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The BOF 500 list is an annually updated list

of people shaping the global fashion industry.

the list is curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion

based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.

The business of fashion (B.O.F) media

is recognized Globally for it’s authoritative

and analytical view of the multi-trillion dollar fashion industry

($2.5 trillion to be exact).

founded by the current CEO and Editor in Cheif, Imran Amed

the mission of the BOF is to build fashion’s global membership community

to open, inform and connect the industry.

in this piece we take a look at all the Nigerians

that have made it into this prestigious list over the years.


Currently the oldest Nigerian member of the BOF 500

Omoyemi joined the BOF community in 2013.

the former lawyer turned fashion consultant

is the founder and CEO of Lagos fashion week

style house files and special advisor

to the Nigerian Export promotion council (NEPC).

she has held several advisory positions

for big names like MOMA, Victoria & Albert museum UN

and the British Fashion Council.

she uses her platform to give creative direction to Nigerian brands

and raise their profile internationally.

aside being part of the community

she officially made the list 6 times in a row from 2017-2022.


In second place are the Nigerian retail giants

Ayo and Tayo Amusan have been members of the BOF community since 2014.

the power couple are at the forefront of luxury retail

with their property firm, Persianas Investment Limited.

the company responsible for establishing the palms mall

in 5 different states in Nigeria.

and building formidable partnerships with brands like puma and Lacoste over the years.

they didn’t stop there, the couple went on to acquire

Shoprite Nigeria retail franchise in June 2021

and have opened several stores nation wide.


Reni is the joint third oldest member of the BOF 500 community.

Also a lawyer turned fashion entrepreneur

Reni is the founder of the Alara store

in Victoria Island Lagos.

West Africa’s first fashion luxury and lifestyle concept store

Alara has hosted a number of celebrated fashion events over the years

an example is our homecoming that took place earlier this year.

renowned British/ Ghanian architect David Adjaye

is responsible for the unique design of the store.

Reni became a member of the BOF community in 2015.


the other Joint third oldest Nigerian member of the BOF 500

is Lisa Folawiyo.

she joined the BOF community in 2015.

the fashion designer started her label, jewel by Lisa in 2005.

with an initial investment of just N20,000

which she used to buy fabric and make a couple of pieces for her mother.

Lisa currently runs a namesake brand, Lisa Folawiyo studio

with show rooms in Nigeria and New York.

she boasts a good number of achievements, namely

featuring in vogue Italia, winning the 2012 Africa Fashion Award

and being one of the 8 emerging talents by WWD (women’s wear daily in 2014)


Amaka Osakwe is the founder of African

ready-to-wear fashion label, Maki oh.

She is a Graduate of fashion studies

from the university of Art Bournemouth

and is one of Nigeria’s biggest fashion stories.

Amaka joined the BOF community in 2016

her brand is known for it’s signature use of Adire,

a Yoruba traditional tye-dye fabric).

and her unique combination of western silhouettes

with native motifs.

Amaka won the Arise designer of the year award in 2010

and her work has been showcased

at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology

the Vitra Design Museum, and the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.

a host of big name personalities have worn Maki oh over the years

namely the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, Michelle Obama

kerry washington, lady gaga, isa rae and so on.

in 2012, she showcased her designs at New York fashion week.


Next up we have Kenneth Ize.

the designer is already a household name in

the Nigerian luxury/ high end fashion space.

the 2018 LVMH prize finalist

joined the BOF 500 community in 2019.

the designer is a graduate of fashion and design

from the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

his eponymous label showcases frequently at paris fashion week

with his collections featured on vogue runway.

kenneth Ize is known for his display of technicolour suiting

and use of traditional Aso-Oke fabrics.


columnist, philanthropist, writer, publisher and all round media mogul

betty Irabor is the founder and editor-in-chief of Genevieve magazine.

the magazine is described as Nigeria’s leading

Inspirational, fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine

with ten issues published each year.

the Association of Professional Women Bankers honored Irabor

as The Most Accomplished Female Publisher in Nigeria 2011.

betty joined the BOF 500 community in 2019.


last but not least, the orange nerd himself

Adebayo Oke Lawal aka the Orange nerd

is the founder and creative director of the acclaimed orange culture clothing line.

The brand is known to explore unusual fabrications

and experiment with them on every and any gender.

his gender bending silhouettes have constantly challenged traditional sterotypes

while gaining international recognition.

orange culture was part of the 2015 LVMH prize finalists

and was also nominated for the Woolmark Prize

in the same year.

Adeboye lawal made the BOF 500 list in 2022.

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