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Fashion Forward: Looking To Nigeria

While the Fashion World continues to focus on the city powerhouses around the world such as Milan, London and New York, a (not so new) and emerging fashion commerce is spawning and gaining huge talk from spectators- and get this- it’s coming from Nigeria.

So of course, whenever something appears ‘new’ (even if it’s nowhere near close to new), fashion editors and the fashion police of the world have to jump to interview whomever can attest to the trend. I was indeed surprised and elated when I found out Nigerian supermodel Oluchi Onweagba had sat down and did a comparison/contrast of New York women and Nigerian women with Vogue. Aside from her seemingly sweet candor and amazing fashion sense, I was relieved to hear her actively discuss Nigeria’s transition into being another powerhouse for fashion and style.

As someone who has a ton of friends who proudly rock their Nigerian pride, I could have saved people a lot of trouble and time and told them Nigeria was up and coming in the Fashion World. However, nobody listens to me, I’m convinced. Nonetheless, Nigeria is finally beginning to carve out a small niche for itself in the world of textiles, fabrics and style. At the end of October, Nigeria put on it’s Lagos Fashion Week, where a healthy blend of European structure mixed with traditional African garment walked down the runway. & contrary to what Valentino did, Nigeria did not play on an ‘African’ theme and not show any of the actual diversity of people. Yes, PoC were walking that runway, and it was fabulous.

Since the fashion scene of Nigeria is still in its stages (officially), it’s definitely something everyone is jumping on; but I do have to say, I am proud that the traditional Nigerian roots are staying true in the fabrics we’re seeing on the runway and by designers. In a community where everyone wants to be the same and somehow stand out (which confuses my head, but whatever), I can’t wait for some awesome Nigerian-born designers to get some great clothes over here to the States, and for us to see them (of all shades and colors) in the runway fashion shows.

  While the major talk of the lack in diversity in Fashion is still lingering over our heads from all the Fashion Weeks, Nigeria is coming out swinging. & I am enjoying it.

Images: Getty Images

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