NSFDW 2018 : Meet some of The designers who would be showcasing at the Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week 2018
L’uF (L’Univers de Francine)
Ogounchi Adebola started her fashion career as a tribute to her aunt whose love for crochet was inspiring, ‘I wanted to give a tribute to my late aunt Francine who was fascinated by crochet. That’s even the meaning of my brand name (L’uF stand in French for L’Univers de Francine which means Francine’s Universe). Before passing away she bought a lot of yarn threads and crochet books. Unfortunately, she couldn’t use them. So one day I took the threads and the books she left; I learned from the books and start making stuffs which I was giving free to my friends. So people were calling me and were asking for the tops or headbands I have made for this or that person. (I couldn’t even price them). So this is when I decided to turn it as a business. One of my closest friend advice to me showcase at a fashion show, SOB fashion week Benin. And I really like the pressure before the event; the stress behind the scenes; and I also develop Love for work well done. This is what led me to embrace fashion as a career”.
On choosing NSFDW, “I saw the potential; the professionalism and the scope of the event, but especially the opportunities that arise for young designers and new people embracing fashion industry. I was on BellaNaija website when i saw an article from Sharon Ojong’s Vlog: “The biggest Fashion weeks in Africa. So I took a look and I was captivated by NSFDW because that’s what I was looking for”.
For her designs, Adebola gets her materials from different parts of the world like France, Ghana, America and a lot of shops in Africa selling quality yarns. The business of fashion is a big drive for her especially since her family is yet to understand her career choice.
She will be showcasing her “Boldness” collection, a mixed of chic, classy and unique pieces on the NSFDW runway.
FWP Collection (FOOT WITH PEARL COLLECTION)
Udoh Inimfon Success’s journey into the footwear business started as a solution to ever changing fashion trends, so he decided to make shoes that “complement eclectic fashion style”. He also had an advantage by going into a market that is very operational and not seasonal.
On choosing NSFDW, “It provided a platform most fashion shows won’t do for footwear designers like myself”.
Accessing materials for his business isn’t as hard as it might sound, local markets in Lagos already have a lot of materials; although he expresses concern with sometimes working with limited materials due to importation issues.
On his collection for NSFDW2018, “My collections are staples that creates “fashion statements” such that complements, eclectic fashion style. The following features, thus describes my collections: Simplicity, Aesthetics, Detailed, Variety, Class, and Quality. We thus categorize our collections into the following categories for both male and female folks: Groom collection – weddings, party look, corporate footwear, casual collection, urban/retro(vintage)/rugged”.
Success believes there is need to change the Nigerian perception of products as “knock offs” narrative internationally. This will bring creditability and confidence to Nigerian brands, which is why the NSFDW/AFWH is beneficial to tell the real African fashion stories. It will also offer opportunities for artisans based in America to invest more in the growth of Nigerian fashion industry.
Daniella’s Fashion World
For Helen Osung the Creative Director of Daniella’s Fashion World, her love for fashion came naturally and quite early from her childhood days. As she got older, it became clearer what her career choice would be although her biggest fear when starting was the capital and electricity to meet up with client demands but she sailed through.
She describes the distinctiveness that makes her brand stand out as “my creativity, diligence, quality and durability, because those are the major factors that guide our day to day dealings in the fashion industry”.
Fatoyinbo Olumide Caleb launched Muse Couture because of his love for fashion and how he could use it to express his feelings and emotions of others. His biggest fear starting out was meeting up to the standards set by established and strong emerging designers in the industry.
As an emerging designer, he sees Nigerian Student Fashion & Design Week as a platform to introduce and showcase his designs to the fashion industry.
On his expectations from NSFDW2018, “I’ve been following Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week for a long time, even before my brand started. I got to know about NSFDW on Instagram three years ago. And since I’ve been following. My expectations this year is this edition is going to be massive and it will also push me beyond my comfort zone”.
For Muse Couture, he draws inspiration from nature and personality; and also defines his collection which he will showcase as “Royalty”.
When asked how to change the opinions of Nigerians in diaspora who believe ‘Made in Nigeria’ products lack quality and how that perception can be changed, he shares “My deepest desire is to have my own fabric production company, where every material for my collection would be designed and produced by me. And before that would become a reality, to make my brand stand out I will ensure that the production of my collections meet the standard of my targeted audience”.
On AFWH/NSFDW Partnership and if given an opportunity to showcase in Houston, Olumide states, “I will take it with joy and gladness and make the most of it. And make sure the international market sees the uniqueness of African fabrics and creativity”.
Anya March Michael’s love for change and creativity led a career in fashion. His inspiration for the unending African story and music are top on the list when creating a collection. Where best to showcase other than the prestigious Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week, one of the biggest platforms which give room for emerging designers to show off their creativity.
He defines his collection as Afro-urban.
When asked how to change the opinions of Nigerians in diaspora who believe ‘Made in Nigeria’ products lack quality and how that perception can be changed, he shares, “Quality fabrics and attention to detail would go a long way. Making sure every piece is made sartorial”.
On AFWH/NSFDW Partnership and if given an opportunity to showcase in Houston, Olumide states, “If given the opportunity to showcase at AFWH, I would not just want to make a good impression but as well as a connection to help convey the story our collection heralds”.
