By Konye Chelsea Nwabogor
The fashion scene is relentlessly searching for the next big thing. Whether it’s the newest pair of sneakers, a cult bag, the latest designer disrupting trends, a fresh model making waves on the catwalk, or a young photographer or stylist challenging the way we see clothes. It’s not that what’s to come is always better than what exists; it’s just that we’re always looking to push the industry’s boundaries and show just how many facets of our lives that fashion touches.
In no particular order, we have rounded up some of the brands and the faces which we believe are worth knowing at the moment. We believe that these names will give us a peep into the future.
The Brand Influencer
- Ozinna Anumudu
From launching a new fashion brand or organising a lunch for a high-jewellery label, Ozinna Anumudu, the brain behind Style Concierge, has translated her poise, elegance and love for fashion into a full-time career. Follow her on Instagram, and you’d think she wears cocktail dresses, stilettos and perfectly laid hair to breakfast every day.
The Red-Carpet Couturiers
- Lanre Da silva Ajayi (LDA)
No major event in Nigeria passes by where you don’t see ladies beautifully clad in pieces from Lanre da Silva Ajayi’s eponymous brand. The distinctive traits of her clothing are certainly the colours. They are so lively that they can express with one single garment the identity of an amazing continent such as Africa. They also possess that edgy touch that expresses boldness and a desire to stand out.
- Mai Atafo
Having honed his skills at Savile Row, Mai Atafo’s attention to detail is what sets him apart from the regular red-carpet designer. His clothes balance couture details with relaxed silhouettes—and are made to be worn again and again.
The Ready to wear labels
The brainchild of creative designer Uju Offiah, Meena is a brand that boasts stand out staples for any urban woman’s wardrobe. All her pieces are attention-grabbing in their own right, and her collections usually offer a plethora of garments that elevate any look.
- Gozel Green
In an industry primarily driven by trends, Gozel Green is a breath of fresh air. With six collections released over roughly three years, the two brilliant minds behind the brand Sylvia Enekwe and Olivia Jude-Okoji, have been able to reimagine the things we wear continuously.
One thing that makes Gozel Green so good is their eccentricity; each collection comes with an edge and is a beautiful blend of colours, textures, life experiences, artworks, nature, and culture.
- Veronica Ebie
You can often spot Veronica at the front row of major fashion shows or lately on your Instagram timeline, dishing out the best advice on the business of fashion. She started out in the editorial room of Thisday Style Magazine and has worked her way to becoming one of the country’s best stylist. As a trendsetter, Veronica has transformed the looks of numerous female stars via her styling company Vane Style. Her Instagram feed also acts as a mini styling Bible for every girl who needs one or two tips on how to stand out fashion-wise.
- Moses Ebite
Known for his bold red-carpet style, Moses Ebite of Moashy Styling styles some of the most significant red-carpet risk-takers in Nigeria. He has a penchant for turning fresh-faced actresses into full-blown red-carpet stars. With a list of well-established style stars as clients, all eyes are definitely on Moses.
The Modern Designer
- Kenneth Ize
Lagos-born designer Kenneth Ize (pronounced “ee-zay”) launched his eponymous label in Nigeria in 2013. It was a bold and “immediate” move considering he had only just graduated from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where he studied design under Bernhard Willhelm. Now, eight years later, he is definitely moving in the right direction. With a showroom in Paris for S/S19, winner of the Arise Fashion Week 2020 competition, and stockists in Vienna, Switzerland and Nigeria. Ize is among a spate of Nigerian designers at the forefront of an African fashion boom.
The Nigerians Abroad
- Mobolaji Dawodu
Raised between Nigeria and the US, GQ Style Fashion Director Mobolaji Dodo has been styling for over 15 years and developed an impeccable eye for street casting and location scouting. Some of his men’s fashion magazine successes include the 2016 Fall Issue and 2017 Summer Issue featuring Hollywood actors Jared Leto and Brad Pitt.
Son of a fashion business owner, Dawodu had never considered a career in fashion or styling until an internship at Dolce & Gabbana triggered a new interest within the industry.
- Duro Olowu
Since arriving on the London fashion scene in 2004, Nigerian-born Duro Olowu has impressed the right people with his vibrant mix of African prints, seventies tailoring, and unlikely colour combos. A high-waisted patchwork boho dress—known as the “Duro”— was responsible for putting his brand on the fashion map. It became a cult item in 2005 after being discovered by American Vogue editor Sally Singer and Julie Gilhart of Barneys.