- Words Maria Mukaranda
In a dynamic fusion of culture and craftmanship, Lagos Fashion Week solidified the city's status as a style powerhouse. Tap into the shows that caught our eye below.
Abigail Ajobi, the visionary behind her own eponymous luxury streetwear label, disrupted the fashion landscape at Lagos Fashion Week Spring 2024 with her “Anti-Muse” collection. A graduate of UAL London College of Fashion, Ajobi’s designs often aim to transcend mere clothing and serve as a platform to address societal issues. Her commitment to sustainability shines through in limited quantity productions using eco-fabrics and supporting local craftsmanship. The runway display embodied a fusion of Y2K aesthetics and contemporary street style, sparking conversations around the brand’s ethos and unique prints.
IAMISIGO, under the creative direction of Bubu Ogisi, captivated the audience with the highly anticipated “Shadows” collection. Deeply rooted in African spirituality and history, Ogisi’s designs seamlessly blend craftsmanship with sustainability. A returning Lagos Fashion Week heavyweight, the brand’s commitment to material reuse and collaborations with local artisans showcased a holistic approach to fashion. The collection explored elements of Yoruba and Edo mythology, making IAMISIGO a trailblazer in the intersection of spirituality, design, and sustainability.
Kente Gentleman, a newcomer on the scene, made a powerful entrance with the a.W.w.a.s collection, paying homage to heritage and defying traditional fashion norms. Creative Director Aristide Loua crafted a collection that celebrates confidence, elegance, and challenges gender boundaries. Through collaborations with local artisans, Kente Gentleman embraces ethical practices, carving a niche as a brand that also blends tradition with modernity.
Emmy Kasbit, founded by Emmanuel Okoro, took a bold step with the SS24 collection inspired by his father’s Ukara cloth. Departing from heavily structured designs, Okoro introduced fluidity and wearability to the brand. The collection, a departure from past collections, showcased a fusion of traditional Nigerian weaving techniques and contemporary prints, marking a new chapter for Emmy Kasbit.
Cute-Saint, under the creative direction of Muftau Femi Ajose, emerged as a sustainable gender-less brand committed to authenticity and ethical practices. The Igboya collection featured an edgy fusion of Nigerian craftsmanship and contemporary design. Ajose’s commitment to locally produced natural fabrics, fair labour practices, and a pre-order model demonstrated a thoughtful approach to fashion’s environmental impact.
Ugo Monye, led by Creative Director Ugochukwu Monye, delivered a sensory delight at Lagos Fashion Week 2023. Exploring Nigerian royalty, the collection featured elaborate designs and meticulous styling, conveying a powerful narrative. Monye’s decade-long presence in the industry is marked by his ability to blend class, elegance, and contemporary comfort – solidifying Ugo Monye’s position as a key player in Nigerian menswear.
LFJ, founded by Princess Juliet Olanipekun, continued to push boundaries with the “Elusive” collection. The brand’s edgy play on pleats and architectural designs creates character-driven pieces that make the wearer stand out. Featured in GQ South Africa, LFJ’s designs play on textures, offering interchangeable statement pieces that transcend traditional fashion norms.
Orange Culture, under the brilliant mind of Adebayo Oke-lawal, showcased the thought-provoking “It Comes in Waves” collection. Another mainstay on the Lagos Fashion Week runway, Oke-lawal’s designs ebbed and flowed, embodying a complex state of mind and a profound questioning of one’s journey. The collection featured macrame-made pieces, sequined two-pieces, and bold cutoffs, encapsulating Oke-lawal’s unique approach to fashion as a form of self-expression and exploration.