Top 10 Fashion Designers in Nigeria

Today fashion has been an inevitable part of our life as clothing is a basic need in man’s life. Many Nigerians both male and female have strived to stand out in the fashion industry world wide. Here are the top 10 fashion designers in Nigeria

10. Deola Sagoe

Deola Sagoe is known for her creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothings known as haute couture fashion. The Ondo state born fashion designer kicked off her career in 1989. She is the CEO House of Deola.

Deola is studied in University of Lagos and University of Miami where she holds a masters degree in finance and management.

She was recently appointed to represent Nigeria in a new international campaign organized by the United Nations World Food Program. The campaign, titled “Catwalk the World: Fashion for Food.”, began in Nigeria in April 2006 and recently staged an event in Ghana which brought celebrities like Damon Dash, his wife, designer Rachel Roy, and Ghanaian-born, London-based designer Ozwald Boateng.

Deola featured in Nigerian premiere movie October 1 as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.
She was married to Kofi Sagoe and has three daughters, Teni, Aba and Tiwa.

9. Folake Folarin

Folake Folarin born in 1974 and CEO Tiffany Amber. She studied in Switzerland and United Kingdom where she obtained a post graduate degree in law. Folake on returning to Nigeria switched career to the career of her dream, Fashion designing in 1998 in Lagos. Folake has become a fashion Icon in the fashion industry today.

Sixteen years after the launch of her label, delectable fashion designer, flaky, as she is fondly called by loved ones has become a mainstay in the Nigerian fashion industry as she continues to stay true to her vision.

In 2008, she made history as the first African-based fashion designer to stage a show twice at the New York Fashion Week. She was the first recipient of the “Designer of the Year” award at the African fashion week in Johannesburg in 2009 and was also awarded “Fashion Brand of the Year” at the ARISE Magazine Fashion week in 2011. In 2013, she received an Enterprise Award at the 2013 Women, Inspiration and Enterprise (WIE) Symposium and made the Forbes Power women list.

She was married to Folorunsho Coker.

8. Lanre da-Silva Ajayi

Lanre Da Silva Ajayi (LDA) is the founder of eponymous design label. Lanre’s design first hit the Nigerian fashion industry in 2005 with iconic 1940’s couture signature designs – a result of what has evolved into a much more modern and cutting-edge brand and a full-blown fashion house.

Apart from displaying her anticipated S/S 2015 collection, Lanre DaSilva Ajayi also got the chance to hang out with international fashion industry heavyweights including American Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozanni and Creative Director of GTBank Lagos Fashion & Design Week Omoyemi Akerele, plus several others.

7. Frank Osodi

Frank Osodi is the CEO House of Bunors. Frank have engaged himself in Choreography and Model management before finding his footings in makeup with his label, House of Bunor and Fashion designing 15 years ago.

Frank being a make up artist have handled television commercials for a lot of Nigerian organizations such as Macleans Toothpaste, Ultrasheen, Chocolate éclairs, Indomie Noodles and others. He was the fashion artist and designer that led Agbani Derego to her triumph in the Miss world beauty pageant in 2001.

He still remains a force to reckon with in the Nigerian fashion scene specializing in Bride and bridesmaid garments.

6. Ade Bakare

Ade Bakare was born in Bromsgrove, he graduated from Manchester University College after which he began working at the fashion houses of Victor Edelstein and Christian Stambolian, purveyors of style to the English establishment in the 80s and 90s where he gained his tailoring skills and experience.

In 1991, he esterblished Ade Bakare Couture where he manufactured and sold his own collections twice a year to Adele Davis of Bond Street, Lucienne Phillips of Knightsbridge and Ambers of Amersham and host of other boutiques in Scotland and England.
He later introduced bridal gowns and brides’ maid’s dresses to cater for the design conscious bride.

