#YNaijaFashion101: Sagoe, Lisa Folawiyo, Ugo Mozie, Fisayo Longe | 101 Most Influential Nigerian Fashion Brands and Personalities

The revolution Nigeria’s fashion industry is currently experiencing cannot be stopped by even a pandemic that has kept us at home for longer than we want. Within a decade, the industry has grown exponentially, attracting global attention. Going by GDP data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the “textile, apparel, and footwear” sector has averaged growth of 17% since 2010, influenced by an increase in demand, and extraordinary ideas that continue to push Nigeria into the global fashion consciousness.

Before now, conversations centred around luxury, failing to recognise value brands that represent a large chunk of an ever-growing industry. This is why at YNaija, we have gone into the fashion world to highlight the women and men influencing the industry. They are the 101 Most Influential Nigerian Fashion Brands and Personalities.

To make this possible, we had a jury, Igee Okafor and Edwin Okolo, who joined us on this noteworthy adventure.

Let’s introduce you to them:

Designers 

Ohimai Atafo

Formerly Mai Atafo, now rebranded to simply AtafoOhimai‘s brand is a popular name in the industry and is a Nigerian fashion tailor who attended the Leeds-based Savile Row Academy to train as a tailor. He is an award-winning Nigerian tailor who came to the limelight through the Celebrity Takes Two’ Dance reality show where he styled top celebritiesHe is an inspirational fashion designer and a goal-getter who has styled almost anyone you could think ofOhimai has been recognised for his efforts and immense contributions through his designs and styles in the fashion industry and has won numerous awards in this light. 

Bisola Adeniyi (Lady Biba) 

Bisola is the founder and CEO of Lady Biba, a made in Nigeria multiawardwinning women’s ready to wear clothing brand that caters to the Modern Corporate woman. Today, fashion and style has taken Adeniyi to places, earned her recognition even beyond the shores of Nigeria and won her awards. She won Best in British Fashion Council Fashion Business Challenge and Ebony Life TV Sisterhood Awards Best Fashion Designer in 2014. The growth of her fashion and style brand into a viable business that creates jobs and contributes to the country’s economic growth encourages young people to channel their energy into productive enterprise. 

Deola Sagoe

Deola, the founder of Deola is the leading lady of African haute couture fashion from Ondo in Nigeria. Deola has been at the cutting edge of high fashion since 1989 and became the first black woman to present at the AltaRoma, Rome’s celebrated fashion week, back in 2004. her globally appealing style has earned her an enviable clientele that ranges from Africa’s first ladies to society like Lydia Hearst, top model Alek Wek, and famous personalities such as Oprah Winfrey and Will SmithShe was appointed Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations world food program catwalk the world; fashion for food with the goal of halving the number of hungry people in the world. Her styles exhibit a mixture of the traditional, drawing from western styles, showing a knack for unique styles that appeal to both old and young.  

Bola Yahaya

Bola Yahaya is a Lagos based high-end womenswear fashion brand creating an experience for women who want to master their freedom and express themselves through timeless garments that explore traditional African heritage and its re-interpretation into contemporary fashion. The brand process is usually changing so as to be able to fully adapt to new knowledge on waste reduction. Bola Yahaya focuses on ethical fashion, zero waste design through innovative pattern cutting/draping, recycling and upcycling.  

Soares Anthony

Soares Anthony is a young, energetic, and talented fashion designer whose focus is on designing for menAnthony draws inspiration from local Nigerian fabrics coupled with Japanese tailoring designs. His designs are masculine, modern and trendy by way of transforming an ordinary look into a sophisticated design that embraces elegance. 

Lisa Folawiyo

Lisa Folawiyo is a Nigerian fashion designer who is best known for incorporating traditional West African textiles with modern tailoring techniques with an emphasis on beading and sequin trim. Since starting her label in 2005, Folawiyo has a knack for elevating traditional African prints above the status quo, making them relevant for a global audience. She has showrooms in both Nigeria and New York and her collections are stocked in the UK, the US, South Africa and Nigeria itself. In 2012, Folawiyo won the African Fashion Awards. Championed by Vogue Italia, Folawiyo has also partnered with L’Oréal and done a trunk show on Moda Operandi.  

Duro Olowu

Duro Olowu is best known for his innovative combinations of patterns and textiles that draw inspiration from his international background. In 2004, Olowu launched his eponymous women’s wear label, beginning with a Spring/Summer 2005 collection. An empire-waist multiprint silk dress from that collection, discovered by American Vogue editor Sally Singer, became an international hit. Selling out in renowned stores including Barney’s New York, Browns and Harrods in London and Ikram in Chicago among others, it was hailed as the dress of the year by both American Vogue and British Vogue and was known as the Duro Dress. Olowu enjoyed early support from American First Lady Michelle Obama, who frequently wore his designs. In 2015, Michelle Obama also commissioned Olowu to decorate the Vermeil Room in the White House. Olowu was also included in the 2019 edition of the Powerlist, ranking the 100 most influential Black Britons.  

Ade Bakare

Ade Bakare is the diffusion line under the Ade Bakare Couture label. The line comprises a chic and modern collection of separates in various colours. Ade Bakare’s creations ignite the fire of feminine sophistication. Selected by Bride’s Magazine as one of the most influential designers in London, Ade Bakare’s collections include bridal, daywear, evening wear, hats and fragrances. Due to his accrued popularity, the British designer with a Nigerian origin has showcased his collections all over the world to include Morocco, Cape Town, Vienna, Mozambique, Nigeria, New York and recently in Paris where he was also given an award. In recognition of his effort for his support in empowering young fashion designers in Nigeria, he was given an award by the Ministry of Youth and Culture in Abuja. 

