Nigeria’s Fashion Industry Needs Urgent Intervention from Arts and Culture Ministry, Says Oliseh-Amaize

UK-trained Nigerian designer and creative director of Tesslo, Tessy Oliseh-Amaize, has called on Nigeria’s Ministry of Art, Culture and Creative Economy to urgently intervene in the Nigerian fashion industry by developing regulatory frameworks to make the industry more profitable for designers.

While the Nigerian fashion industry is often touted as the next big thing in the creative industries, it might not replicate the success of Afrobeats on the global scene, she said in the June 6 episode of “Fashion Professor,” a popular Instagram vlog series.

One of the primary obstacles highlighted in the episode, delivered in Pidgin, with an English translation, is the lack of regulatory oversight in the industry.

Oliseh-Amaize pointed out that while designers invest time and resources into creating unique designs, they often face the problem of unauthorized replication by local tailors.

This phenomenon, she lamented, deprives designers of rightful earnings and undermines the industry’’s integrity.

Oliseh-Amaize also underscored the absence of a regulatory framework for tailors in Nigeria, contrasting it with what obtains in some sectors, such as transportation, where even motorcycles are required to have license plates. The lapses in regulatory standards, she argued, leaves designers vulnerable to exploitation and intellectual property theft.

Another issue addressed in the episode is the proliferation of fashion academies across the country without clear oversight or regulation. Oliseh-Amaize, who won Nigeria’s Best Designer Award in 2006, likened these institutions to a “pandemic” within the industry, highlighting concerns about their quality of education, and substandard practices, further eroding the industry’s credibility.

In her plea to the Ministry of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Oliseh-Amaize acknowledged the government’s support for the fashion sector but urged for more structured intervention to address these challenges.

Drawing parallels with the music industry, where structured streaming systems enable artists to generate income long after their peak years, she emphasized the importance of establishing a similar framework in fashion to support designers sustainably.

The fact that we have numbers by population doesn’t mean we have the structure to make these numbers profitable and sustainable for fashion designers, she said.

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