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The 2015 edition of the St. Eve West African Show held in Lagos, and fashion enthusiasts had a thrilling experience. In this interview with Peter Uzoho, originator of the show, Evelyn Okere, speaks about what to expect from her team this year

Your 2015 edition of the St. Eve West African Show was successful. How would you assess last year’s show side by side the objectives you and your team had hoped to achieve?

First, I want to thank God for standing by us and assisting us in seeing our vision come to reality. Last year, we focused on the strengths of the participating fashion designers and we wanted to really project their creativity so that the world would know them and see their designs. Even though we learn each day and every fashion show we organise makes us better than the previous year; we still thank God that last year’s event was a huge success and we would learn from our mistakes and do something greater and better than what we achieved last year.

What were some of the things you could have done better, and what should the public be expecting at the next edition?

Like I said before, we can work towards getting better with time. For this year, we want an event promoted beyond Lagos or even Nigeria. We want to embrace fashion designers from far and wide. We want to also bring in creative rookie designers who have never graced the fashion runway before. We want to use our platform as an avenue to bring out and share their creativity. We also want to go bigger than a Lagos crowd, we want to set targets that are beyond anyone’s imagination. We want to take Nigerian fashion to a different level.

Can you tell us those that participated in the two-day fashion show last year?

It was a full house last year. The event, which trended on Twitter with the hash tag #FashionIsArt, commenced on Saturday 28th November with an open exhibition with different indigenous fashion crafts persons displaying their products for sale and various guests going away with bags, jewelleries, crafts, clothes, and other fashion accessories.

The fashion show proper took place on Sunday 29th November. The first show of the night witnessed the collections of YAGEE, My Beautiful Africa, Gravido Fashions, Prolific Couture, Kola Kuddus, and Mistics.

Dozzy Couture kicked off the second show, which also saw the designs from Victor Bassi, Araewa Fashion, Grace’s Hat, Kadol and JPKouture grace the runway. Ikwo Ndiomu’s Latreia Design and Matiluko Modupe’s Rare Gems Fashion completed the runway schedule for the second show.

The third show commenced soon with Funmilola Omokunga’s Lola Buttons, Obiekwe Anderlyn’s Glam Expression, Emeotu Egwolo’s Ewy’s Place, Simiat Ogunshina’s House of Marthys, and Rudavson Fashion owned by Pat Ofuya drawing out rounds of applause from the audience with the colourful and creative collections.

Anyone in the audience who thought he/she had seen the best of African Fashion had a change of mind by the time the final show got underway. Laxmi Hathiramani of Miss Lax thrilled with her fashionable bags. Rose Di Omimi Fashion, the fashion label of my humble self, the Organiser of the St. Eve West African Show, took away the breathe of the enthralled guests with beautiful African prints.

Joan Ibuzo’s House of Marie and Toye Odufuye’s John Caulcrick then followed with their charming collections. The show was fittingly brought to a rousing close by the captivating pieces of Modela Couture and also London-based designer, Ade Bakare.

There were also musical performances by some artistes like Aramide and T-Banks who thrilled the audience intermittently during the show.

What should Nigeria, nay the world, expect this year from the St. Eve West African Fashion Show?

Basically a projection of the Nigerian fashion creativity in the angle of designs, combination of style, fabrics, and a touch of perfection with each piece. We want to do so much for the average fashion designer and help them sell themselves to the whole world. We want to show the world that we believe in the fashion industry which is growing in Nigeria.

A project of this magnitude needs government and private sector participation. What are you doing in this regard?

We are trying so hard to make our dreams come true and hopefully the government as well as the private sector will key into our dream and throw their weight behind us. I must confess that last year we were gladly supported by Heritage Bank and Grand Oak International, the makers of Calypso and St. Lauren Red Grape. Brand Partners for this fashion also included; Mercedes Benz, Bliss Hair, Glam’s Make-Up, FingerKings, Le Paris Hotel, Tudor House, Eko Hotel and Suites, Carliza Hotel Ltd, The BlowFish Hotel, Luxury Spa Supplies, Daviva, Beauty Secret, and Aquadana Water.