February 11, (THEWILL) – For the first time, the New York Fashion Week (NYFW), an occasion where designers, models and celebrities come together from far and wide to showcase and swoon over some of the best fashion designs you’ll ever see, had the highest number of Nigerians showcasing their designs.
Although African designers and African designs have become a highlight at NYFW and fashion weeks as the developed world has begun to embrace traditional African elements, with Adebayo Oke-Lawal of Orange Culture; Taofeek Abijako of Head of State and Teniola Adeola of Tia showcasing their designs in the past, it is to Nigeria’s credit that our fashion has evolved over time with an increasing number of designers exporting African brands and showing them to the world, thus also increasing our visibility. The designers who showcased their designs this year include:
Oshobor: Launched in 2020 by Oshobor Odion Peter, the brand offers slow-fashion inter-knitted with indigenous Nigerian elements. The brand was born from the love of the father-son relationship. Furthermore, Oshobor chose to oppose toxic masculinity with collections like Na Man You Be and Omo No Mose, which celebrate the strength, independence, confidence and boldness of femininity.
Head of State: Owned by Nigerian-born, Taofeek Abijako, the brand was introduced to fashion and design as he often joined his father to his studio in Lagos. His trips with his dad sparked his fascination with the social relationships that exist in the everyday, married with art in marginalized spaces. Abijako has been a force to be reckoned with back in 2018. He showcased his Head of State collection at NYFW for the first-time last year, which made him the youngest designer to showcase on the biggest runway in the world. This will be his second time showcasing his unique designs.
Onalaja: At the Centre of Onalaja owned by Kayinsola Onalaja is an inclusive and accessible luxury. While there is definitely a time and place for couture, it makes a girl like me very happy to see wearable, or demi-couture designs on runways like NYFW. Onalaja’s designs merge African and modern, contemporary designs to celebrate a host of femininities that exist.
Yutee Rone: She runs the self-named fashioned label, Yutee Ronee and for the first time will be showcasing her FW 24/25 collection on Runway 7 at New York Fashion Week. She is poised for success having attained such a significant milestone, through organic growth and gaining well-deserved global recognition. The journey of nurturing Yutee Rone as she would like to say, required unwavering dedication, involving extensive hard work and perseverance. Despite entrepreneurial challenges, setbacks, moments of demotivation, and various obstacles, my team and I remained resilient, steadfastly rejecting any notion of giving up.