by Ifeanyi Dike Jr.
This select set of individuals bestride the fashion industry elevated by their immense talent and sheer persistence. They are the Top 10 influencers in the industry and their names are more likely to be mentioned as custodians of the industry’s rich legacy.
Presented in no particular order, see THE LIST.
Oluchi Onweagba Orlandi won the first Nokia Face of Africa competition. Prior to that, she used to hawk wares having no idea how far her dreams would take her. Now she has many big endorsement and fashion shows to her name. She was awarded at last year’s Arise awards as Fashion Icon of the year.
Omoyemi Akerele: Omoyemi served as fashion editor for True Love magazine till its end. Then she went on to launch her own website style house files. In 2011, she has run the MTN Lagos Fashion and Design week for 2 years now and both years have been recognised by international publications such as Vogue and The New York Times.
Elohor Aisien: She is the woman behind one of Nigeria’s top modelling companies, BETH Model Management, which has immensely launched the careers of many aspiring male and female models. She is the go-to agency for the topmost fashion shows in Nigeria and parts of Africa. Recently, she has been named the creative director of the forthcoming Miss Nigeria pageant. Elohor, an ex-beauty queen and entrepreneur took over as the creative head from former Miss Nigeria queen, Nike Oshinowo.
Agbani Darego: Since Agbani won the Miss World title in 2000, she has soared high in the fashion and modelling industry. Agbani and Oluchi remain one of the only prominent Nigerian born and bred models making an impact in the international modelling scene. Agbani has walked international catwalks alongside some of the biggest models and has bagged several huge endorsements such as Gentle Touch, Arik Air etc.
Kola Oshalusi: It is easy to overlook Kola Oshalusi even though he is the most popular photographer in his area of specialty. He is like the Kelechi Amadi of fashion events. His work is mostly outdoors, red carpets of the biggest fashion events, specifically. He reports to ThisDay Style and Bella Naija and does not miss a single detail in capturing the ideal red carpet photo. Now broadening his brand, he is on the second season of a fashion reality TV show called The Making which he created. A show that focuses on emerging fashion designers and all the elements involved such as hair and makeup.
Franka Asindi: A lot of people are unaware that Complete Fashion first existed before Franka touched it because their earliest memory of complete fashion is the glamorous magazine she put out and we have all come to know, love and buy monthly. Vendors will tell you, Complete Fashion for which Franka is the editor is the highest selling glossy magazine in Nigeria. She is responsible for the magazines new image and what it stands for, setting an example for emerging magazines to follow. Last year she was nominated at the future awards as Young Person of the year.
Ezinne Chinkata worked with Wow as fashion editor and forced the magazine to live to its expectation with countless outstanding covers, most of which managed to create enough buzz of social media. She publishes with BellaNaija, Vogue Italia and is the new fashion editor for Genevieve magazine. She has won awards in styling and writing.
Jewel by Lisa: When all is said and done, the Nigerian fashion industry will be remembered for two things, the fashion and Jewel by Lisa. Jewel by Lisa hasn’t clocked in the amount of years as some of Nigeria’s best designer such as Deola Sagoe or Tiffany Amber. International celebrities such as Kelis, Catt Sadler, Kendall Jenner, and Thandie Newton to name a few have been photographed wearing her clothes. Rumour has it that she specially crafts each of her designs with her signature jewel detail. She has won numerous awards and was recently part of the designers.
Dimeji Alara: Dimeji worked with a roster of international publications such as Elle and Vogue before he moved back to Nigeria and started a successful career in styling that allowed him work with another roaster of Nigerian clientele ranging from television shows such as glow Naija sings to fashion magazine spreads. A year ago, he and acclaimed photographer, Kelechi Amadi Obi launched Mania magazine, a magazine that focuses solely on fashion and brings African and Nigerian fashion to full view. Mania is one of the foremost fashion magazines in Nigeria
Terence Sambo: Terence is a fashion blogger currently residing In the UK, last year, he was flown for the Lagos design and fashion week because his fashion wisdom could not be overlooked. He is the youngest on this list and is well deserving to be here. He has been profiled by international publications such as the guardian UK for his unique take on fashion, culture and arts.
Age limit is 18 – 35