Nigerian fashion has been making international headlines for some time now and since the success of Nigerian designers and their collections at the New York fashion week the demand for Nigerian couture has intensified.
Catwalks and magazines from global fashion hotspots and media outlets now feature Nigerian led styles. Growing up with three sisters and a mother who all love fashion and having a famous designer as cousin, I have been able to witness the glamour and trends set in the Nigerian fashion industry.
Weddings, parties and society events provide the perfect excuse to show off the works of the best designers Nigeria has to offer. I see Nigerian women and men looking good in different types of prints and fabrics like Ankara, Damask, Lace, Silk and Chiffron.
Whilst local culture and tradition provide the main inspiration behind the designs, western style influences give them an international appeal. These clothes can be seen gracing Royal Ascot.
The most sought after and internationally competitive designers include
Lanre da Silva Ajayi is the owner of the LDA brand which was founded in 2005. Her collections offer ultra modern, sophisticated, bold, cutting edge designs and is considered one of the stand out houses in world fashion today. The brand is highly successful in Nigeria and abroad.
Frank Osodi is the creative mind behind the House of Bunor Creazioni, which offers both male and female luxury design collections specialising in evening wear. This fashion house has been in business since 1988 and is one of the most influential in Nigeria and Africa.
Frank is a choice designer to Nollywood stars, Presidents, State Governors and their first ladies. Before starting House of Bunor Frank worked as a model for the likes of Dakova and famously dressed Miss World 2001, Agbani Darego.
Deola Sagoe belongs to the class of the super talented Nigerian Fashion designers(no she is not my cousin..I won't tell you who that is). Her designs can be described as contemporary, complex, colorful and unique for those who like to stand out.
One could tell she has a lot of fun designing clothes as her creativity and extensive use of rich traditional prints and African fabrics shows her deep appreciation of history and her Nigerian roots without obscuring their appeal to European and American markets.
UK based fashion designer Bunmi Alaye started luxury fashion brand Bunmi KoKo with her husband in 2009 specialising in bridal and evening wear. They describe their couture collections as an intersection of engineering and fashion with the cultural influences of England, Scotland and Nigeria.
She has made clothes for A-list celebrities inlcuding Mel B, a member of the Spice girls and has been featured in the fashion sections of main stream media like The Daily Telegraph.
Fati Asibelua, who studied fashion in the city of Milan, Italy founded the label MOMO styles in 2000. Asibelua collections fuse luxury European Fabrics and African art to create a lively yet sophisticated set of designs, which have won rave reviews at home and abroad..
Other sought after designers include Joseph Adebayo(Modela), Ohimai Atafo(MAI Atafo), Joan okorodudu(House of Jola), Lisa Folawiyo and Folake Coker(Tiffany Amber).
These fashionistas are at the top of their game and have won awards and rave reviews in London, Paris and New York as well as Lagos and Cape Town.
Nigerian movie stars have also helped to contribute to the thriving fashion industry. Magazines like True Love often feature celebrities wearing trend setting designs and materials.