MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2012: The ‘BuyNigeria’ Campaign
Lagos Fashion and Design Week’s (LFDW) goal is to make Nigeria an internationally recognized hub for fashion and design. As a result the ‘BuyNigeria’ campaign was launched in 2010. BuyNigeria is an initiative that encourages Nigerians and foreigners, to support emerging and existing designers in Nigeria.
Fashion has always been a big part of Nigeria’s culture. Before boutiques became more commonplace, fashionistas relied on their tailors for new outfits. These days, our unique fabrics like ankara, which was originally imported fabric and has now become the flagship Nigerian fabric, adire (a tie dye based fabric), and aso oke (traditionally woven silk or cotton), are used by designers to sew everything from bubus to pencil skirts.
In the past two years the fashion world went tribal, with Michael Kors and Burberry paying strong homage to Africa in their collections. But these were not new trends in Nigeria; this was our past, present and future. Nigerian designers have since evolved beyond tribal and are now getting international attention. In the last five years, Nigerian labels have been featured in publications like Fader, Vogue, Vogue Italia, Essence, Harper’s Bazaar, Guardian UK and WWD.
Labels like Jewel by Lisa (www.jewelbylisa.com) and Maki Oh (www.maki-oh.com) have a following among celebrities and have been worn by Solange Knowles, Leelee Sobieski and Thandie Newton. They have begun to be stocked by international retailers while their flagship stores and production lines remain in Nigeria. We have a host of other designers like Womenswear designer Tsemaye Binitie, Menswear designer Kelechi Odu, Tiffany Amber – whose signature caftans can be found in the closets of many Nigerian women – and Deola Sagoe who works with asoke to produce thought provoking art-like pieces and who has collaborated with her daughter to create their own label, Clan. With over 20 established designers and more than 60 aspiring and emerging talent, Nigeria is the next frontier for fashion.
Nigerians are now beginning to look inward, as the quality, cut and craftsmanship of homemade Nigerian fashion improves daily. Men and women, who used to dress exclusively in clothes by American and European designers, are embracing their country’s designers.
It has taken time to carve out a niche for Nigerian fashion and now LFDW wants to introduce Nigerian designers to the international industry. With ‘BuyNigeria’, the goal is to continue growing and supporting the next wave of designers and creatives from the country.
The Lagos Fashion and Design Week is a premiere fashion trade event taking place in October 2012, which aims to drive the Nigerian fashion economy and lift its profile with the industry by bringing together buyers, consumers and the media to view the current collections of designers in the fashion capital of Lagos, Nigeria.
LFDW is supported by MTN, RIM Blackberry, British Council, Virgin Atlantic, Africa Magic Entertainment, House of Tara, Haute Fashion Africa, Zapphaire Events, Mania Magazine and Didi Museum.
For more information please visit www.lagosfashionanddesignweek.com | Email: Haraya@lagosfashionanddesignweek.com; Press@lagosfashionanddesignweek.com | Tel: +2348170593421 | Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheLFDW | Twitter: @LFDW2012