Lola Faturoti

Sustainable brand that celebrates tradition, joy, and responsible manufacturing’. Lola’s background, history, and spirituality are at the heart of her connection to fashion and form a core that is critical to its success. In 1995, Lola was chosen to represent the United States as the best young designer at the annual Osaka fashion committee in Japan. Lola left the scene for four years only to come back in 1999 bigger and better and in that new personal fashion year for her, her work was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Arts and she was also recognised by Amy M Spindler as of the best in America. She rode to international limelight when she caught the eyes of fashion journalists after she upstaged Ralph Lauren’s fashion show in 2000. Lola is not just a fashion star, she’s a force to reckon with in the world and her collections have inspired many and driven many conversations.  

Adebayo Oke-Lawal

Opulent designer and founder of ORANGE CULTURE, Adebayo Oke-Lawal knows more than a thing or two about creating a fashionable moment. He creates styles that speak to alternative fashion. He started Orange Culture in 2011, after having worked with several Nigerian designers, to turn his unique vision of fashion into reality. Since starting the label and an official runway debut at Lagos Fashion & Design Week 2011, he’s been hard at work trying to showcase Orange Culture to the world. Orange Culture has created a new niche for menswear in Nigeria and has undeniably opened doors for brave and more creative menswear brands. The brand has achieved international recognition and has been featured in prestigious publications such as Vogue (US, UK, ITALY), WWD, BoF, Fucking Young, L’Uomo Vogue, Huffington Post, New York Times, CNN, BET, MTV, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Marie Claire, L’Officiel, Style.com, The Guardian and The New York Times.  

Kiki Okewale

Kiki Okewale is a bespoke Nigerian fashion designer who works with a combination of her rich educational background, invaluable work exposure, and personal drive to succeed to create outstanding fashion looks. Kiki started out as a Volunteer on Seun Oloketuyi’s directory project, “Best of Nollywood” and worked to build herself and her brand as one of the goto places for everything fashion. Kiki has also built her own store which provides outstanding solutions for fashion enthusiasts. Recently, Kiki styled Big Brother Naija 1st-runner up, Dorathy Bachor 

Emmanuel Okoro

The designer and founder of Emmy Kasbit came on to the fashion scene in 2014 with his debut collection “The Definition”, released his Resort 2015 collection “Fortis” and Spring Summer 2016 collection “Disturbia” and began to work with A-list celebrities; donning his pieces. Today, Emmy Kasbit has grown into a sustainable brand that uses its signature fabric, Akwete, to set his brand apart. He has become one of the hottest designers on the African fashion scene dressing the likes of British Prime Minister Theresa May, Chimamanda Adichie, Omotola Jalade,  Adekunle Gold and more. 

Fisayo Longe

Fisayo is the owner and creative director of Kai Collectivean affordable womenswear clothing with luxury aesthetics, founded in 2016 and described by ELLE UK as ‘transcending trends’. After three years as an accountant at KPMG, she set out to focus on building her personal brand as a fashion, travel and lifestyle content creator through which she has collaborated with brands such as Nike, Google, Lancome, Facebook and Aldo. Kai Collective has grown phenomenally and has become quite popular in the past year, going from being featured on Beyoncé‘s website as one of the black-owned brands to support in 2020 to being featured on the cover of ELLE’s September issue. The brand’s distinct designs set it apart in the black women’s space and some of these designs even have names. Collective’s most famous piece is the Gaia dress, a sheer colourful print dress which has been dubbed the print as well as item of the year by many. 

Ugo Monye

Ugo Monye is a celebrated fashion designer and is the brain behind the Ugo Monye Fashion Company. Ugo’s designs are masculine and bold and he is known to have first-hand experience in creating beautiful designs having grown to pick an interest from his mother who also owned a fashion business. Ugo’s distinct styles set him apart and when you think he is at the peak; he will tell you his dreams and brand are yet to be actualisedHis fashion company has over ten years of resourceful experience and constantly delivers best-in-class and high-quality clothing and design.  

Abiodun Folashade Tokunbo

Abiodun is the CEO of Anjy Luminee Couture also known as House of Luminee, a high-profile designer of Nigerian stylish outfits. Her Instagram page can be your go-to place when it comes to outstanding Nigerian stylish outfit and her unique kill off doubts you might have about her. She is popularly known for styling and designing many celebrities clothing such as Mercy AigbeBimbola Adenuga, Iyabo Ojo and so on.  

Yomi Makun

Yomi Casual clothing – a brand that specializes in African designs, especially cut-to-fit African design, is one that has grown exponentially for years counting now. He has set a standard of attracting models for his collections. He is undoubtedly one of the best fashion designers in Nigeria. He specialises in African traditional wears and his outfits sell him out distinctively. Yomi Makun has designed stylish outfits for Nigerian celebrities such as Desmond Elliot, his brother Ayo Makun, Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki) and Osita Iheme (Pawpaw) 

Stockists

 

Grey Velvet 

Grey Velvet is home to contemporary and traditional made-in-Nigeria pieces to suit all fashion lovers and was conceived to highlight Nigerian talents and efforts locally and internationally. Grey Velvet is the fastest growing fashion chain in the country with four stores in major malls and an online store. They are also the only fashion retail brand dedicated to carrying a range of African/Nigerian premium brand designers (over 50 designers) to cater to the needs of the average lady and gentleman. 

Alara

Alara is home to ‘Africa-Luxury-Contemporary-Future’ fashion clothing. The word itself, ALARA, means “wondrous performer” in Yoruba. The luxurious store is the creation of Nigerian Business woman Reni FolawiyoAlara Provides West Africa with a blend of luxurious atmosphere and first-hand signature to the retail and lifestyle environment in Lagos. The Alara store also promotes emerging talent while establishing a creative hub and an essential new destination for Lagos. 

Verafina Luxury

Founded by Yvonne OkochaVerafina Luxury is a one-stop store for everything luxury in fashion. Verafina is a purveyor of luxury and lifestyle accessories who have direct relationships with the brands in their portfolio thus ensuring utmost quality and authenticity. Verafina is driven by a strong passion for luxury lifestyle living. 

