Citing a solid roster of established and emerging regional design talent, Lagos Fashion Week has contributed to many fashion success stories. Since 2011, the platform has positioned itself as a destination for connoisseurs of fashion and a melting pot of West African culture with each passing year, bringing together designers that blend artisanal sensibilities with a deep respect for their heritage. Combining traditional African craftsmanship with the offbeat dynamism of contemporary designs, a new school of designers are creating unique pieces of wearable art for the modern consumer. Through strong storytelling, textile innovation, and mindful production practices, these brands create clothes that signal a bright future for the region’s fashion industry in the decade ahead. This season, discover a fresh wave of fashion innovators fresh off these catwalks and new to the Industrie Africa platform.
Babayo is keenly focused on highlighting the time-honored production techniques of diverse tribes across Nigeria. This has seen the womenswear label invest in local artisanal communities, joining a new crop of fashion designers reviving previously overlooked sustainable manufacturing methods. Previous collections have seen Babayo champion eco-friendly dyeing processes native to South-Western Nigeria to make the textiles that form the foundation of its modern silhouettes. This new season points the design compass up North, celebrating the beauty of the nomadic Fulani tribe in the region, a significant part of Creative Director, Aisha Babayo Shehu's heritage. The clothes draw inspiration from the heavy embroidery and beading in traditional Fulani dress styles, using carefully selected locally made wool to create simple garments that brim with character and uniquely signature details
Shop Babayo here.
Beyond championing Nigerian women artisans, Cynthia Abila wants to redefine classic wardrobe staples. The Abuja-based womenswear designer builds her thoughtful, modern designs around indigenous Nigerian narratives, finding different ways to present her perspective using homegrown textiles. This season, the aso-oke fabric native to South-West Nigeria forms the bedrock of the collection. Using handwoven fabric as a canvas, the clothes tell stories of forgotten indigenous religious practices while taking on modern silhouettes. Inscriptions are seen throughout, incorporated in varying ways. Standout pieces like the expertly tailored Anyanwu jacket and matching pants flip the script of traditional workwear as the patterned made-to-order set puts a new spin on the meaning of power suit, mirroring the bright mood of the rest of the range with its turquoise and saffron yellow palette. Lighten up the room with the versatile Okoroshi Raffia skirt or the brunch date-ready Orie shirt dress, which blends the fabric with silk and suede.
Shop Cynthia Abila here.
A cerebral approach to design has always informed the work of the creative sister duo behind Gozel Green, a womenswear label entirely produced in Lagos, Nigeria. Sylvia Enekwe-Ojei and Olivia Enekwe-Okoji use their clothes to tell stories about Nigerian women who defy the norm, be it conventional dress codes or lifestyles in general. The brand’s ethos, rooted in deconstruction and asymmetry, is present in the individualistic SS’22 collection. The label is expressive yet elegant, presenting colorful, functional pieces that can either work for cocktail hour or put a new spin on workwear. For example, the Smart Girl Scallop skirt, made from lightweight crepe and featuring flattering finishing touches like a perfectly placed high waist and a playful paneled front slit, is ideal for the office while elegant enough to be worn to an upscale dinner. Find a similar ladylike option in another collection standout, the Sassy Girl Hollow two-piece set, which comprises a sleeveless peplum top and a midi skirt.
Shop Gozel Green here.
As one of the bright new stars that emerged from Lagos Fashion Week’s series of digital showcases, accessory label Maliko prioritizes mindful artisanal techniques. The label draws from the kinetic energy of Lagos to craft its accessories that toe the line between modern and traditional design methods. Ebuka Omaliko’s new season collection, titled Àfín-Nity, celebrates diversity by exploring the uniqueness of albinism in Western Nigeria. The resulting footwear, centered around the idea of beauty beyond convention, tells this story through thoughtful details. The timeless appeal of the Ayo slingback sandals point to the designer’s intention of honoring beauty as a constant, where smooth hand painted leather leans on a sturdy handcrafted wooden heel. Elsewhere, the classic clog structure of the Ebele slippers continues the conscious move towards timeless design.
Shop Maliko here.
Pepper Row’s sustainable approach to designing clothes and accessories is built on upholding traditional West African design methods that have historically been friendly to the climate. The label makes a case for a new idea of luxury craftsmanship by using ethical weaving, dyeing, and hand-finishing against the repurposed fabric. This season, Omafume Niemogha explores modern, playful silhouettes that echo style cues native to her home country. The dramatic puff sleeves of the Yagazie blouse are a current iteration of Southern Nigerian traditional dress codes, often paired with wrappers. Infusing aso-oke and rethinking the silhouette, the piece offers many styling options. Functionality is present in the rest of the collection, with sets like the Saleema and One For The Row, made from deadstock fabric and dyed to offer versatile outfit options for day and night.
Shop Pepper Row here.
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