In 2011 he launched a line of Jersey dresses during the celebrated 2 decades of Ade Bakare Couture in the fashion industry in Nigeria at the prestigious Wheat Baker Hotel, Ikeja.
Ade Bakare’s collections are often tagged as classic.

5. Lisa Folawiyo

Lisa Folawiyo is the founder and creative director, Jewel By Lisa. Lisa is known for the vibrant wax-resist dyed fabrics characteristic of West Africa and widely used across the continent popularly known as Ankara textile.

Lisa have gone beyond The Nigeria fashion. Lisa owns a show room in New York USA and a collection of her designs stocked in a store in South Africa.

4. Mai Atafo

Main Atafo was born in Ile ife, Osun state. He attended federal government college, Idoano Ondo state. He later obtained a masters degree in information system and technology from City University, United Kingdom.

He is a Nigerian bespoke fashion tailor who caught the attention of the fashion industry with his brand Mai Atafo. Mai Atafo worked at marketing department at British American Tobacco Nigeria in 2002. In 2006 he left to Guinness Nigeria where he sat as Brand Manager where he resigned from later in 2010.

Bespoke fashion designs hit the fashion industry in 2007. A design whose pioneer clients were mostly celebrities like Omawumi and Banky W. In 2011, Mai Atafo launched a wedding line.

Atafo has been recognized around Africa for his contributions to fashion design and style. City People Fashion and Style, Hottest New Male Designer in 2009
Mode Men Fashion Designer of the Year, City People Fashion and Style, Special Recognition, Mode Men, Best Dressed Man of the Year, FAB Magazine, Fashion Brand of the Year, Covenant University “Redefining Fashion Contribution” in 2010
And in recent times Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Menswear Designer of the Year [ City People Fashion and Style, Special Recognition in 2015

3. Zizi Cardow

Zizi Cardow was born into the family of Chief and Mrs Paul Cunningham Nduneme Iro of umuobiala in Isiukwuato L.G.A of Abia state. She Zizi Cardow is the CEO Zizi Industrial Clothing Company which she started in the year 2000. Zizi have stood out in the fashion industry in Nigeria and Africa for her african fabric and designs. She has gained as clients and fans, a lot of Trendsetters and first ladies, while her works have been featured in all local and some international media including CNN, FTV, SABC and Channel O.

Zizi have won several African and Nigerian awards.
In 2001, Zizi won the prestigious designer of the year award at the Nigerian fashion show.
In 2011 she was conferred the title of Ada Ejiaga Mba1 of Isuikwuato in recognition of her immense contributions towards the growth of the community.

Zizi’s 2013 collection featured at the African Fashion week London 2013.

2. Duro Olowu

Duro Olowu is a London based Nigerian fashion designer. He was born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Olowu was raised in Lagos, Nigeria’s main commercial hub. He spent much of his childhood traveling to and from Nigeria and various cities in Europe. Olowu studied law in London before returning to Nigeria for several years and developing his eye for fashion. The offbeat patterns, rich textures and eclectic colors of his designs reflect both his African heritage and world view.

In 2004, Olowu launched his first female collections. Today his designs are sold allover the world even in prestigious boutiques like Ikram in Chicago and Biffi in Milan.

Olowu have won series of award. In 2005 Duro was voted dress of the year by by both British and American Vogue.In 2010, he was named “Best International Designer” at the African Fashion Awards in South Africa.

Duro Olowu is married to Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of Studio Museum of Harlem in New York City.

1. Lola Faturoti

Lola was born in London and started designing in 1993, after graduating from London where she studied fashion designing

Lola hit the fashion industry in 2000 when she created a buzz and upstaged Ralph Lauren’s fashion show at New York Fashion Week.

After considerable success with an impressive following by the international press, Faturoti decided to expand her international presence by spending some time in Milan, Italy. Hence, she took a break from running her fashion business, moved to Italy, and designed, for three years, for other reputable designers.

In 2005, Lola went back to the city launching her comeback collection for Fall-Winter 2007-08.