Poosh Lagos

Poosh brings you a taste of top Indian fashion to your doorstep. They feature a wide range of kaftans to wear around the house or at the beach. Colourful tunics, glamorous and elegant evening-wear, casual yet smart daywear, cashmere scarves and shawls, beautiful accessories including bracelets, necklaces, handbags and more. For men, they offer a private bespoke tailoring service where they can design personalised shirts, jackets and suits. Whatever mood you’re in, be it fun, flirty or chilled out, you will find something at Poosh.

Temple Muse 

Temple Muse, housing a curated collection of fashion aims to create a luxurious shopping experience like no other through. From the world’s most prestigious designers to exciting new talent – including a number of top African artisans – the collections are set across two floors, with a vast gallery-like open feel and a dreamy Afro-Parisian aesthetic. The palatial main hall and towering walls with inviting windows act as a blank canvas for the curated collections on show.  

Florence H

FH Luxury commenced operations as a women’s boutique in the highbrow area of Victoria Island in 2012 catering to a clientele of professional and sophisticated women with an appetite for luxurious designer shoes. FH Luxury commenced with 12 brands ranging from Guiseppe Zanotti, Rene Caovilla, Sophia Webster, Sergio Rossi, Yeezy, Paula Cademartori, Benedetta Bruzziches, Sebastian to Oscar Tiye. FH Luxury has become Nigeria’s leading luxury lifestyle space for both men and women with over 20 brands and growing. FH Luxury retails high-quality leather goods, accessories and RTW and is positioning itself to be Africa’s foremost luxury concept store.  

Polo Limited

Polo Limited is an agency of over 13 of the world’s most prestigious brands of timepieces and leather accessories such as;  Rolex, Breguet, Cartier, Chopard, Roger Dubuis, Piaget, Arnold and Son, Tissot, Montblanc, Longines, Messika, Frederique constant, Balmain and more. Polo Limited has over 25 years of experience in providing luxury products and elevated customer experience.  

2207bytbally

Tolu is the founder of 2207bytbally, a women’s wear store that provides solutions for women.  2207bytbally blends youthful designs with colourful and versatile looks to fit the need of women who either have a busy and active lifestyle, take pride in their appearance and value stylistic expression. 2207byTbally serve customers in the UK, US, Canada, Nigeria and other countries in Europe and Africa. 

Stylists

Daniel Obasi

Daniel Obasi is a Nigerian-born art director, stylist who lives and works and Lagos. His work is deeply concerned with advancing the scope of African narratives visually. Lagos-based Daniel works across styling, photography and art direction, curating presentations as well as film projects. He explores Afrocentric concepts and is inspired by old cinema and Afrofuturism. His first introduction to the arts was as a graphics design intern at a security company in 2012. While in university, where he studied Language, Obasi found himself developing an interest in the world of fashion and has gone on to do more than just dream. 

Veronica Odeka

Veronica Odeka, the Nigerian super-stylist with a penchant for homegrown talent is one easily recognised by all in the fashion, entertainment and lifestyle industry. She is an international stylist born and raised in Houston Texas, USA, with a ten-year background in high fashion runway modelling, print, commercial and Spokes Modeling. In 2010, upon relocating to Nigeria, she worked as a style correspondent and cover stylist for ThisDay style and established the brand Vanestyle – A fashion and style agency that offers commercial as well as personal styling and shopping services. From red carpets to music videos and more, Veronica boasts of a strong client list of celebrities and fashion brands.

Jane Michael Ekanem

Jane Michael Ekanem is a celebrity fashion stylist, and entrepreneur known for her work with Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage and a variety of other high-profile clients. Jane officially began her career as a stylist in 2009 when she got contracted to style the contestants and hosts of MTN Project Fame. Coverage of her styling work has appeared in many publications and on broadcast outlets including Thisday Style, Exquisite Magazine, MTV Base, Soundcity TV, Vanguard Allure and TW Magazine. 

Jeremiah Ogbodo (SwankyJerry)

Swankyjerry began his career as a stylist with the launch of his brand Swanky Signatures Styling in June 2012. Aside from styling clients for red carpet appearances and video shoots, coverage of his work has appeared in numerous magazines and online publications. Swankyjerry’s is indeed a big deal in Nigeria’s fashion industry. 

Moses Ebite

Moses Ebite has established himself as one of Nigeria’s leading stylists and the go-to person for the creation of high-end fashion looks. Moses was the creative lead at the Social Media Week Lagos 2019. With five years experience, Moses has worked with several fashion-related campaigns and runway events. He has his stamp on the Arise Fashion Week, Lagos Fashion & Design Week; A few Magazine jobs with This Day Style, Allure, GTB Magazine edition 2018, Pepsi campaign shoot with Seyi Shay. His company is gearing towards developing sustainable, friendly and structured market for the fashion industry. 

Oluwatosin Ogundadegbe (Style Infidel) 

Award-winning stylist, Oluwatosin Ogundadegbe’s brand has delivered chic and exotic fashion looks for high-profile celebrities. As a stylist and image consultant, the Style Infidel has built a diverse portfolio consisting of big stars and even bigger brands. He has been known to create and collaborate with Designers such as JZO and the Fia Factory while helping stars like Rita Dominic, Idia Aisien and Bolanle Olukanmi make the best-dressed list every time they make an appearance on the red carpet. A curator for GTB Fashion Weekend, the Style Infidel has built a reputation for going all out when it comes to the projects he works on, which makes his 2018 Future Award Prize for Fashion very well deserved. 

Kennedy Philips (Kenepisode1) 

The brand, KenEpisode1 is mostly into wardrobe styling, retail fashion styling, prop styling and editorial styling for Nigerian celebrities. Kennedy Phillips is an eminent, illustrious professional stylist and his undeviating and consistent hard work provides bespoke fashion advice, and has, over the years, honed his craft and styled/worked with African music artists such as; Davido, Ice Prince, D’Banj, 2Face, Flavour, Sarkodie, IyanyaReminisceKizz Daniel, Olamide, Skales, Wande Coal, Yung6ix, Charass, Kido Blanko, Timaya, P-Square, Burna Boy and many others to mention.  

