Factors That Influence Fashion Trends in Nigeria

by Ifeoluwapo Aduloju

Nigeria as a country has by far seen a great influx of fashion styles and trends. Fashion trends in Nigeria have evolved over time and have significantly put the country on the global scene regarding fashion. Presently, many foreigners have accepted the Nigerian traditional fashion style and boldly wear it to different occasions.

Although the traditional Nigerian style is simple and formal basically because of the weather but different levels of modifications to the formal style. Many factors have contributed to the growth and change in the fashion styles of the Nigerian people; it is further pertinent to peruse these factors.

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4 Factors That Influence Fashion Trends in Nigeria

  1. Social media

In an era of globalisation coupled with modern technology and industrialisation, the internet is a viable determinant of people’s views towards various subjects. Fashion as an important sphere of life is surely not left out of this manipulative view from the internet. Social media is one major aspect of the use of the internet, and it is a major tool in disseminating these views. Through social media applications like Instagram, Facebook, and the likes, people have connected and established a level of communication with their fashion icons, thereby influencing their style choices.

Some of these icons even try out some do-it-yourself (DIY) techniques that people imitate and try out. Except for this feature, many designers use this platform for advertising their products and building a dedicated audience. Blogs are also partakers of this influence. They put out fashion information that trends, especially with captions like “Latest blazer styles,” “Which celebrity rocked the red carpet best,” and many other catchy titles like this.

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  1. Custom and tradition

The typical Nigerian society has a profound connection with cultural beliefs and traditions. Before modernisation, each tribe had its traditional attires and dress sense. Attires like adire, Iro and Buba, aso-oke, akwete, agbada, and gele are some of these traditional wears. However, there has been an evident growth in the evolution of traditional Nigerian wear. This is evident in the all popular ‘Ankara Prints’, which has grown to an international level of acceptance.

Many foreigners are even beginning to feel comfortable rocking these prints to any occasion. Fashion shows have also played a great role in putting these prints out. Shows like the GTB Fashion Week, The Nigerian Fashion Show and many others have contributed to the rise in the need to adopt this tradition. As the shows pose as showcase tools to achieve this, they aid in the monetisation of Nigerian fashion.

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  1. Religion

For a country like Nigeria, which upholds very religious beliefs and practices in daily life, it would be not easy to exempt it from such an important aspect as fashion. This is evident in the dress styles of many people.

For example, many adherent female Muslims see the hijab as a very important part of their dressing. So do female Christians limit how much exposure and closure they give to their body. The males are not even religiously allowed to make their hairs as well.

Amidst these strong religious restrictions, many people have still not shaken in showing off their fashion consciousness and style. A lot are ready to flow with the fashion trends as they come and go.

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  1. Western culture

Many African countries rely on the Western world for many things, and fashion is not off that list. Tracing back to ancient times when the colonialists would bring in the refined goods in exchange for our local produce, we can see how much reliance there was on them as this was the only source of everyday items. With civilisation reaching them first, they had always had the upper hand over our traditional ways.

Their influence over our fashion scene can be seen in how we have evolved as much as they have. For example, they moved from baggy and oversized wear to fitted and skinny outfits. As we experienced these changes, so did we exhibit these changes. Presently the fashion scene has returned to oversized wear, and we surely have followed suit. Although we imitate many of their fashion trends, we have progressively incorporated our traditional aesthetics into these outfits.


The Nigerian Fashion Industry has grown beyond imagination and put the country in place globally. Apart from the country’s economy has also experienced a level of an increase due to this growth. As a result, the world now acknowledges many African prints and other fashion trends in Nigeria, while many Nigerian designers exhibit at the London Fashion Week, not to mention other international fashion shows.

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About Author

Avatar of Ifeoluwapo Aduloju
Ifeoluwapo Aduloju
I'm a makeup artist, hair maker and fashion enthusiast.

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