Drapers travelled to Nigeria in search of the unexpected, and was rewarded with a blaze of colour and prints.
When setting off for Lagos Fashion and Design week’s debut season, Drapers didn’t know what to expect from a city so far removed from the fashion capitals of New York, Milan, Paris and London.
And what we found was totally unexpected, surprising us in the best way possible as, among the sunshine, bustling streets and friendly faces of Nigeria’s former capital city, it was the designs on the catwalk that really shone.
More than 20 designers exhibited their spring 12 collections at the four-day event, and the talent was impressive.
A few designers in particular stood out as they pushed the boundaries with collections that were as interesting as they were inspiring.
Names such as Bridget Awosika, Maki Oh and Kelechi Odu are the designers to watch, and while they wouldn’t look out of place on international catwalks, they were proud to be able to show their collections in their own country for the first time.
As expected, bold prints, patterns and colours dominated many collections, but while some designers looked to their African heritage and cultural references for inspiration, others reinterpreted traditional dress or moved in new and altogether more refreshing directions.
Omoyemi Akerele, the event’s founder, said the week’s intention was to celebrate Nigeria’s design talent and draw attention to Lagos itself to establish the city as a genuine fashion destination. Following the success of this inaugural event, it’s safe to say she is well on her way to achieving that. Here’s our pick of the week’s best shows.