Toyin Lawani

As a stylist, Toyin has worked with numerous celebrities including WizKidBanky WNiyolaSkalesTiwa SavageDon JazzyDr SidWande CoalD’PrinceTerry GMercy JohnsonEmma NyraJuliet Ibrahim. Trybe Records, 3LiveChicks, Waje, Stephanie Okereke Linus, Sean TizzleMay DFunke AkindeleSamKlef, Pasuma, Vonne Vixen, and Tipsy. Her designs and styling skills have graced editorials for major Nigerian magazines, the likes of Complete Fashion, Wow, Fab, Mania (T.Y Bello cover), YNaija (Tonto, Wizkid, Funke Akindele covers), Exquisite (Waje cover), Allure (Juliet Ibrahim) and The Red Sheet (Ini Edo).

Yolanda Okereke

Yolanda is a popular costume designer, costume and wardrobe department. Yolanda Okereke is popularly known for her work on New Money (2018), Merry Men 2 (2019) and La Femme Anjola (2020). Yolande Okereke is fast getting a reputation as the celebrity stylist of the season because she pulls impeccable pieces together for celebrities on the red carpet haring her views on fashion, Yolanda says fashion is a way of expressing who you are and how you feel because most times your mood affects your fashion choices and it influences trends.

Asked about her style, Yolanda said that she loves western wears a lot because she feels most comfortable in them Since she began in 2009 with Monalisa Chinda and Djinee, the number of her clients has been on a steady increase. Her clientele includes Kate Henshaw, Rita Dominic, Nse Ikpe-Etim, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Desmond Elliot and many other celebrities.

Rhoda Ebun

Rhoda Ebun is one fashion stylist obsessed over fashion and style. Rhoda is also the head fashion consultant at Roses and Thorn fashion company. She has a track record of styling big names in Nigeria. Rhoda was the head stylist at the famous love reality TV show, Ultimate Love – giving outstanding looks to the celebrity hosts, Dokore Egbuson and Oluwaseun.  

Damilola Oke

Damilola Oke (Ms Modish) is an award-winning stylist, Fashion PR consultant and fashion blogger. Damilola started her brand in 2013 and has worked with top corporate brands, banking and telecoms organisations on their corporate campaigns.  She styles celebrities both for their music videos and their red carpet outings. Some of these include; Waje, Falz, Patoranking, M.I. Abaga and many more. 

Mobolaji Dawodu

Mobolaji Olujimi Dawodu is a Nigerian-American fashion stylist. Dawodu is known best for his positions as a style fashion editor and fashion director at GQ  Style where he has styled Brad Pitt, Jared Leto and Mahershala Ali. He also served as a costume designer for the 2016 Disney film ‘Queen of Katwe’ and as a costume designer for Where is Kyra?” 

Maryanne Alabi 

Maryanne Alabi is famous for her contemporary style as a fashion stylist. The seasoned stylist was a fashion category editor of popular Nigerian website 360nobs. Maryanne also helps celebrities and the fashion savvy in setting up and fixing their wardrobe style collection. In 2018, she was listed as one of the style consultants at the popular Social Media Week event. 

Ugo Mozie

Mozie is a one of Nigeria’s seasoned fashion stylist. At 18, he debuted his first fashion line, and in 2015, Mozie introduced his famous luxury hat line. Mozie’s clientele has included international acts like Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Travis Scott, Beyonce, and J. Balvin. Currently, Mozie has shared that he is working to develop the fashion industry in Africa with his most recent venture, Mosaic Perfume – a North and West African-based luxury perfume that aims to redefine the sector.  

Abbyke Domina

Abbyke Domina is one of Nigeria’s top female fashion brand, that creates women’s ready-to-wear in diverse styles, sizes, and designs that represents the sophisticated woman. The award-winning brand was established in July 2013 and has done so much in building a successful brand. 

Photographers 

 

Stephen Tayo

Stephen Tayo has a knack for telling authentic stories through his vivid photography. Looking at Nigeria through his lens, you don’t just get a sun-soaked snapshot of everyday life in the heart of West Africa, you gain a deeper understanding of the culture. From IBEJI, his series exploring how twins are sacred in Yoruba culture (“the most exciting thing” he’s worked on, he says), or his ongoing assignment capturing the beauty of geles, intricate women’s headwraps tied for special occasions. Tayo has brought his vision of Lagos to the world, shooting fashion and rock music fans for the New York Times, festival style foDazed, and street style for Vogue

Lakin Ogunbawo 

Lakin Ogunbanwo boasts an extensive background in fashion photography and first began practising his art while studying at Law school in the UK. He eventually travelled to Paris for professional studies at the Spéos Photography Institute. His work features bold and provocative portraits, as well as fashion, often set against bright colours and Lagos cityscapes. Ogunbano’s series quietly challenge the conservative culture of Nigeria. In 2013, he was profiled by CNN as one of “Africa’s Most Exciting New Photographers”. Examples of Ogunbawo’s work have been featured in British GQ, Times New York, Riposte Magazine, and ID online. 

Anny Robert 

Anny began his career in photography in 2014. Since then, he has become the rare Nigerian photographer known as a household name, boasting an enviable clientele that includes presidential aspirants, Donald Duke, Afro-pop juggernaut, Davido, and Forbes richest woman in Africa, Folorunsho Alakija. Anny has managed to carve a niche for himself in a field that has become immensely saturated, drawing inspiration from spaces, light, and people. Anny captures images that are undeniably breathtaking. This has made his signature portraits inspirational, earning him both nationwide and global attention. His interest in art was born out of hunger to connect. As a self-professed introvert, he seeks to bond with people by translating, in fragments, exactly how he views the world – predominately in light and colours. His mode of communication tends to be more visual, and his work speaks for itself.  

Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko 

Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko is a leading contemporary Nigerian photographer and artist. On completing her apprenticeship in 2003 majoring in advertising photography at Studio Be in Greven, she returned to Nigeria and joined Ess-Ay Studio for a 12-month photography program, facilitated by Invent, Germany. This experience spurred her to deepen her photographic skills by enrolling at Macromedia, a school for art and design in Osnabrueck, Germany. Ayeni-Babaeko returned to Nigeria in 2005 and worked as a freelance photographer, before opening her own studio in 2007. She has been active as a photographer with social conscience chronicling the life of modern Nigeria. Besides her fashion and documentary photography, Ayeni-Babaeko has facilitated the numerous photography workshops in partnership with the Goethe Institute, mentoring young female photographers. 

