Thrills and Frills of African Fashion Nigeria Week 2016

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The Africa Fashion Week Nigeria is a first-class, high octane and glamorous event. A celebration of stupendous fashion and style, of good form and refinement and it includes an awards show to the bargain.

 The African Fashion Week Nigeria, which took place, recently, at The Palms Mall in Victoria Island, Lagos, started with street catwalk in the mall. Models were styled in looks made from Da Viva fabrics by Mc Stell and Eminence 1129. The models wore bold makeups from Zaron Cosmetics and hairstyles were done by Zubby for Cantu for the street catwalk.

 The Africa Fashion Week Nigeria’s first ever “Textile and Manufacturing” conference took place on the first day of this month at the Eko Hotels and Suites which was filled with participants from various segments of the fashion industry in Nigeria. There were also representatives of larger fashion houses, small-scale fashion entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and members of the press. Equally present at the event were government officials and development financiers.

Day One

Business conference

The panel for the conference held discussion sessions. In one of the sessions, the Minister of State for Industry, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, made an insightful presentation about the potentials and challenges of the fashion industry in Nigeria. Mrs. Folake Oyemade, Managing Director of Sam and Sara, which has a garment factory reputed to be West Africa’s largest, captured the attention of the audience with her description of the difficulties being faced by garment manufacturers in the country. She talked about her attempts to take advantage of the AGOA (Africa Growth and Opportunity Act) programme, and obstacles she faced –which hinder the growth of Nigeria’s garment and textile industry.

Possible solutions to these problems were discussed by the panel. They made appeals to the government to deal with the influx of smuggled garments, as local producers were finding it difficult to cope with the competition these illegal wares bring. In another session, which was moderated by Mr. Lucky Idike Jr., Mr. Akintunde Oyebode, Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, referred to the competitive advantage issue hinted at by Oyemade. He pointed out that a lot of the country’s garment production is done on a relatively small scale, and suggested that these small producers outsource their production to larger companies, while they focus on design specifications for their garments.

He was particularly keen on fashion entrepreneurs finding a niche for themselves, as opposed to getting involved in most or all aspects of the trade.

Oyebode’s preferred path of specialisation was emphasised by Ms. Jennifer Anoyika, Director General of the Nigerian-German Business Association, whose presentation focused on “Value chain thinking”. This approach to production and sales, she said, was about placing the initial emphasis of the business on the customer, rather than the market, and takes note of the importance of the components of the production and distribution chain.

Other members of the panel included: Dr. Johannes Flosbach, Head of Performance Management, TGI Group; Chioma Nwagboso, Adviser on Public Private Partnerships for GIZ (German International Cooperation); Mrs. Doris Onwugamba, MD, Manufacturing Resource Centre, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria; Dr. Mustapha Abiodun Akinwunmi, Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State; and representatives from the Hungarian Embassy and DaViva Fabrics.

Day Two

 The second day had back to back catwalk shows from upcoming and established designers.

The first show kicked off with emerging designers, Ekaz Signature; Latreia Designs; Tubo; El Amanah Clothing; House of Salem; Signature Secret; and Yoti Ahma making an impressive display of prints, fusion of silk, chiffon, and hand-painted looks that brightened the stage. The African Ankara prints also made a show.

The second show of the day kicked off with more designers who revved up the event a bit more. Faridas atelier; Eve design Online; Neopele concepts; Tiannah Styling School Collection for Da viva; Elawe Couture; Nipo Skin for Da Viva; Dozzy Couture; Tasha Gillies; and Niki Kay were on hand to rock the occasion.

 The third show came up at 8pm and featured impressive collections from designers Niiffe and Asake Oge, who showcased a line of ‘athleisure’ with print details; Jreason brought impressive tailoring and fit on pieces styled to perfection on the runway; Somandra Stitches; and Beryl Qouture by Anita Beryl, all presented wearable arts.

 Similarly, Morin O showcased luxury leather goods, Nugo’s Clothing, House of Borah, Coz Designs, JPKoutureby Hadassah were also not left out in lighting up the stage. Bankole Thomas opened with Nollywood actor, Wale Ojo, who put on a dapper show; Zara and Zoe also presented leather goods with “Colours of Cue”, while Eminence 1129 and TIR Fashion House rounded off the show.

Day Three 

The last day ended with a Gala Night witnessed the super stylish, gorgeously fashionable, crème de la crème of the society, top professionals and colourful entrepreneurs; including stars of the world of fashion, movies, music, television and comedy.

The gala was unveiled with veteran fashion designers, Modela, Rois and Reine, showcasing their menswear collection. Other designers on the runway included the headline designer, Ade Bakare, Swarovski, Elegante by Tiannah Styling and Elegant Kids, Yomi Casual. Others were: Trish O. Couture, Lanre Lagos, Mc Stell Fashion Gallery, Bello I. Edu, Rikato by Me, and others.

 

Yemi Alade

Afro-pop singer and brand ambassador of this year’s edition, Yemi Alade, debuted her fashion line, House of Tangerine, after which she thrilled guests with her strong vocals as she performed hit songs. No doubt she is a beautiful singer and a talented one at that, with her energetic performance adding more spice to the night.

 The award recipients of the night included: His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ooni risa of Ife; AFWN Monarch with Panache, Rotimi Amaechi; AFWN Legend of Brio, Funmi Tejuosho; Amazon of Style, AFWN-Elegance and Style Award 2016, Patricia Uchenna Onumonu, Trish O Couture; AFWN Fashion designer of the year Award 2016, Abiola Olatunde Aloba, in recognition to his contribution to AFWN & AFWL.

 Gala Night’s Crème de la crème 

Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2016 gala was well attended by top government personalities, royalties and highly rated Nigerian celebrities, which included former Rivers State Governor and current Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi; Oluwo of Iwo and his Olori; Ruth Osime; Abba Folawiyo; Funmi Ajila (FADAN President); Senator Ita Giwa; Annie Idibia; Monalisa Chinda; Uti Nwachukwu; Bryan Okwara; Kaffy; Denrele Edun; Zaina; Emmanuel ikubese; LAX; and BOJ, among others. Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2016 gala night was hosted by Kaylah Oniwo and Layole Oyatogun.

Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2016 gala was well attended by top government personalities, royalties and highly rated Nigerian celebrities, which included former Rivers State Governor and current Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi; Oluwo of Iwo and his Olori; Ruth Osime; Abba Folawiyo; Funmi Ajila (FADAN President); Senator Ita Giwa; Annie Idibia; Monalisa Chinda; Uti Nwachukwu; Bryan Okwara; Kaffy; Denrele Edun; Zaina; Emmanuel ikubese; LAX; and BOJ, among others. Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2016 gala night was hosted by Kaylah Oniwo and Layole Oyatogun.