In BlackNBold Fashion House commitment to promote and encourage fashion entrepreneurship in Nigeria, an initiative was developed known as “The Emerging Designers In Nigeria Series”. In this new edition the fashion house will be focusing on some new female fashion protégés who have been outstanding so far. A two month thorough search and survey was conducted across various states in Nigeria and some names which might not be familiar to you emerged. We are sure they will dominate the Nigerian fashion industry in the nearest future. So in no particular order we present to you '' Some 10 New Female Fashion Protégés In Nigeria''.
- ONYINYECHI THOMPSON AMADI- ST O’MAAN
Onyinyechi Thompson is the creative director of ST O’MAAN, an emerging fashion brand in Lagos known for its attention to details. She is an alumna of Wisconsin University Ghana where she obtained a B.Sc in Human Resource Management in 2015. Upon graduation Onyinyechi enrolled for a six months training programme in Pattern drafting and tailoring at the Osc College of Fashion where she perfected her sewing skills. Fashion started for this young entrepreneur at a very young age. She got more recognition from the Nigerian Student Fashion & Design Week 2015 which was apparently her first major showcase as a designer in Nigeria, that same year she mesmerized the audience with her designs at the Wisconsin University Fashion Week. The young fashion designer has received a lot of media attention; much recently she was interviewed by PulseTv as their ‘’Designer of the Week’’.
- RONKE OKUSI- MORETE CREATIONS
Ronke Okusi is the creative director of MORÉTE CREATIONS. The undergraduate of Fine and Applied arts at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria first caught our attention at the Royal Fashion Show in 2015, an event organized to celebrate the coronation of the 51st Ooni of Ife; her traditional Yoruba inspired designs dazzled on the runway making it a perfect match for the occasion. As some would discover their passion much later in life, Ronke at a very young age had exhibited the traits of a fashion designer, obsessed with her dolls and coloured pencils, she would constantly play dress up and draw some of the quirkiest dresses. Ronke is no stranger to the spotlight, a nominee at the OYA Awards for ‘’Young Designer of the Year’’ 2015 (Student category). And making top 5 at Fayrouz L’ Originale under team ‘Fabact’. Also participating at the Ife Runway Fashion Week in 2015.
- OMOLADEORIENI FLORENCE ADISA- LADE ADISA
Lade Adisa is probably one of our most favourite on this list. She is the creative director and brain behind LADE ADISA, a popular fashion brand in Ile Ife where she is presently studying. Growing up under the inescapable eyes of her Mother, Chief Mrs M.A Adisa, The Yeyeoge Aderemi of Ile-Ife who was at that time so keen on her children’s outlook was an inspiration for her to delving into fashion designing. Lade recalls how her mother taught them the ultimate value in image presentation. In the year 2010, Lade decided to take a bold step by enrolling for fashion design training at Nikjade Multiventures. In the year 2013 she emerged as the winner of ''The Collection Fashion Design & Makeup'', she later went on to showcase her first ready to wear collection at the Ife Runway Fashion Show where she emerged as the 1st runner up most creative designer. After this showcase she started receiving orders from within and outside the country. All these prompted her to take fashion designing as a serious career. It wasn’t an easy start for this young designer, combining academic workload and the demand from her clients. In order to step up her game to a whole new level, Lade enrolled for further training with Hajia Kafayat Obayopo of Kaffy Fashion who helped her in perfecting her skills. We have no doubt that she is one designer to look out for.
- ONABOWU SINMISOLA OYINTARE- FINESSES CLOTHIERS
Sinmisola is another young designer that made it to our list. She is the creative director of FINESSES CLOTHIERS. Her brand majorly caters for classy women, stylish men and kids. The Alumna of Imo State University Okigwe attended theAuxtinlarry fashion academy in Lagos where she got an intensive training in fashion designing, she was one of their best students and she had an impressive record at the fashion academy. She had to resign from her well paying job to pursue her dreams, a big decision she will never forget.
Just like many other designers, fashion started for her at a very young age. She grew up learning from her uncle who was a fashion designer at that time. Fashion as a career started for this beautiful lady in the year 2014. In order for her to get more clients and customers she had to do a lot of free jobs, this she said has created more awareness for her brand has she now has several loyal clients who are now paying very well. Sinmisola’s major challenge has been managing her time and pressure from her clients.
- ADENE ONOMENE FLORENCE- ONOMENE COUTURE
Onomene! This is another fashion protégé that will dominate the fashion industry in Nigeria in the coming years. Her consistency, determination and creativity is quite amazing. She is the creative director of ONOMENE COUTURE, a brand that specialises in wedding dresses, bridal train dresses, red carpet dresses and dinner wears. She holds a B.sc in Mass Communication from Covenant University.The young designer believes she inherited the business of fashion from her family. Her grandmother was a fashion designer, her mother also took after her, but later left it for the corporate world. Onomene made up her mind from her days in the university that she wasn’t going to work under anybody, so she started making beads without prior training. Towards the end of her final year she made up her mind it was going to be fashion entrepreneurship all the way. Upon graduation, she enrolled at House of Bunor for a six months training program and later went on to the Singer school of fashion for further training. Her major challenge so far is the poor power supply in Nigeria and the lack of skilled man power.