Toyin Sokefun-Bello

TY Bello is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, photographer and philanthropist. TY Bello is also a member of the Nigerian photography collective, Depth of Field. TY Bello was the official photographer to former President Goodluck Jonathan during his tenure in office; she also does work for Thisday Style. TY Bello’s work transcends ordinary aesthetics and tells helps people relive memories. The story-telling in her work highlights the details and the fashion world would testify to her work. 

Jolaoso Wasiu Adebayo 

Adebayo is known as that one photographer with a strong bias for monochrome images. Adebayo’s work is a combination of high-end fashion looks and alternative fashion with a sense of self to it. Adebayo describes his style of photography as ‘harsh contrasts and texture.’ The rising photographer has been on a roll on very popular projects in the fashion industry. One of his most prominent work includes his input at the GTBank fashion week show. 

Kelechi Amadi Obi 

You will easily remember Kelechi Amadi-Obi if you started a conversation on photography in Nigeria. Kelechi’s work in photography and visual art has earned him international renown featuring in many international exhibitions including Snap Judgment: New Position in contemporary African Photography, International centre of photography New York (2006)He has been described as one of Nigeria’s groundbreaking celebrity photographers who has “helped put Nigerian photography on the world map.” Vogue calls him “a major force in the creative scene in Nigeria.” After many years of shooting fashion and beauty photographs for the likes of True Love magazine, a South African magazine with a huge readership in Nigeria which went ahead to have a West African edition called True Love West Africa, Amadi-Obi started his own glossy fashion magazine which he called Style Mania magazine. The magazine typically features on its covers Nigerian artists and creative types like Tiwa SavageP-SquareOmotola Jalade EkeindeStephanie OkerekeTY BelloAgbani DaregoBassey IkpiMo’ Cheddah among others, all taken by Amadi-Obi. 

Michael Oshai

Mikey Oshai is a contemporary photographer, filmmaker and creative director. Michael’s has described his work as speaking of ‘elegance, elevated style and sophistication.’ The young creative has worked in projects ranging from Oke Lawal’s Garden By The Sea – A short film for Orange Culture debuting at Milan Fashion Week. He has also participated in the Black Art Matters Exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland and an 8-page feature spread for Essence Magazine. Michael has also worked with Naomi Campbell, Daniel Kaluuya, Melina Matsoukas, Cardi B, and has shot look books and campaigns for fashion brands such as Orange Culture Emmy Kasbit and Tokyo James at London fashion week. His work has been seen in Vogue Italia, L’Uomo, Paper magazine, AfroPunk, CNN Africa, OkayAfrica to name a few. 

Emmanuel Oyeleke 

Emmanuel Oyeleke has worked with fashion magazines, editorials, look books, beauty and lifestyle campaigns for international brands, high profile events and portfolio work for Non-profit organisations. His brand started out in 2012 and since contributed immensely to the growth of the fashion, art and commercial photography industry in Nigeria and Africa. Emmanuel Oyeleke has won several awards in Nigeria and Africa including Future Awards Prize for Photography 2018 and The ASFA Fashion Photographer of the year (Africa) 2018, Fashions Finest Award for Fashion Photographer of the year 2019 and many others. He held his second solo exhibition titled THE HUEMANIST in April 2019 at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. His portfolio includes editorials for some of the country’s most distinguished designers including Deola Sagoe, Ejiro Amos Tafiri, OUCH Couture, Grey Velvet, Chidinma Obairi, Orange Culture, TW Magazine.

Chidi “Lex Ash” Ashimole

Chidi is a passionate visual artist, writer and photographer. His is particular about visual storytelling, art directing, poetry and natural aesthetics. His work has availed his the opportunity to influence the international community. Now, he is focusing on helping build global brands through Photography, Design and Brand Building. His work has been featured on CNN, USA Today, Financial Times, Vogue Italia among others. He has also exhibited at The Wheatbaker Hotel and a McKinsey showcase. 

Praise Nmeka

Nmeka Praise is a beauty, fashion and lifestyle photographer. Nmeka had been honing his photography skills since his undergraduate days, and has been able to amass a good portfolio of work for himself working with several cosmetic and hair brands. Some of his notable works are the official photos of Nollywood actress Chika Ike for her cosmetic line Chika Ike cosmetics, the bloom edition, switch cosmetics, lush hair etc. He is also the official photographer for exquisite Magazine taking pictures of celebrities that have graced their cover pages. 

Models 

Amarachi Ironkwe 

The 5’9inch tall Nigerian model was among the selected 20 finalists for the Elite model look in 2016 which gave her a step into the limelight even though she didn’t win. She has worked with various big names including Adidas and J.W. Anderson. Amarachi was also among the featured models for the Heineken Lagos Fashion Week and GTB Fashion Weekend.

Bisochie Abisola Salawu

Beauty Queen and Fashion model, Bisochie Abisola Salawu, is another Nigerian model breaking bounds across countries. The 5’11-inch beauty queen currently runs her own fashion line  ” Sochie fashion”. Abiola was also featured in the acclaimed visuals for Beyonce’s Lion King album, Black Is King. 

Stephen Blaize

Stephen Aladenika, popularly known as Stephen Blaize, is the winner of the Elite Model look 2017. With a huge social media presence, Stephen has created a community of loyal followers with whom he shares fashion tips with. Stephen has modelled for Tokyo James, Orange Culture, and other international brands. He recently featured in the Guinness photo challenge alongside other models. Stephen has also delved into music, with the stage name ”Emblaize“. 