Modhan fashion brand is definitely one to look out for because of its unique crochet and yarn wears. Its founder Olakanye Modupe describes the fashion house as “unique, creative, vintage and different”. Her biggest fear while starting out was if she would be accepted, “I was scared people won’t appreciate and value my kind of fashion since it’s made of Yarn. Plus, down pricing is another problem. Most people believe handmade should be cheap irrespective of the hours you used creating that piece. They’d rather go buy the industrial made ones that are quite cheaper”.
Getting yarn for her business is not easy, as she has to look for the best quality and texture; sometimes she dyes them as they can be very expensive to acquire. She draws her inspiration from everyday routine, lifestyle, culture and even nature.
On NSFDW being a competitive platform for emerging designers to showcase their best collection, how did she create her collection, “Through imagination, inspiration from other designers or fine artists, sketching, fashion shows”.
On AFWH/NSFDW Partnership and if given an opportunity to showcase in Houston, Modupe states “Crochet and knit is equally as fashionable as designers clothing. And wearer stands outs amongst others, sui generis. It’s aesthetically pleasing and reveals creative skills”.
Modest Wear designers are currently on the rise in the fashion industry worldwide, which is another reason we are excited to have Jawahar Stitches walking the NSFDW runway this year. The fashion house was started due to a huge gap in the availability of a wide range of fabrics and modest wears in Nigeria. Her biggest fear when starting out was “getting the right market, lack of appreciation of my products, financial stability and sustainability of the brand”.
She sources her fabrics locally from markets like Lagos Island, Yaba, Aba and more. Her creativity is inspired by the desire to wear and create classy and timeless pieces, that transcends a certain purpose and place whilst preserving the modesty of a woman.
When asked how to change the opinions of Nigerians in diaspora who believe, “A high amount of technical know-how which going to a fashion school provides and a careful attention to detail that confirms to the international standard that already exists for fashion pieces. Each of the outfits is made with patterns and are supervised from pattern drafting process to the sewing”.
On AFWH/NSFDW Partnership and if given an opportunity to showcase in Houston, “. I believe I will get the opportunity and when I do just being able to showcase presents the right impression, and the international market can see first-hand that African fashion brands have the know-how and have the ability to compete in the global market”.
Aderayo Aminat Animashaun started her brand “De’rayo” because she got tired of seeing imported fashion product such as shoes, bags, cloths and accessories in the Nigerian market, so she set up a manufacturing company that design and produce creative pieces that celebrate our culture and tell our African stories. African’s rich culture and fabrics inspires her designs. She highlighted her biggest fear when starting out as reaching her target audience and best way to sell to them.
She describes her collection as “Afrocentric and Impulse” and believes superior finishing, more fashion training and quality of production will go further to place made in Nigerian products a better placing in the international market. Expect to see a De’rayo collection on NSFDW runway that showcases Afrocentric products that tell the African stories.
Nniu Concept Designs
Nniu Concept Designs was conceptualized by Nneoma Nwosu whose love for fashion and telling amazing fashion stories through her exquisite designs began a journey of a talented fashion brand. She also cities designers such as Dior as her top fashion inspiration in her career. Her creativity and designs are generally inspired by her everyday lifestyle from African fabrics, to group of people, trends and even love.
For her brand to stand out, “I believe using actual Nigerian/African textile, Nigerian/African art, telling real Nigerian/African stories would definitely live a mark. Also working with skilled trainable artisans. Collaborative projects with outstanding designers with whom I have a common goal with, staying true to my designs, paying close attention to details, and also considering the wearer’s needs”.
On NSFDW/AFWH Partnership, “If given the opportunity to showcase at AFW in Houston, America. I will take advantage and make the right impression to Africans and the international fashion market by showing what Africa/Nigeria is really made of. From our indigenous textiles, to our crafts, to our stories and as much as I’m inspired to incorporate, and infuse all that in such a raw but refined way into my creation. For me, it’s about showing our Gold (the African Gold) to the world”.
For Aliyah Abdulazeez & Soliat Abdulazeez of Twinfingers fashion, being in the fashion industry came naturally as it has been in the family for years. Their biggest fear when starting out was getting a viable location that will meet their aspirations for the brand they are building.
They have chosen NSFDW platform to showcase their designs because of its years of building, nurturing and showcasing emerging designers in Nigeria. Their creativity is inspired by Nigerians’ growing consciousness to fashion and seeing other designers creating innovative pieces that inspire a huge market of fashion lovers.
On Preparations for NSFDW2018, “Firstly, our collection has been gathered from some designers’ inspirations all combined to form a distinct and different concept, also through teamwork, sharing ideas, time management and delegation and dedication”.
Nellygrace Chika’s love for Ankara inspired a fashion line, she was able to change the “traditional Ankara” look to a modern vibe for young ladies. Her biggest fear was being able to satisfy women of all shapes and sizes.
Chika’s designs are inspired by her clients and social media trends. Her collection will consist of Ankara casual outfits, asoebi lace styles and evening gowns.
On Preparations for NSFDW2018, “I have so far worked with my role models online and offline, and have sought advise form those who have been there before. I have also gotten support from professional tailors who are well experienced in drafting and fashion illustration in other to come out with the best I can”