The Lagos Fashion Week as we know it, is an annual celebration of fashion, creativity, and arts. The event brings together fashion designers from all over the world to showcase their latest creations in a variety of settings, including Runway presentations and exhibitions. The fashion week’s mission is to create awareness about the importance of fashion and arts in Nigeria, Africa and all over the world. The Lagos Fashion Week creates a platform where African fashion is appreciated, promoted and accorded due global recognition.
Since its establishment in 2011 by Omoyemi Akerele, the Lagos Fashion Week has continued to make strides across the world of fashion and arts. Runway footage from the 2022 edition of the Lagos Fashion Week was featured in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s exhibition Africa Fashion where several African designers, photographers and creatives were exhibited.
More on the subject, the 2022 Lagos Fashion Week was a blast! We got to relish the beautiful and colourful displays of well over 20 designers. Renowned and rising designers showcasing their finest work yet and we loved every minute of it. From the intricate fusion of up-cycled materials and dead stock fabrics by Heru Shezi to Elie Kuame’s splendiferous depiction of African royalty to Oshobor’s iconic “Na man you be” collection amongst a host of others. The fashion week was absolutely ‘Je ne sais quoi’.
The 5-day fashion event was indeed a whirlwind of inspiration, creativity and innovation. Over the course of those days, there were a deluge of exhibitions and presentations. Nevertheless, we were able to meticulously curate a list of standout brands just for you. Here are some of the brands we found particularly intriguing…
Fruché is a “mix of traditional Nigerian culture, heritage, artisanal techniques and contemporary design. The brand embodies a unique sensibility that seamlessly combines an outspoken narrative and a bold sensuality that is luxuriously modern”.
The runway presentation was a sensational display of “pastel colors, cutouts, and ultra feminine silhouettes”. We loved how the designer took silhouettes and paired them with bright pops of color to create this collection. The result? A collection that’s both feminine and bold—and is sure to make any outfit feel fresh!
Fruche’s runway presentation also featured am awe-inspiring live spray-paint artistry by Dricky in a touching tribute to the designer’s late father.
TJ WHO is a contemporary Nigerian brand that hybridizes multi-cultural and cross-continental patterns, designs and styles to create unique, functional and expressive designs and pieces. The Brand places utmost importance on ‘representation’ in its designs and creates pieces that people can connect to.
TJ WHO showcased ‘Collection 3’ off his 2023 Summer/Spring Collection. it showcases a mastery of asymmetrical cuts and patterns in what can be seen to be a fusion of streetwear and formal wear. The collection features deconstructed double sleeved suits, intricately detailed denim design amongst other pieces. Fundamentally, the collection is an embodiment of deconstruction and redefinition.
Taju Ibrahim, the Creative Director and Founder of the brand had this to say:
“This collection has been two years of experimental refining, redesigning and revising of ideas… this collection was us presenting to the world the number of designs we’ve tirelessly worked on over the years. With this collection we continued to follow our aesthetics of avant-garde, sci-fi and contemporary timelessness, after which we found ways to infuse them with our African heritage and hand-embroidered techniques.”
Abigail Ajobi is a sustainable luxury streetwear brand that contributes towards the spread of social awareness by standing for community empowerment.
She made her runway debut at the Lagos Fashion Week with a collection themed ‘Continuing the love story’, a sequel from her collection released earlier in February 2022. ‘Continuing the love story’ celebrates her parent’s love story and infuses their love story into her design as an inspiration to others. The custom print denim designs have Portions of a love letter written by her Dad to her mum hand printed on them.
The brand’s signature ‘convertible clothing’ functionality means many of the pieces can be worn in multiple different ways. This allows customers to be more versatile in their style and encourages them to love their clothes for longer.
Aorah is a “contemporary womenswear label centered around a strong sense of identity and culture, transforming traditional Nigerian textiles into contemporary designs.” The brand is a sustainable and ethically driven brand that primarily utilizes the Akwete traditional fabric, a fabric indigenous to the Ndoki clan of Abia State.
Her runway presentation was titled ‘Ogbanaonwe a’ which literally translates to “It designs itself”. “A collection of love, inspired by the Akwete textile which it is named after. This collection is dedicated to all women that worked endlessly to hand weave these pieces.”
Oshobor is a sustainable androgynous brand domiciled in the ancient city of Benin that makes clothes using yarn and waste wool. The self-acclaimed ‘Masquerade Designer’ explores emotions of love, toxicity and warmth in his designs and uses his art to venture into age-long restrictions and prejudices.
Oshobor’s Lagos Fashion Week debut themed ‘Na man you be’ addresses the age-long issue of toxic masculinity in the Nigerian (African) society. the collection instead celebrates Men and Women who serve as father figures in society. The collection features symbolic pieces such as the Oja used by Yoruba mothers and the Isi Agu associated with Igbo chiefs.
Abidjan based designer Elie Kuame is a fashion brand that focus primarily on women couture. The brand seeks to celebrate and empower women of the world with beauty, glamour and authenticity of their unique feminity. He fuses his Ivorian and Lebanese background with his cross-continental professional experiences to curate well refined and sophisticated pieces.
At the Fashion Week, he presented his collection themed “This is Couture” which featured prints, shapes, ruffles and frills inspired by African royalty.
“The mixing between the traditional fabric with the modern ones and touch of gold’s light show our determination to celebrate the modernity of this royal sophistication: what is luxury means for Africa? Do you know??? We are now able to redefine it.”
“We try with our heritage to show that, in Africa, we can have couture. The pieces were all handmade and hand-beaded. We want to use this collection to show that we can also be of global standard.”
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Also check out: LAGOS FASHION WEEK 2022: 5 NOTABLE TRENDS SET TO TAKEOVER IN 2023.
EKPO’S MEMORABLE LOOKS FROM THE 2022 LAGOS FASHION WEEK