By Azuka Ogujiuba
Ade Bakare Couture held its two decades and a half retrospective recently. The one week event, which held between November 11 and 16, according to him, was an educational programme targeted at secondary school students but also opened to the public. It was held at Terra Kulture on Tiamiyu Savage in Victoria Island, an exciting hub of creativity in Lagos, Nigeria
The private opening was held for his sponsors and private clients. The guests included the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Lagos State Mrs. Solarin, Erelu Abiola Dosumu, Mrs. Kaye Ovia, Hon. Niyi Oyemade, Mr. Lampe Omoyele and Mr. & Mrs. Njoku-Obi, who kindly sponsored the event . Guests were treated to canapés and drinks, while they looked through the exhibition that captured the growth of Ade Bakare Couture over the years, tracing the origin in London where he established to opening of branches in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria. The retrospective which has been the brainchild of Ade Bakare, was first held in Nigeria in 2006, when he celebrated 15 years and 2013, when he celebrated 20 years. Ade Bakare’s major reason for staging these exhibitions was to make people aware of the importance of studying fashion as a degree, which then has the ability of sustaining a person in a career for life. In developing countries, major focus is given to professional courses such as architects, engineers, doctors etc, and the Arts are seen as hobbies. Recently Ade Bakare was quoted in a major newspaper as saying: “Nigerian universities needed to create fashion departments and award degrees, as is obtainable in developed countries”.
The retrospective exhibition highlighted his developments over the years from his fashion college days in Manchester, England to selling to departments stores across the UK, setting up a couture atelier in Mayfair, London to establishing his perfume lines and staring the young designers creative competition in 2006 in Nigeria, which had the now famous Ejiro Amos Tafiri submitting sketches which were also shown.
Ade Bakare believes shows like this help the students understand that any sustainable business takes years to grow and education or training in any given filed is paramount.
Schools that attended were private and local: Vivian Fowler, Wahab Folawiyo School, Government College Ikoyi and Maroko, Government College Victoria Island, Mare Schools in Ketu to mention a few.
The students were given taken on a tour of the exhibition stands, where they also watched documentaries on Ade Bakare Couture and which they asked questions and were thereafter given refreshments, courtesy of Peak Milk.