Nigeria being the fashion powerhouse not only on the African continent but worldwide have fashion designers who have won accolades for their creative works and roles in showcasing the Nigeria culture and diversity.
There is an endless list of Nigeria fashion designers but for the purpose of readability, we will select the top 10 designers that have gained local and foreign recognition.
Top 10 Nigeria Fashion Designers
London-based, Nigeria born designers share both Jamaican and Nigeria fashion roots. He is recognized for his unique, colourful prints and super talented work with patterns.
He took an interest in fashion when he was only six years old, his talent earned him global fame with to clients such as Michelle Obama. Though Olowu’s is a lawyer by profession but fashion remain his first love. Duro Olowu has won quite some numbers of awards to his name being the first designer to be named New Designer of the Year at London fashion week in 2005 without staging a catwalk show.
Folake Folarin – Coker
A world-famous iconic label called Tiffany Amber was founded by Flake Folarin – Coker in 1998 sited in Lagos Though Folake was born in Lagos and studied in Europe, where she got an opportunity to interest with diverse culture. It will interest you to know that she has a Master’s degree in Petroleum Law from Switzerland, but as fate will have it, her unquenchable passion for fashion led her fashion design.
Having earned a global recognition due to her tasteful and colourful creation. Folake’s became the first African fashion designer to showcase her talent at the New York Mercedes fashion week two years in a row. She also received an Enterprise Award at WIE ( women, Inspiration and Enterprise) symposium.
Lisa Folawiyo is the founder of Jewel by Lisa launched in 2005 which has grown to become a global fashion brand having showrooms in Nigeria and New York City.
Lisa is famous for her creativity infusing traditional West African fabrics with modern tailoring techniques.
She has her fabric line that makes accessories like Jewelry and purses.
Apart from Nigeria, many of her collections have shown in many European Nations, the US and South Africa. She has partaken in the New York and fashion week 2010. She also has a reputable number of achievement which includes winner of the African Fashion Awards 2012, Women Wears Daily(WWD) named Folawiyo among the eight emerging talents in 2014 and then in 2015, BOF500, a list of international brands featured her among top fashion brands making an impact on the global scene.
Though being a Lawyer by Profession did not diminish her passion for fashion.
He is a talented, energetic, young fashion designer who focused on men’s clothing line. He draws inspiration from local Nigeria fabrics and Japanese tailoring design.
Though he started has a young boy, sketching and drawing. His love for colours attracted many politicians and celebrities is seen to wear is pieces. His pieces are worn in US, UK and France. Anthony draws his inspiration from colours, nature and artwork.
Frank Oshodi began his career as a model and he gained employment with top household fashion houses, the likes of Nikki African and Dakota.
After working on the popular TV commercials “Maclean” he then rose to become a model manager. He later launched his make up label known as House of Bunor and fashion designing, he started making headway when he got hired by silverbird to be the designer and makeup artist for the popular. Agbam Darego, Miss World winner for 2010. Ever since Oshodi gained global clients and continuously got the reward for his career.
Nigeria-born, New York based fashion designer with extensive experience and recognized international repute. Faturoti an indigene of Ondo state, studied in London then later moved to New York in 1990s. Her inspiration and journals a fashion designer began from childhood when she help her grandmother who was a traditional fashion designer.
Her depth in African roots and global experiences with being based in New York and Milan have been instrumental in her breakthrough and global spotlight.
Renowned Nigeria fashion designer, an entrepreneur and founder of the House of Deola Show.
Her unique approach to designing colourful prints has earned her a global recognition with foreign celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith
She started her career in 1989, having a Master degree in Finance and Management and has studied in the University of Lagos (Unilag) and University of Miami. Her reputation spans beyond Africa which had increased her rank in the fashion world.
Besides showcasing her couture collection at Cape Town and New York fashion week. Sagoe won the MNET/ Anglo Gold African Designs 2000 Award. She also got an appointment with the United Nation World Food Program as Nigeria Ambassador to the program. ‘ Catwalk the world: Fashion for Food’ with the aim of raising funds to reduce the number of starving people in the world most children in the year 2005.
Cardow is known for showcasing the Nigeria fabric especially the Ankara fabric global level. She is unique in that she has credits in promoting the Ankara fabric, her designs have raised the value placed on Ankara fabric such that it is now being worn to reputable carpet events around the world. After landing a job opportunity at age 17 in an Italian owned boutique, her interest in fashion was ignited and the forensic profiler she had hoped to be was foregone.
Her worldwide revolution for the African fabrics to be valued internationally has earned her numerous awards such as Prestigious Designer Award of the Year at the Nigeria fashion show in 2001, The DAME Award recognized her for outstanding achievement in fashion 2002, the St. Moritz Style selection Award and Nigeria Women Award, 2010 UN Peace Ambassador, 2010 Global Leadership Award, 2010 Young Achievers Award, 2010 fashion and Style Award just to mention a few.
Bakare was born and studied in the UK, he later got employed in some of the top and finest fashion houses of Christian Symbolism and Victor Edelstein. In 1991, Ade Bakare Couture was founded and initiated the sale of his own collections to various boutiques in Scotland, England and Channel Island.
His career span across exclusive evening gowns to sophisticated wedding gowns, hat and fragrances, Bakare also have a customized perfume called Breeze and a jersey line called Ade Breeze.
He has made top client among Senators, Minister’s wives and top celebrities, his work has been showcased around the world in places like Cape Town, New York, Morocco, Paris and Vietnam alongside are numerous Awards earned to his names such as Paris Academy and Conde Nasty Publication.
Owner of Mai Atafo brand which has been successful both on the global and local scene. Atafo aim in his career is to uniquely showcase the personality of a confident and elegant Nigeria gentleman.
Having trained as an IT specialist with a Master’s degree in information systems and Technology in the UK, he returned from the UK in 2002, worked in several positions in the corporate section until 2010. He later resigned to pursue fashion full time.
Atafo has bagged alot of Awards during his career which appreciates his excellent craftsmanship. Some of the awards includes being the winner of city people fashion and Style’s Hottest New Male Designer two years in a row, Allie’s Most Stylish Man of the Year, LFW Menswear Designer of the Year to mention a few.