Cutting Edge: Fablane by Derin

by Yemi Olowu

Miss Fab (as her friends call her), is a 20 year old graduate of management, who started Fablane by Derin in the Spring of 2009. Derin Fabikun has always been passionate about personal style, and she started out by making Kaftans, which became a complete hit within her network of friends. Before long orders started pouring in. Derin is known for playing with colours in her designs and for making sure her client’s needs are ‘fabulously met’.

The origin

The name Fablane by Derin was actually inspired by my last name Fabikun, my first name Derin and my nickname. Everybody around called me Miss Fabulous because of the way I dressed back in university – my ability to ‘patch things together’. So practically – Fabikun, Fabulous, Fablane!

The first design

The first piece I ever designed was in 2008 – a short fitted dress with puffy sleeves, ruffles in front and a low back. I made it with different fabrics for a family friend to wear to a wedding.

Fabrics I love

I work mostly with African prints (ankara). It’s amazing how you can turn ankara into whatever contemporary outfit you like, and can add a different flavour from other prints as well (chiffon, silk, animal print, ‎​paisley, etc)

I’d love to work with…

Versace, Dolce and Gabanna, Roberto Cavalli. I must say I have real love for JBL and my designer crush iamISIGO.


Recently my designs have featured in some runway shows alongside other young, promising designers.


Everything around me inspires my designs. African women are beautiful, the simplicity of being a woman,the joy of adding to this beauty just keeps me drawing and also the different patterns of our fabrics and ornaments. What matters most to me as a designer is my customers satisfaction, being able to interprete what I feel in my heart on paper and then converting it into a piece. What matters most to me in my piece is the detailing. I work with different type of accessories and trimmings. I love for my work to sparkle and stand out anywhere.


There is little encouragement for upcoming designers. It seems there is little room for we upcoming ones to prove ourselves. We have to fight for ourselves to get to the top because most of the already established Nigerian designers probably had to go through this similar hustle. There are also issues of importing fabrics, and employing trusted and committed workers.

My take on the Nigerian fashion industry
I must say the industry is doing really well for itself. Designers like JBL, Tiffany Amber and LDA who have represented Nigeria both locally and internationally seem to know what they are doing and are doing it well. The Nigerian fashion industry is made up of go-getters who are not only competent but also talented. That’s a great thing.

If I wasn’t a designer I would be…
An on-air personality

A word for aspiring designers
Have a dream, have faith in the dream and work hard to achieve that dream.

Let the government help us!
The government should recognise the fashion industry as a business sector that can boost the country’s economy and should put in place laws that protect and enable the different arms of the industry (designers, buyers, textile, importers and exporters).

In the next ten years …

I see Fablane by Derin in the wardrobes of leading ladies worldwide.  My label will be an iconic brand that women who understand the importance of looking fabulous will associate themselves with. I see my designs on international and local runways and on the covers of top fashion magazines.

Derin - the designer

Contact Derin: +2348075405193  / [email protected]


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