Africa Community in Diaspora has released its list of top 5 fashion talent promoters in Nigeria.
Naming Omoyemi Akerele, Ronke Ademiluyi, Jennifer Olize, Abiola Orimolade and GTBANK , the group stated that these facilitators have dedicated a whole lot of their creativity and resources into the evolution of fashion in Nigeria.
According to the group, fashion as we know it has evolved a great deal in Nigeria, with a sporadic growth in the industry, from the emergence of bolder and daring designers, to the uprising of professional and standard models and the Nigerian fashion industry has grown to become one of the most profitable and revenue generating industries Africa, from bespoke fashion to retail fashion and a whole lot of others.
“This growth cannot be said to have been self generated, behind this evolution we have some facilitators, that have dedicated a whole lot of their creativity and resources into the evolution of fashion in Nigeria,” it continues.
In this article the Africa Community in Diaspora higlights the top five fashion talent promoters in Nigeria. Read below:
- Omoyemi Akerele
Omoyemi Akerele can be referred to as one of the major influencers and promoters of fashion in Nigeria. She has used her influence and platform to promote the Nigerian fashion industry to an international scene. She holds a Bachelor of Law degree from University of Lagos and a Masters in International Economic Law from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.
She spent a number of years working at a prestigious Lagos firm, Olaniwun Ajayi & Co and rose to the level of Associate. Eventually, her passion for fashion won out and she pursued a career in image consulting, then little-known in Nigeria. Omoyemi qualified as an Image Consultant at Aston-Hayes, a prominent image consulting company in London. She forged a partnership with well-known stylist Bola Balogun, another vibrant image consultant who has styled the likes of Justin Timberlake and Destiny’s. CNN, described Akerele as a ‘fashion pioneer’ in Nigeria.
Omoyemi is the executive director of Style House Files a fashion development and promotional brand, which has given opportunities to fashion enthusiasts and designers to learn pattern drafting, fabric production, business of fashion and a host of others. Style house files is also the yearly convener of the biggest fashion week in Nigeria Lagos Fashion & Design Week and through her platform, history was made has style house files launched a collaboration with LFDW alumnus Orange Culture and Nigerian music star Davido to present the Capsule collection.
Notable Nigerian designers have transcended from emerging designers to rising designers through Omoyeni’s platform; Lagos Fashion And Design Week.
- Ronke Ademiluyi
Ronke Ademiluyi can now be referred to as the mother and a major promoter of African inspired fashion in the diaspora and in Nigeria. A graduate of Law, Ademiluyi was born in England, United Kingdom, but she is a descent of Ile-Ife in Osun State, South-Western Nigeria.
She is the founder of the Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria, a project that promotes African fashion designers through its subsidiaries, the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria and the Africa Fashion Week London. On her return after studying overseas, she opened ‘Rukkies’ a fashion store, in highbrow areas of Lagos.
She has used both the Africa Fashion Week London and Africa Fashion Week Nigeria to showcase and promote over 1000 African designers. The Africa Fashion Week London staged its 7th edition at the Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden in London in August 2017.
- Jennifer Olize
Jennifer Olize is the daughter of popular broadcaster, Frank Olize. She studied Business Economics at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom and graduated in 2007. During study time in London, Jennifer worked part-time in various capacities and also hosted several events.
She later studied Conference and Event Management at New York University then moved back home and formed her top-notch events company known as Le Reve Events. The young entrepreneur has been pushing Nigerian fashion forward with her annual fashion and music show tagged Music meets Runway (MMR).
Jennifer Olize’s company, Le Reve Events, conceptualised and produced Music meets Runway, the hugely successful event which debuted in 2011. It was considered the biggest music and fashion event and it was a launching pad for some of the biggest stars in the music industry. Music meets Runway was one of the first major stage where hip-hop sensation and multiple award-winning Davido performed and was also a platform for models forging their way in the industry.
Fashion designers have been able to gain a lot through MMR. The MMR Foundation, through the help of sponsors, was able to reaffirm its commitment to empowering emerging talent through the launch of the MMR Rising Icon Competition 2013. A three million naira grant was awarded to the winner of the competition, Olakunbi Oyelese, Creative Director of a Nigerian fashion label, April by Kunbi. After this, her brand grew into a widely recognised brand with lots of Nigerian celebrities wearing it on red carpets of major events throughout 2014. Olize also runs Le Reve Pieces, a jewellery & accessories fashion store in Lekki. She sources pieces from other countries and assemble to resell.
- Abiola Orimolade
Abiola Orimolade is the founder of BlackNBold Fashion House , a fashion company focused on promoting emerging fashion brands. He is also the founder of the Nigerian Student Fashion And Design Week, the foremost and most successful student fashion week in Nigeria aimed at providing a unique platform for designers at the grassroot to also have a voice.
The event which brings together various young and aspiring designers from various parts of the country marked its 5th anniversary at the Federal Palace Hotel in August 2017 and it was tagged as the most successful edition. Abiola is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics. He has used this platform to promote over 500 emerging designers.
He was named as one of the top 50 personalities of 2015 on the Pauline Long Show on Sky 182 in the Uk and listed by Chub Magazine Uk as one of the 100 most influential creatives of 2016. His magazine BlackNBold Magazine, a Uk/Nigerian based black publication aimed at promoting emerging fashion creatives received the BEFFTA award for Magazine of the Year in 2016, becoming the first made in Nigeria print publication to receive the award. He is currently the coordinator of Style Squad, the fashion specialist unit of Studio 24 Nigeria.
The GTbank fashion weekend is a consumer focused fashion exhibition and capacity building event that aims to promote enterprise within the fast growing Nigeria fashion industry.
The fashion weekend brings together the most promising, talented and recognised fashion designers, brands and retail enterprises from across Nigeria and abroad to showcase the latest trends and products to a large and diverse audience of consumers, press and industry enthusiast. This fashion weekend has featured many of the topmost designers in Nigeria such as Ejiro Amos Tafiri and a host of others.
All these individuals/brands have contributed immensely to the growth of fashion in Lagos; they have developed fashion enthusiast and talents, and have helped put Lagos on the list of the top fashion cities in Africa and the world. Their contributions can never be over estimated!!
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