Nigeria is one of the few countries in Africa continent that is making Africa proud in terms of fashion and trends, there are thousands of young talents in Nigeria diving into fashion business, some are highly doing good making minimum of six figures in a month while some are finding it hard to match up the standard due to improper marketing and strategies.
Nigeria fashion is steadily going global due to the way they brand and hype the business, new ideas and competitions coming up everyday that is making it more interesting and if you are not intelligent enough to know the right move to take in Nigeria fashion world, You might never match up the standard.
Here are 10 fashion designers in Nigeria putting African fashion on the map internationally.
They might not be the best but Am obviously telling You that this people are on top of their game, doing what they know how to do best.
1. Duro Olowu
Duro Olowu is a Nigerian-born, London-based fashion designer. He is best known for his innovative combinations of patterns and textiles that draw inspiration from his international background. His empire waist patchwork “Duro” dress was named “dress of the year” by both American and British Vogue in 2005. Some of Olowu’s notable clients include Michelle Obama, Solange Knowles, and Iris Apfel. In 2005 he won “New Designer of the Year” at the British Fashion awards, the first designer to win without ever showing a runway presentation.
02. Folake Folarin Coker
Folake Coker is an award-winning fashion designer and entrepreneur. She is the founder and creative director of a notable fashion and lifestyle brand, Tiffany Amber. Folake Coker is the pioneer of ready-to-wear outfit in Nigeria and has risen to a respected height in the fashion industry.
With over 20 years of hard work, she has and is still giving African Fashion the recognition it deserves internationally. She is the first African fashion designer to showcase her collection at the New York Mercedes Fashion Week two years in a row.
Despite having a master’s degree in petroleum law from Switzerland, she returned to Nigeria to pursue her fashion interest. Fashion was a passion for Folake Coker, little wonder she is one of the leaders in the African fashion world now.
03. Lisa Folawiyo
This woman has made her name herself. She designs incredible cosmopolitan styles. Her Jewel by Lisa fashion brand is known for elegance, sophistication, and exclusive lines. She didn’t study design or fashion while being at the university. Instead, she studied law. However, her vision of what jewelry, purses and clothing people would like to wear meet the high demand, and her ability to add traditional African accents to modern fabrics is amazing. If you are a fan of Ankara textiles, African prints, and innovations, you will love designs created by Lisa.
04. Deola Sagoe
Deola Sagoe is a renowned Nigerian fashion designer, entrepreneur and founder of The House of Deola Sagoe. Her unique approach of designing lively and colorful prints has earned her a global following including notable personalities such as Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith, who have recognized her for her celebration of African prints
Sagoe began designing in 1989 and has gained international notoriety for her lively, and colorful designs. She was recently appointed to represent Nigeria in a new international campaign organized by the United Nations World Food Program. The campaign, titled “Catwalk the World: Fashion for Food.”, began in Nigeria in April 2006 and recently staged an event in Ghana which brought celebrities like Damon Dash, his wife, designer Rachel Roy, and Ghanaian-born, London-based designer Ozwald Boateng. The campaign’s goal is to raise money towards halving the number of hungry people in the world, particularly children, by 2015. Sagoe frequently exhibits her couture collection at Cape Town Fashion Week and has been an invited guest of New York Fashion Week in the past. Sagoe unveiled her Komole collection in 2018, it is a selection of bridal and occasion wear which draws upon the mood and myths evoked through the ages by royalty. Sagoe has won the “Africa Designs” and the MNET/ Anglo Gold African designs 2000 awards for which she was nominated by Andre Leon Tally, US Vogue editor
05. Frank Oshodi
With over 25years into fashion business, Frank Oshodi have really stand His own tend and build His standard in way that He is now inspiring people all over the world, He
started his career as a model for fashion houses like Dakova, Supreme Stitches, but that never for once stopped him from achieving His dreams,
Frank also worked on popular TV commercials such as Maclean’s before rising in the ranks to become a model manager. He went into choreography before finally launching his makeup label, House of Bunor and Fashion Designing. His big break came when Silverbird hired him to be the designer and makeup artist for Agbani Darego, who was the 2001 Miss World winner. Since then, Oshodi’s career has continuously rewarded him, enabling him to acquire many clients across the world.
Effortless beauty and elegance is the foundation of Oshodi’s career and is reflected in the years he has been in the industry. He has played a major role in numerous events such as The West African Fashion Week 2008, whose aim was to showcase the very best of Nigerian fashion. There’s no doubt that Oshodi’s journey so far is only the beginning of future successes that await him on the Nigerian fashion scene. He’s definitely a force to be reckoned with.
06. Zizi Cardow
Zizi Cardow has been instrumental in successfully showcasing the Nigerian fabric and culture on a global level. She launched her label, Zizi, which has seen her profile expand proudly, letting the world know how unique and elegant the Nigerian fabric is. She is credited with promoting the Ankara fabric, which has earned it global fame as the fabric is now being worn to red carpet events around the world.
When she was young, Cardow hoped to become a forensic profiler, but after landing her first fashion job at only 17 in an Italian-owned boutique ignited her interest in fashion. Being a popular African fashion ambassador, her success has seen her designs featured in many international catwalk events in Cape Town, Milan, Paris, the USA, and other destinations worldwide.