Victor Ndigwe

24-year-old Nigeria fashion model Victor Ndigwe is the first Nigerian male model to make an appearance at the fashion week in Paris, Milan and London. He made his debut as the campaign star in Missoni Fall/Winter Collection 2016 – photographed by Harley Weir. Victor, who is also an “Elite model” has made Runway appearance for brands the likes of HermèsBalmain, Kenzo and Haider Ackermann. He recently Did an exclusive for “MMSCENE which was photographed by Kelvin Roldan. Victor also released a music single in April 2020 titled “stand Clear”. 

Mayowa Nicholas

22-year-old fashion model ” Mayowa Nicholas ” was a finalist at the 2014 Elite Model Look contest.  She is the first Nigerian model to star in a Dolce & Gabbana, Saint Laurent, and Calvin Klein campaigns respectively. She’s signed to various modelling agency – the society management, Elite management and a few others. Mayowa has featured in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and in 2018 Mayowa walked in Segment 5: Mary K X VS. In August, she also featured in Bradon Maxwell’s look book. 

Bola Edun

Bola has been featured on a catalogue ad for Victoria’s Secret and has worked with other modelling agencies in Nigeria and France. The 5’9-inch model is with Few Models but also signed to various modelling agency – New York “Elite New York City”, Milan “Brave Model Management”, London “Select Model Management London”, Barcelona “Uno Models”. Bola recently featured in “L’ Officiel Baltics. 

Ayobami Okekunle

Ayobami was scouted from Instagram after an image of her appeared on the explore page of “Few Model Management” Director “Bolajo Fawehinmi”. She made her world debut in Paris on the runway at Yves Saint LaurentOut of the 8 African models to watch out for in 2018, she was number two – A list by ” SatisfashionUG“. 

Ruth Akele

Ruth is a Nigerian model and make-up artist. She is signed to modelling agencies in New York, Paris, London, and Barcelona – with her mother agency being Few Models. She’s the creative director at “Ruth Akele make-up”. Ruth has featured in Spring/Summer – (London) Nico panda, Marta Jakubowski, Spring/Summer – (Paris) Esteban Cortazar, Loewe, Autumn/Winter – (London) Toga, Emilia Wickstead, Autumn/Winter – (New York) Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Autumn/Winter – (Paris) Thom Browne, all in 2019. She was recently featured in Autumn/Winter – (New York) Brock Collection, 2020.  

David Obenebo

David was the winner of the Elite Model Look World Final in 2016 and is signed to several modelling agencies both at home and abroad. David started off as a captivating Instagram model and he got the attention of fans and a modelling agency, Beth Model Africa. He was currently featured in the ” The Sun” newspaper as the top 5 outstanding male models. 

Nneoma Anosike 

25-year-old Fashion model “Nneoma Anosike” started her modelling career at 18 when she won the Elite model look Nigeria contest in 2013. Following that, Nneoma bagged several Brand ambassadorships. In 2014, Nneoma also took part in the Get Naked campaign for the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). She later moved to sign a 3 years management contract with Ford model incorporated when she arrived in New York. She represented one of the dark shades of Fenty Beauty foundation in a 2017 campaign. She also took part in the casting call to be part of sport illustrated swimsuit rookie class 2018. She’s currently signed to ONE modelling agency. 

Tobi Oloko

Tobi Oloko is a professional Nigerian model based in Cape Town South Africa. Tobi has covered many local and international magazines across Africa and is currently signed to agencies in New York, Athens, Barcelona and Milan. 

Davou Pwajok

Davou is a celebrated Nigerian model who has worked with many local and international brands. Pwajok was also the winner of the Fashion Finest Africa 2019. In 2019, Davou featured in Lisk’s look book for its 2020 fashion collection. 

Show Producers

GTBank Fashion week

Created in 2016, the Fashion show has become a platform for showcasing Africa’s Finest and promoting real commerce for small businesses in the fashion industry. The GTBank Fashion week has also become a cultural phenomenon for many fashion enthusiasts who ravish the event with fabulous looks and fashion trends. 

Lagos Fashion Week 

Omoyemi Ajayi Akinrele (organiser) Simon Diener & Group of Creatives (Producer) – Lagos Fashion Week (LagosFW) is a platform that drives creativity in the African fashion industry. The show brings buyers, consumers and the media  together to relish the current collections of designers at a fourday event in Lagos 

Port Harcourt Fashion and Design week

Ngozi Ferrari (Organiser) – The Port Harcourt Fashion and Design Week is a yearly show that features distinct designers, exhibitors, and a wide range of visitors. The event was birthed and put together by Nigeria’s leading fashion organising company, Wave Event Global and seeks to establish a culture of a fashion-conscious community. 

Men Fashion Week Nigeria

Santiago Roberts (Organiser) – The Men fashion week is a fashion show aimed at promoting and educates both emerging and established designers and creative entrepreneurs. The show also offers a line-up of designers, retailers and fashion enthusiasts. 

Fashion Finest Africa

Sola Oyebade (Organiser) – The Fashions Finest Africa (FFA) is a fashion show that recognises the very best in the fashion industry talents. This show not only recognises talents from Nigeria but the whole of Africa, bringing tlight African craft, creativity and uniqueness.  

Music Fashion Runway

Ovo Ogufere (Producer), Ngozi Omambala (Organiser) – This fashion show is another fashion show that recognises the efforts of African designers and stylists. The platform blends contemporary pan African designers, international runway models with cutting edge fashion with live music excellence.

African Fashion Week Nigeria

Ronke Ademiluyi (organisers), Bayo Haastruup (producer) – The African Fashion Week Nigeria is a fashion show organised to celebrate local talents in the fashion industry. The show focuses on high-end fashion looks and style with a combination of style and spice. The AFWN has also spread out to other parts of the world with a franchise in the UK – The African Fashion Week London. 

Runway Trybe

Glen Bakare (Organiser) Ovo Ogufere & Yemi (Producers) – The Runway Trybe is a meeting point for everything fashion. The show which features leading designers in Africa is one other show organised to appreciate the input and creativity of designers, stylists and models. Runway Trybe held it’s first-ever virtual fashion show in September 2020 which was headlined by Ade Bakare. 

