23 Jan THE NIGERIAN FASHION INDUSTRY – There’s a revolution happening!

Due to several factors, Nigeria has been experiencing exponential growth in the private sector especially with vibrant Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Nigeria is a creative hotspot and this can be seen through the rapidly growing fashion industry. As Africa’s most populous country and with its powerful demographics, Nigeria is positioned firmly in the heart of Africa’s fashion scene. Several non-Nigerian designers have openly admitted to being inspired by Nigerian fashion.

The fashion industry in Nigeria is considered a serious contender in Fashion’s emerging market and the movers and shakers include Maki Oh who dressed Mrs Obama, Duro Olowu, Deola Sagoe, Jewel by Lisa, etc.  Driven by fashion week events such as the multimillion naira fashion weekend organized by Guarantee Trust Bank which featured both international and local fashion designers, print and online media, growing number of platforms are emerging for designers, stylists and retailers to showcase their art.

The fashion week events have played a crucial role in exposing Nigerian fashion designers and providing a platform for them to mix with their international counterparts. Guarantee Trust Bank took it to a different level and with the help of emc3 Nigeria, incorporated top notch master classes and fairs into the 2 days event. The master classes were manned by top performing international and local stake holders in the fashion industry, including Sam Fine, Oke Maduewesi, Dylan Jones, Caroline Rush, etc.

There’s also an increasing number of multi-brand boutiques and online shops which are doing very well as Nigeria brags of about fifty six million internet subscribers.

While the country is taking huge strides towards the promotion of sustainable offering to the fashion world and the Nigerian people are more willing to support upcoming designers, lack of formal fashion training facilities create a weakness in all aspects of the industry. Development of formal institutions that teach the art and business of fashion will be a welcome development along with better infrastructures, especially power supply.


Ijeoma Okoli

Emc3 Nigeria


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