To a fashionable Nigerian, the “Buba and wrapper” and “Agbada” are entrenched fashion styles passed down from generation to generation and which Naijas always take pride in wearing for every possible occasion. But these styles are not the be all and end all of Naija fashion. The industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country, now worth over $1 billion dollars at last count, according to the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria.
The Nigerian news site Y!/YNaija.com, working in partnership with Leading Ladies Africa project, has named and collated the 100 most influential women in Nigeria who, “…have acknowledged the glass ceiling but they would not allow it hold down their lofty ambitions.”
Here, for your pleasure, are some of these hottest stars, all striving to put Naija on the fashion map with innovation, style and an eye for sheer beauty. Look out for them, search for them, support them; this certainly won’t and shouldn’t be the last time you hear their names.
Bola Balogun: Mrs Bola, who grew up in the USA, started her career as a stylist for publications and public figures in New York before moving back to Nigeria in 2005. She was a pioneer fashion stylist and presently runs leading lifestyle branding agency Glam Brand Agency and lifestyle/fashion production company Glam Networks, which produced Glam Report TV. according to Y/Naija she is“married with five children, and makes it all look achievable.”
Deola Sagoe: One of the fore-runners of the Nigerian fashion industry, Deola has been crafting haut couture pieces and gorgeous designs for over 25 years. The internationally acclaimed fashion designer has placed Nigeria on the world map by winning numerous awards and promoting African fashion. Her daughters are already following these footsteps with their innovative CLAN label designs.
Elohor Aisien: Following the launch of the Beth Modelling Agency, Elohor revolutionized the way fashion and beauty modelling was perceived. This eventually led to the acquisition of franchise for Elite Model Look, and she recently set up Prive events management.
Lisa Folawiyo: She is the founder and creative director of fashion label, Jewel by Lisa. The brand that offers a wide range of clothes and jewelled accessories has captured attention both within Africa and outside its shores; from Lagos to Cape Town, London, Paris, New York and Hollywood. “With the launch of her diffusion line – J Label and other household items, Lisa Folawiyo is steadily expanding the ‘jewellette’ empire,” a report byVentures Africa revealed.
Omoyemi Akerele: Pioneer of Nigeria’s fashion and image consulting industry, Omoyemi Akerele is widely regarded as a driving force in the industry. Style House Files works with Nigerian brands on brand positioning and retail strategies. “Akerele also helps brands gain essential international exposure through presenting showcases at Pitti Immagine in Italy, and through Lagos Fashion and Design Week.”
source: Ventures Africa
photo credit: 360 Nobs