This week’s crush is none other than Tokini Peterside, the founder and director of` West Africa’s first international contemporary art fair, which she founded to widen Nigeria’s connection to the contemporary art scene in Africa and internationally, to contribute to the increased visibility of contemporary artists from Africa, and to position Lagos as an emergent cultural capital on the continent.
Prior to launching Art X, Peterside spent more than a decade working as a marketing-and-strategy consultant in the Nigerian luxury sector, advising Moët Hennessy, boutique owners (she helped launch Alara, a luxury concep store), and fashion labels such as Maki Oh, a Michelle Obama favourite.
Tokini also held the position of Head of Marketing at Moet Hennessy in Nigeria where she managed the LVMH Group’s portfolio of luxury wines and spirits. She holds an MBA from INSEAD and a law degree with first-class honours from the London School of Economics. After working in luxury brand management for Moët-Hennessy (part of the LVMH Group) as Head of Marketing in Nigeria, she founded TP-Collective, a strategy consultancy for businesses in the culture and luxury sectors, in 2012.
Through TP-Collective, Tokini supported entrepreneurs to develop pioneer businesses such as ALARA (the David Adjaye-designed luxury concept store, conceived by Reni Folawiyo, that also houses NOK Restaurant) and Maki Oh (an artisanal fashion designer label worn by Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga and Solange Knowles). TP-Collective also delivered projects such as the Nigerian film premiere for ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ (the film based on Chimamanda Adichie’s novel, starring Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and John Boyega).
In 2016, Tokini reconfigured the company, and created ART X Lagos – West Africa’s first international art fair – which holds annually and to-date has welcomed 22,000 visitors and over 200 of Africa’s leading artists. The company (now rebranded ART X Collective Limited) also owns and organises other platforms such as the ART X Prize – the leading arts prize in Nigeria for emerging artists; and ART X Live! – a dynamic show that merges visual art and live music; amongst other projects.
In 2019, Tokini was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, while in 2018 she was featured as a Quartz Africa Innovator – a list of the continent’s Top 30 pioneers. Her work has been featured in the Financial Times, CNN, New York Times, Vogue and more.
Photo Credit: Lakin Ogunbanwo; Emmanuel Arewa/AFP/Getty Images
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