Northern Belle is owned and headed by designer Salmah Ahmadu who grew up painting and drawing as a past time until she realized the potential of something much more impactful through her art in form of fashion designing. Since then, she’s continued to tell stories through her beautifully made clothes.
She describes her debut collection here as: “This collection titled ‘Nuanced’ is inspired by my growing up Muslim in Northern Nigeria with the expectations that naturally every girl or lady lives with. I find being a ‘lady’ the closest interpretation to this age-old tradition that many of us live with.
I wasn’t allowed to talk a certain way, I always had to sit a certain way, shyness as far as growing up is involved was a virtue that girls from ‘respectable’ homes had to exude. And then traveling around the world as a young woman, socializing and coming across different cultures; especially the Western culture, I was at a loss on how to strike a balance between that which catches my fancy and what I was raised to love and cherish.
Our debut collection essentially explores this thematic struggle between the things we learn as children and what we grow up seeing as adults and what we eventually take as our personal believes and standards.
Here, we tried to play with the lightness of not trying-at-all on evening wear which is fundamentally what most women lose sleep over. We tried to elevate classic silhouettes with our casual use of twist, drapery and layering to come forth with this. Although simple, we wanted each piece to exude effortless elegance and sophistication.
The woman who this collection is designed for is most importantly a lady. She’s polite in life and poised in her doings. Despite being of a high social position, she is able to stand back from herself and become aware of the perceptions, values and beliefs around her. And she understands that a little bit of grace and a little bit of charm is in fact the canniest way to go about life.”
Check it out below.
Clothes: Northern Belle | @northernbelleng
Designer: Salmah Ahmadu | @sal_ahmadu
Photography: Terna Iwar for Bantu Studio | @ternaiwar, @bantustudio
Creative Lead & PR: The PR Boy | @theprboy_ng
Styling: Richard Akuson | @richardakuson
Makeup and Hair: Victor Ugochukwu | @vugo24
Model: Ojima Atawodi for Zahara Models | @mzojayy , @zaharamodels
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