Her global revolution for the African fabric to be appreciated internationally has earned numerous awards, with the list being long and continuing to grow. In 2001, after only one year in the fashion industry, she bagged the Prestigious Designer of the Year Award at the Nigerian Fashion Show. With this award to her name, the world noticed her work, and her work was showcased on a global platform.
In 2002, other awards knocked at her door. The DAME Award recognized her for her outstanding achievement in fashion, and also winning the St. Moritz Style Selection Award and Nigerian Women Awards. From 2002, she kept winning numerous awards successively year after year, raising her profile in the industry. Some of the other major accolades Cardow has achieved include the 2010 UN Peace Ambassador, 2010 Global Leadership Award, 2010 Young Achievers Award, 2010 Fashion and Style Award, 2010 Merit Award for African Heritage, 2009 Zenith Award for Excellence, and 2007 African Role Model Leadership Award, as well as many others.
Her client base is vast, consisting of famous political figures and celebrities. She has also been featured by top international media houses such as CNN, SABC, Channel O, and FTV. Zizi Cardow has given back to society through numerous mentorship programs, which have, in turn, earned her awards.
07. Mai Atafo
Mai Atafo is a well-known Nigerian male bespoke designer. He rose into the limelight after launching his brand, Mai Atafo, which has been successful both on the local scene, as well as global fashion scene. His aim throughout his career has been to uniquely showcase the personality of a confident and elegant Nigerian gentleman.
Atafo is a trained IT specialist with a Master’s Degree in Information Systems and Technology from the UK. After returning from the UK in 2002, he worked in various positions in the corporate sector until 2010, when he resigned to pursue fashion full time.
Atafo’s clothing label has gained popularity while attracting top clientele. He has dressed personalities such as Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 2005, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, and I.K. Osakioduwa. In addition, other famous personalities on his list are Mercy Johnson, 2Baba, Waje, Gbenro Ajibade, and Stephanie Okereke.
Atafo also launched his fashion line, Weddings by Mai, in 2011 with his designs being showcased at various high-profile events. Atafo has bagged numerous awards during his career to celebrate and appreciate his excellent craftsmanship. Some of the awards he has received include being the winner of City People Fashion and Style’s Hottest New Male Designer two years in a row, LFW Menswear Designer of the Year, Mode Men Magazine’s Fashion Designer of the Year, and Allure’s Most Stylish Man of the Year.
Atafo believes fashion is an all-round aspect. “Fashion goes beyond clothes. It is also hair and all those elements put together,” notes Atafo.
08. Ade Bakare
Ade Bakare is an established Nigerian fashion designer whose impeccable African designs have caused ripples around the globe. Having been in the fashion industry for two decades, his super elegant designs are popular, making him a household name in both Nigeria and London. His work is a perfect example of female sophistication.
Bakare was born and schooled in the UK, after which he was employed in some of the top and finest fashion houses of Christian Stambolian and Victor Edelstein. In 1991, he founded Ade Bakare Couture and began selling his own collections to various boutiques in England, Scotland, and Channel Islands.
His work ranges from exclusive evening gowns to stylish wedding gowns, hats and fragrances. He deals with high-end clients in both Nigeria and London, who have recognized his over-the-top fashion talent. Bakare also has perfumes named Breeze, and Ade Breeze which is a jersey line of his brand.
Bakare’s work has been showcased around the world in places such as New York, Vienna, Mozambique, Morocco, Paris, and Cape Town. Aside from having numerous English personalities and celebrities wearing his pieces, he also has first ladies, senators, and minister’s wives as clients. He has also been involved in numerous programs geared to inspire upcoming designers. The Ministry of Youth and Culture recognized Bakare for this role in supporting young and upcoming fashion designers.
Bakare has also received awards from the Paris Academy and Conde Nast Publication. His dresses are known to be classic with a modern twist while spanning various types of fabrics. Bakare is well-known and celebrated for his famous and luxurious female gazar and organza sweep coasts.
09. Yomi Casual
Omoniyi Makun popularly known as Yomi Casual or Mr Tailor is a fashion designer, He had made His stand through His fashion line and His blog, Yomi Casual can never easily be forgotten in the world of Fashion.
He specializes in African design, especially cut-to-fit African design.
The designs are intricately textured and designed to enable clients out in style. Also, these designs are uniquely sewn to a standard of perfection.
The remarkable comfort of Yomi Casual® Polish designs is also enjoyed by Captains of Industry, private Businessmen, Socialites as well as Politicians in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and some other parts of Africa.
Yomi Casual has featured in Fashion Exhibitions in Nigeria, and in the UK including Native Vogue International Fashion Week which was held in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Also, the company’s outfits were featured in the award-winning 30 Days in Atlanta a movie filmed in Atlanta, USA and Lagos Nigeria.
10. Noble Igwe
there is no how You will talk about fashion in Nigeria that this man won’t come to Your mind, He has branded the fashion business to the extend that the new folks are not afraid to venture into it, His fashion sense always talk of the town. He started his fashion business in 2009 as a fashion blogger along side His 360nobs entertainment blog, Noble Igwe inspires so many youth with the way He dresses all the time in an African way and He is never shy to be proud of His heritage.