- ELIZABETH ISAAC- EXCLUSIVE BY LC
Elizabeth is the brain behind the fast growing fashion brand EXCLUSIVE BY LC. She appears to be full of promises and one designer that will dominate the industry in the nearest future. The University of Uyo alumna also attended the Osc college of fashion where she got the necessary skills needed in fashion designing. Her brand "Exclusive by Lc" was founded in the year 2015. Her garments are of uncompromising standards in design, material and craftsmanship. For Elizabeth she started with making outfits just for herself with thread and hand needle. She later learnt how to paddle her mum's old machine on her own. For Elizabeth, fashion seems to be the only tool she can use to fully express herself.
- WUMI OYEDIRAN- ASOWUNMI
Wumi is the humble creative mind behind one of the leading fashion brands at the Obafemi Awolowo University; asówùnmí. Just like Ibironke, they have managed to build their brands in a manner that deserve lots of applause within the OAU campus community. Her brand specializes in high end female apparels and ready to wear outfits. She got her inspiration from two of her aunties who sew while she was growing up. As a child, she was always curious about how each outfit was put together and "arranged". Asówùnmí was birthed in the year 2013 after she took the bold step of learning how to sew at Yemscut Fashion House in Akute. She wanted to be able to make the pieces she designed. She believes that reading books, fashion magazines and studying about the top designers and even Fashion trends has really been useful. Despite the fact that fashion wasn’t new in her family, her first challenge as a designer was acceptance from her family and friends. Many of them felt she was just been lazy, that she should go to school, get Master's degree and even PhD in great fields of study. But she kept telling them that fashion designing required a lot of hard work too. But she really did prove them wrong when she started making headlines in the university for her creativity and entrepreneurship skills. Wumi was able to develop a thick skin against all odds and she is very determined. She will be showcasing her first proper ready to wear collection at the Nigerian Student Fashion and Design week in August and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for us.
8. BALOGUN BOLUWATITO- DEBEEBLU
Boluwatito is a 600 level medicine and surgery student at the College of Medicine University of Lagos and she is the creative director of the DEBEEBLU brand. One may wonder how a medical student finds time for fashion designing. Unlike many designers who had their family members as fashion designers and derived their inspiration from them, for Bolu it was different. The vision for her clothing line started in the year 2012 when she found herself constantly sketching designs as she loved drawing and sketching, she later made up her mind she wanted to know all about fashion. She got some form of informal training from other designers, tailors, friends and the internet. She officially unveiled her fashion label in the year 2015 and she deals strictly with dance wear designs as she is a passionate dancer also. To Bolu, one of her major challenges is finance and recruiting people to help with the work. “As a medical student it’s not so easy but i have learnt to manage my time well and with others helping it makes the work easier”. She said. She showcased her 2nd collection at the TORQUE concert in 2014. The DEBEEBLU brand will be releasing their first dance collection at this year’s edition of Nigerian Student Fashion And Design Week.
- ADEOTI AANU OLUWAYEMISI- GREEN KREATIONS
Aanu is the brain behind the GREEN KREATIONS label. She is a graduate of the University of Nigeria Nsukka. She was inspired to start her own clothing line in the year 2015 when she visited a fashion designer who billed her heavily to make an attire she loved so much. At that time she was very low on cash and had to go back home sad and disappointed. Aanu who has always been a lover of fashion and an admirer of creativity made it upon herself to take a course in fashion and design. She embarked on an intensive fashion training course in order to know the basics and in no time her skills had improved. What seemed like a child’s play was now looking more of a lifetime career for her. Upon graduation from a fashion academy she started making outfits for free for some notable celebrities in her state and this helped paved way for her in terms of clients. Today, her brand is receiving so much attention in Ekiti state.
- ABIOYE ADURAGBEMI IFEOLUWA- PPM FASHION
Gbemi is the creative head of the PPM FASHION brand. She is an alumna of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Oyo state. Her brand caters for both male and female attires. Popularly known as 'OGELABI' by her peers, fashion started for her when she was very young. She grew up always wanting to look different in her own wears. She always loved to add her feel to every wear she buys so she takes them back to her tailor to add few things to and people always loved & appreciate them. All these motivated her into having her own fashion label. It wasn’t until the year 2012 after her NYSC that she decided to take fashion seriously. She learnt the skill on her own but perfected it afterwards in 2015 at the FIELDMANN fashion academy in Lagos.
Gbemi is inspired by "MODESTY" in designs and the richness of the African culture. Some of the challenges she faces are finance, man power, power supply, and mobility of products but she believes that God has been faithful unto her. “I am always positive, focused and determined”. She said. Her work has been featured across some fashion media paltforms in Nigeria.