deserve all the accolades.
In this article, we will look at the top five fashion brands in Nigeria and their progress in the industry.
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Top 5 Nigerian Fashion Brands
Atafo is a Nigerian fashion brand specialising in bespoke wears for men and women. Its sister brand, Atafo Bridal Atelier, focuses on bridal dresses and evening gowns. The brand was founded in 2010 by Ohimai Atafo, who is the creative director of the fashion brand. In 2011, he started weddings by Atafo, now Atafo Bridal Atelier, to bespoke wedding dresses. The brand is recognised for its well-crafted bespoke suits for men and glamorous dresses for women.
The Atafo brand has been recognised all over the globe, with several features in international fashion shows like J spring Fashion Show Paris, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa, and Glitz African Fashion Week Ghana. The brand has also been featured in the Arise Magazine Fashion Week and Lagos Fashion and Design Week.
In 2016, Atafo designed and made the bridal outfits for the blockbuster movie, Wedding Party. This luxury Nigerian fashion brand is located in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria and serves clients from all over the world, not to mention numerous celebrities here in Nigeria.
This Nigerian Fashion brand was founded by Tolu Bally in 2016. The brand is a female fashion retailer that designs youthful, colourful and versatile outfits for the everyday woman. The brand makes simple, classy, wearable, wearable outfits for women with an active and busy lifestyles.
The designs are well-tailored and stylish pieces hand-made by the best. 2207byTbally has made a name for itself in the industry, and currently, the brand serves clients in the UK, US, Canada, Nigeria and other African countries.
In the words of Tolu Bally, the founder, 2207byTbally was created for the everyday woman that wants to look beautiful. She believes that every woman should be comfortable in the outfits they wear. This is why they have created a unique look synonymous with a 2207 woman.
Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi (LDA)
LDA was founded by Lanre Da Silva Ajayi in 2005. This Nigerian fashion brand has become one of the most sophisticated fashion labels in the industry.
LDA has very strong historical roots in African culture, and the brand makes exquisite wears from traditional fabrics. As a fashion brand, LDA has become a favourite among indigenous brands that tell our story, culture and history through its designs. The brand focuses on haute couture, including fashion accessories and statement jewellery. LDA is a signature brand for day-to-day wears, evening gowns, cocktail dresses and statement masterpieces.
LDA has featured in numerous fashion shows such as London Fashion Week 2012, Pitti Immagine Florence 2012, MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2012 and 2013. In 2013, the LDA fashion brand debuted at the world-famous retail store: Dolce & Gabbana. In 2017, LDA, in collaboration with Ayoola Gbolahan, an artist, created a collection of wearable art. The collection was unique as it united the concepts of Art and Fashion.
In 2018, LDA featured in Arise Africa Fashion Festival, where the famous British supermodel Naomi Campbell opened the show wearing a LDA fit.
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It is impossible to mention the top fashion brands in Nigeria without mentioning Yomi Casual. Yomi Makun founded the brand in 2007. The brand is popular amongst celebrities in Nigeria and Africa at large.
The brand has also gathered international recognition in the global fashion industry. The brand focuses on African-inspired styles and well-tailored and intricate designs for men. The styles are unique and well-crafted to ensure clients stand out. The brand has also redefined the traditional concept of Agbada fashion for men while infusing modern concepts of style and design.
Yomi Casual is a celebrity fashion brand serving a large clientele of socialities in the continent. Yomi Casual has also featured in several international fashion shows and has received numerous excellence awards.
In 2014, Yomi Casual received the Inspiration Excellence award. The brand has been well-recognised as one of the industry’s best African men’s fashion brands. Recently, Yomi Casual unveiled his burnt shirt design, estimated to be worth $8900.
Veekee James Fashion
The brand Veekee James was founded by Victoria James. The brand is currently the most sought-after luxury fashion brand in Nigeria. The brand is famous for its luxurious, exquisite dresses and well-crafted, bespoke outfits.
The brand also makes females ready to wear and also men’s wears. They also specialise in customised bridals and red carpet dresses. Veekee James Official is a celebrity fashion brand that serves a large clientele base of celebrities in Nigeria and abroad. The brand has received numerous awards and recognitions, making it the most sought-after in the industry. The brand has grown and expanded quickly in the fashion sector.
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It is amazing to see fashion thriving in Nigeria and around the globe. Nigerian fashion designers are consistently making us proud. The international recognition and awards have put Nigeria on the global fashion map. This list is not exclusive, as other designers have earned the same recognition and are worthy of emulation.
These brands have become a source of inspiration to other upcoming designers and growing brands. They have become role models others look up to and aspire to be. They have done it, and you can too!
To all Nigerian Fashion brands, I’m rooting for you!
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- Chovwe is content writer and a Fashion Designer. She's also a Chartered Mediator and Conciliator. She's an advocate for peace and loves art. She owns a fashion brand and is very passionate about what she does.
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