Arise Fashion Week 

Arise Fashion Week is largely acknowledged as the biggest fashion show on the continent. The show hosts many local and international designers as well as models, stylists and photographers in the industry. The show has also collaborated with international big names who have positioned it as one of the most anticipated fashion shows in the country. The AFW, last year, 2020, collaborated with Naomi Campbell as well as other international designers and models. 

Style by Zenith

StylebyZenith is a Zenith Bank sponsored 3-day fashion and lifestyle fair. The event promotes local enterprise in the fashion industry by providing spectators with a fun atmosphere to perform their yuletide shopping at bargain prices. It also promotes local entrepreneurs by providing free Master Classes in Makeup, Hair and Styling, Fashion, Movie Production and Music Production. The Master Classes are usually anchored by industry leaders and successful players in their respective fields. 

Lagos Bridal Fashion Week

The Lagos Bridal Fashion Week is a streamlined style showcase to promote the best in the Nigerian bridal fashion industry. The Bridal Boutique trade exhibition of the show features curated bridal fashion designers and retailers.  

Production Houses 

Makioba

Susan Bob-Manuel Olugbile is the brain behind the Makioba fashion house. The brand prides itself as the few Nigerian Fashion Production houses making stylish piece of clothing for plus-sized women. Makioba women are bold, proud and would challenge the status quo of fashion in any category. 

WC Fashion Factory

WC Fashion Factory is an apparel manufacturing company. With services tailored for fashion retailers and stockistsThe factory works on the creation of men and women clothing as well as for children. WC works closely with the needs of fashion enthusiast in creating seamless patternssampling and the final production of fabrics. 

Lekki Garment Factory

Lekki Garment Factory is a Nigerian manufacturer of branded clothing including blank or undecorated active wears like T-shirts, sport, loungewear. The production house also offers affordable training with its academy that offer assistance with sketches, illustrations, patterns and grading, samples, tech packs, design, fabric and trim sourcing with group and individual training. 

360creative hub

360 Creative Hub is a co-sewing hub and lab for fashion entrepreneurs in Surulere, Lagos. The hub is a vertically-integrated fashion Accelerator, with a co-working space dedicated to nurturing, expanding and accelerating emerging fashion creatives, towards better positioning for global success; through mentoring, management, investment and equipment support.  

Thread House Factory

Thread House Factory is a 100 percent Nigerian owned company in Lekki, Lagos, that was born out of the demand for quality apparel from local production factories in Nigeria. 

Heritage Apparel

Heritage Apparel is a garment factory located in Ogun, Nigeria. They offer a reliable local manufacturing solution for organisations that require bulk quantities of various kinds of apparel. Heritage Apparels has successfully established a sustainable world-class textiles and garment production facility, servicing the needs of the apparel industry nationally, regionally and globally, whilst showcasing the rich cultural heritage of African textiles, creating employment and contributing to capacity building in the industry. 

OSC Fashion

OSC Fashion, among other things, provides both small batch and large-scale manufacturing services for independent designers and established brands alike utilising manufacturing facilities in its Ikeja and Yaba facilities in Lagos. OSC also provides top-notch learning programs for interested candidates who want to learn about garment production and fashion. 

 Content Creators 

Moss Onyi

Moss Onyi is a Manchester-based fashion blogger. She’s a self-taught photographer who creates daily content and works full-time as a content-creator. Onyi’s style can be described as distinctive with a personalised feel from her blog, Instagram, and YouTube. She usually summarises her style as classic, timeless and bold, and explained how this timelessness ensures she promotes sustainability within fashion. She won the Cosmopolitan Fashion Influencer Award and was invited to 10 Downing Street as part of a celebration of those who are excelling in the industry for Black History Month 2019 due to her achievement in the last years. 

Dimeji Alara

Dimeji Alara is a fashion director and stylist with wide international recognition. He is a journalist and fashion editor whose launch into fashion started with Genevieve Magazine in 2004, after which he launched his own magazine “Style Mania” and continued his work with Genevieve magazine in 2013 as the Editor until 2015. In 2016, he joined the American and South African co-production team of the Blue Mauritius film, assigned to bring in designers from Africa to give the film a more original feel and display iconic rising stars in fashion. In 2017, he was appointed Fashion editor at Elle Magazine South Africa and since then captured remarkable talents from the continent and beyond.

OnyiiBekeeh

Medical doctor turned content creator, Onyii is more than just a fashion girl. She tells her stories in ways that not only educate but create a fun-filled atmosphere for anyone who cares to listen. Onyii’s wonderworks have made much impact in the fashion industry and has the numbers on social media to drive conversations around fashion.  

Seyi Fayimuwa

Seyi Fayimuwa is the owner of dailyseyi – a lifestyle and fashion blog. Based in Los Angeles, Seyi blends chic Nigerian looks and style tips and runs a weekly IG live where she talks about all things pop culture, faith, social justice and love.

Maryam Salam

London-based Maryam Salam is breaking taboos about being a stylish Hijab wearer and is encouraging other Muslim women to be stylish. Maryam mixes faith/religion with fashion, rocking her hijab in different ways while maintaining fabulous stylish looks. She’s the founder of “Arewa Label” and “The MS Branding”. Arewa Label deals with affordable luxury scarfs for women. She gives tips on how to roc scarfs in various beautiful ways. 

Kuyet Bamai

Kuyet Bamai is an award-winning Lifestyle and Fashion blogger, social media strategist and content creator, with an eye for details. Kuyet also describes himself as a fashion designer. He has also been nominated for Nigerian teen choice award for choice fashion stylist. Kuyet has also worked closely with the likes of Darshak woods, Eniola Michael, and a few others. He recently worked with “the fabric hub”. 

Denola Grey

Denola Adepetun, known as Dénola Grey, is a fashion consultant, writer and fashion blogger. With his large following on Instagram, which he gathered dishing out posh stylish looks, Denola always leaves his followers speechless with stunning looks and fashion tips. Denola recently released his collection in collaboration with Orange Culture which he titled “At home with Denola Grey”.  

