Fashion is gradually becoming part of our life as clothing is now a basic need in human life. Most Nigerians have strive to stand out in the fashion industry globally. Nigeria is not left out in the fashion power house across the African Continent and the world at large. So many Nigerian Fashion designers have won awards for their roles in showcasing the Nigerian spirit, culture in the fashion industry.
Since Nigeria is a country comprising of different tribes and cultures, the fashion trends here are also diverse. To become a fashion designer, it takes a lot of work and dedication requiring inspiration from something to create one’s original ideas due to the blossom growth in the Nigerian fashion industry demanding gifted hands and hardworking clothing designers to have a say in the industry. Many designers make use of the traditional Nigerian designs as their source of inspiration. while advancing toward the western trend, Nigerian fashion designers put up a lot of effort to preserve the original charm and beauty of their traditional wears.
Lots of recognized Nigerian fashion designers have been blessed with opportunities to show their best works all over the world and win numerous awards for themselves.
They set modern trends all over Nigeria for many people to follow them. The following top designers have done a lot of work for the development of fashion in Nigeria, and their creations are prominent when it comes to showing the spirit, diversity, and culture of the country.
Being involved in fashion and being able to come up with your own creative ideas is incredibly appreciated in Nigeria. The most talented designers who create their new unique styles are instantly recognized by the public. Here, you can read about top Nigerian designers and how they acquired an eternal place in the history of Nigerian fashion.
1. Folake Folarin–Coker
Folake Folarin-Coker, the founder of Tiffany Amber, a globally recognized label whose journey started in Lagos far back 1998. A Lagos born who schooled in Europe (England, Scotland and Switzerland), where she had the opportunity to mix up and engage with various cultures while she was still young.
The amazing thing about Folake Folarin–Coker is that she has a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Law from Switzerland, but as fate would have it, her passion for fashion led her into fashion design. Her keen interest for cultures steered her love and interest to focus on unique fashion designs that captured the interest of women of various tastes and preferences.
Folake has been instrumental in making the Nigerian fashion industry illuminate and stand out. Recently, Nigerian fashion industry has a personality of its own. There are lots of surprising designers in Nigeria who are also into such great jobs. Folarin-Coker ones said “If you mention a designer, someone would likely know who you were talking about. Ten years ago, that wasn’t the case. Lagos was more of a tailoring city back then as opposed to the designing city it has become,”
Folake’s tasteful and colorful design sense has earned her global recognition, making her the first African fashion designer to showcase her talent at the New York Mercedes Fashion Week for two consecutive years. She has also been widely featured by International media houses such as CNN, and in 2013, she was awarded an Enterprise Award at WIE Symposium. She has also made it to the Forbes power house list in Africa.
2. Duro Olowu
A London based Nigerian fashion designer. Born by a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Olowu grow up in Lagos, Nigeria’s main commercial hub.
In 2004, Olowu launched his first female collections. Now, his designs are sold globally even in some international boutiques. A graduate of Law from a london institution before returning to Nigeria to practice his fashion technique. His offbeat patterns, rich textures and eclectic colors of his designs reflect both his African heritage and world class.
Olowu has won so many fashion awards. In 2005 Duro fashion was voted as dress of the year by both British and American Vogue. In 2010, he was named “Best International Designer” at the African Fashion Awards in South Africa.
3. Deola Sagoe
Deola Sagoe began her fashoin designing career far back 1989, today, she is one of the most pronounced and well-known fashion designers and entrepreneurs in the country. Her designs are basically multi layered, and she combines colorful prints with African native motives. Her designs are called Attitude and Elegance, inspired by national Nigerian patterns combined with western designs.
She is the founder and owner of the House of Deola Sagoe.
4. Lola Faturoti
Another New york based Nigerian born fashion designer with so much experience and renowned global repute. A native of Ondo state who schooled in London before moving to New York in early 1990s. She got her passion for fashion from her grandmother who was also a fashion designer. She said “I got interested in fashion because my grandmother was a designer. She designed Nigerian traditional clothes. That was my first introduction to fashion, which I hated because I wanted to be out playing instead of picking out seams!
Her African roots, added with her extensive global experience with having lived and worked in New York and Milan have been essential in her success and international spotlight.
5. Zizi Cardow
As a young lady, Cardow wanted to become a forensic profiler, but after succeeding in landing her first fashion contract at the age of 17 in an Italian-owned boutique boosted her interest in fashion. As a well known African fashion ambassador, her fantastic designs got her featured in many international catwalk events in Cape Town, Milan, Paris, the USA, and other destinations globally.
Zizi Cardow has been a major player in successfully presenting the Nigerian fabric and culture on an international level. She launched her label, Zizi, which has seen her profile expand, letting the world know how unique and elegant the Nigerian fabric is. She is known for promoting the Ankara fabric.