Angel Obasi

Angel Obasi also known as “style connoisseur” is a fashion and style blogger and describes herself as a woman with creation and grace. Fashion, beauty and Architectural designs are her style. Angel was recently documented by “canal+ (@canalplus)” sharing her life as a fashion blogger and influencer. 

Sarah Audu

Sarah Audu is a fashion blogger based in Abuja. Sarah is more than just a blogger but also a fashion content creator, faith and lifestyle enthusiast. Inspiring women to look stylish while fully covered on a budget. She makes engaging style videos with her phone. Sarahs also runs a YouTube channel where she gives tips on how to style beautifully and elegantly with good and affordable budgets, she also tells us where she thrifts from – her online thrift store plug. During the quarantine period, she hosted an online class for 20 people on how to create style videos on Instagram with their phones. 

 Media  

Moda Culture Magazine

Moda Culture Magazine, is a men’s fashion style and lifestyle magazine that features top-notch content for the fashion-aware audience. Comprised of a team of young people, ModaCulture released her first issue of the print version magazine in July 2020 which featured fashion-forward creative, Denola Gray for the cover. 

Genevieve Mag 

Founded by one of Nigeria’s seasoned writers, Betty Irabor, Genevieve Magazine is another authority magazine for the fashion-aware in Nigeria. The magazine subtly provides a platform for women in fashion, business, and encourages women to be the best versions of themselves with their styleBetty’s daughter, Sonia Irabor is the current editor for Genevieve Magazine. 

Today’s Woman

Today’s Woman is one of Nigeria’s leading fashion and lifestyle magazine with a heavy focus on womens needs. TW Magazine was established in Lagos in September 2007 and has a wild circulation with over five thousand print copies every month. The magazine has run with Adesuwa Onyenokwe as the Editor-in-chief for over a decade. 

BellaNaija Style

BellaNaija Style was birthed under the BellaNaija.com umbrella. Founded by Uche PedroBellaNaija has branded itself as a hub for premium contents that fit the Nigerian elite circle. The style section of the website pays attention to Nigeria’s style of demand and culture. BellaNaija style also features tips for the fashion-forward and fashion-conscious. 

Exquisite Magazine

Exquisite Magazine is home to the ‘Exquisite’ fashion-conscious woman. With events hosted across Nigeria and the UK, the magazine which curates fashion and lifestyle contents is famed for its exquisite tea parties in the UK and Nigeria. The magazine is also one of the few magazines that provide its readers with a simplified application to stay updated with fashion and lifestyle trends. Tewa Onasanya is currently the Editor-in-chief of the publication. 

Haute Fashion Africa

Haute Fashion Africa (HFA) debuted its fashion magazine in 2005The magazine focuses solely on Nigerian fashion designers. From the onset, HFA was the only magazine that featured detailed information about Nigerian designers and its fashion industry, with over 100+ page-turning content, which grew into an Online Directory & Website in 2006. 

Zen Magazine

Zen Magazine is an online Nigeria-based magazine that features a range of fashion-related contents. From fashion and beauty looks to lifestyle and travel contents, to models and inspirational interviews from African talents, the magazine has successfully created a community of active users on social media. Zen Magazine was founded by Arinze Nwokolo. 

OnoBello Street Style

OnoBello Street Style is an online magazine off the OnoBello website. The category is defined for raw Nigerian fashion looks and trend – with a focus of telling the stories of everyday fashion-conscious people. OnoBello also features spot-on style contents from celebrities to fashion enthusiasts. The magazine has also built an amazing online community off Instagram. 

Man Magazine

Man Mag is an African-based fashion and lifestyle magazine with contents cutting across various African countries. With contents to answer questions about men in fashion, this magazine features a range of contents from the best people in fashion.  

ThisDay Style

This is a style, fashion and lifestyle category of the popular Nigerian media house. ThisDay Style focuses on fashion and lifestyle contents. Ruth Osime is the current editor of the style category.  

Mode Men Magazine 

Mode Men Magazine is beyond a fashion magazine. This magazine focuses on anything and everything men related. The magazine offers amazing contents ranging from fashion, lifestyle tips, and sports. Mode Men Magazine is among the few magazines that answer questions related to men. The magazine currently has Abu Tafawa Balewa as its Editor-in-chief. 

Guardian Life

Guardian Life is a branch under the Guardian Nigeria umbrella. Besides, other lifestyle related content, Guardian Life is a go-to platform for fashion related content. Guardian Life has its Editor-in-chief as Njideka Agbo. 


The Jury

Igee Okafor  

Igee Okafor, founder and editor-in-chief of Bond official, is a determined businessman and personal style connoisseur whose significant point of view on essential articles of men’s clothing has sealed his position as an industry authority. 

Born and raised in LagosNigeriaIgee moved to the United States alongside his family to further his learning experience. In 2013, he moved to New York City to attend St. John’sUniversity where he studied business and marketing. 

With a keen interest and enthusiasm for cultural endeavours that lie in music, fashion, food, and travel, Igee started contributing articles as an intern for Jones magazine and the source in the spring of 2014. In 2015, he worked directly under the CEO of Nylon Media and Socialyte at the time, Daniel Saynt.  

In continuing efforts to tackle digital marketing while also running www.Igeeokafor.Com full time as a men’s style blog, Igee successfully secured collaborations with some of the industry’s most respected tastemakers including Mr Porter, gqCarl F. Bucherer and more. Igee’s innate love for high-quality craftsmanship and culture has provided him with the opportunity to foster an international circle of involved enthusiasts and supporters that look to him for pointers and finesse. 

Igee has since positioned himself as a distinguished exemplar of conviction, entrepreneurship and artistry. 

Edwin Okolo

Storytelling is at the core of what Edwin does. Content strategy is his medium, content is his tool.

He is passionate about helping brands and individuals shed excess ideas and execute only the most novel, progressive and self-sustaining ideas for their personal and corporate brands. He has spent the greater part of his career in media helping media organisations build media products that are progressive and self-sustaining.

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