June 15, 2024

Fashion Design

Fashion Designs that Enlighten the Soul.

Top 10 celebrity fashion designers in Nigeria

8 min read

Nigeria is a country blessed with natural resources talented and gifted people. This is highly evident in the fashion industry; despite how competitive it may seem, some individuals have maintained their stance and are still relevant today. 

 

Victoria James (Veekee James)

Victoria James, popularly known as ‘Veekee James’, is a Nigerian fashion designer and businesswoman. Veekee was born and raised in Ajegunle, Lagos. She studied Biochemistry at the University of Uyo.

 

Veekee developed her sewing skills from her mother, who was a tailor, inspiring her to make dresses for herself and her friends. She prioritises client satisfaction by ensuring every fabric is of good quality.

 

To Veekee, the word ‘luxury’ means looking good, which is what her brand stands for. She has a unique pattern of styling and designing her dress that has become a signature.

 

Her dresses are usually carved just like the feminine shape, adorned with different features such as beads, feathers and gemstones.

 

Veekee is not just a fashion entrepreneur but a talented makeup artist, blogger and wig maker. She has worked with celebrities like Osas Ighodaro, Tomike Adeoye and Funke Akindele.

 

Veekee is a lover of God, a hard worker and an inspiration to other young designers. 

 

Mai Atafo

Atafo is a fashion enthusiast who has inspired many aspiring fashion lovers. He is an indigene of Edo state. He studied Agricultural Economics and Extension at Edo State University; he proceeded to City University London to obtain a Postgraduate degree in Information Technology.

 

Atafo was versatile in the corporate world; he worked for British American Tobacco and Guinness Nigeria plc before venturing fully into fashion. His taste for fashion stems from his love of clothes and looking good.

 

Mai Atafo studied at Savile Row Academy, Leeds, in the United Kingdom, to improve his fashion skills. 

 

He needs no introduction to the fashion industry in Nigeria and beyond because of his artistic qualities in creating men’s wear and female bridals.  Atafo is one of the few fashion entrepreneurs in the industry who has been evolving to satisfy his customers.

 

He has styled many celebrities (at home and abroad), such as Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Adesua Etomi, Mo Abudu and Stan Nze. He receives many awards and has been a key player in fashion shows.

 

Seyi Vodi

He is one of the leading fashion designers in Nigeria. His journey into the fashion industry began during his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). His real name is Seyi Adekunle, and he hails from Osun state, South-West Nigeria.

 

He studied Geology at the University of Maiduguri and graduated in 1999. Seyi’s fascination with tailoring made him start sewing boxers and shirts for his fellow Corp Members.

 

Upon completing his NYSC in 2001, Seyi established his tailoring business by first registering it as ‘Testimony Fabrics’. He later changed the name to ‘Vodi’.

 

Ever since venturing into the fashion business, Seyi has become very prominent for his designs, especially customised male outfits. He designs for celebrities, top government officials and many other public figures like Davido, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Pocolee, Ayo Makun, Kassim Shettima and many others.

 

Seyi is one of the most industrious fashion entrepreneurs out there. He has spent over 20 years in the business and is among a few still thriving.

 

Folake Coker (Tiffany Amber)

Folake Coker is the brain behind the famous brand ‘Tiffany Amber’. She is recognised as one of Africa’s top fashion entrepreneurs. The journey into creating a brand for Folake, started as a hobby while she was an undergraduate. It was at this point she learnt how to sew.

 

She officially launched her clothing line in 1998. Tiffany Amber is a product of hard work, consistency and dedication before it became an international brand. Folake pioneered the ready-to-wear outfits in Nigeria.

 

The brand showcases African fashion and lifestyle with unique and classic feminine clothing that promotes African heritage. In other words, the brand combines modern design with African culture. 

 

Tiffany Amber made its international debut after ten years at the New York Mercedes Fashion Week. This made Folake Coker the first African designer to receive an invite and to showcase her collection two years in a row.

 

For over two decades now, Folake has been very relevant, showcasing African talents through her work. The brand has featured in several European, African, and the United States shows.

 

Lanre Da Silva Ajayi

Lanre Da Silva was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied Business Administration at Coventry University and had a Postgraduate degree in Finance from the University of Leicester.

 

Before leaving Nigeria for the United Kingdom, Lanre had already had a strong passion for fashion. Her mother was a huge influence as Lanre could sew simple items with the basic knowledge she garnered. She studied short fashion courses in the UK, which helped her grow.  

 

Creativity and elegance are some of the attributes that make Lanre stand out among her peers. She’s into jewellery, hairpieces, ready-to-wear and couture under ‘Eponymous Label’  launched by her in 2005.

 

Many fashion magazines, such as Vogue and Arise, have recognised her immense contribution to the fashion industry. In 2011, Lanre exhibited different collections at the New York Fashion Week.

 

 British model Naomi Campbell opened the Arise Africa Fashion Festival in 2018, wearing one of her collections made with metallic gold colours, which was described as being elegant.

 

Lanre loves vintage couture. A passion she developed during her stay in the United Kingdom by visiting the Portobello market in London and the London Vintage Fashion, Textile and Accessories Fair at Hammersmith.

 

Olorunyomi Omoniyi Makun (Yomi Casual)

Omoniyi Makun, popularly known as ‘Yomi Casual’, is a talented fashion designer who has become one of the industry’s leading figures. He is a native of Ondo state, South-West Nigeria. Omoniyi studied Fashion Designing and Technology of Clothing at Auchi Polytechnic.

 

Omoniyi ventured into fashion designing accidentally. His elder sister, who registered him for the Joint Matriculation Board Exam (JAMB), made a mistake by registering him for Fashion Designing instead of Fine and Applied Art. In other words, there was no inspiration, he never planned to be a designer.

 

Yomi Casual was established in 2007. The brand has become one of the prominent designers in Nigeria. In terms of men’s clothing in Nigeria, Omoniyi cannot be relegated, as his unusual designs are always in high demand in Nigeria and Africa. 

 

Over the years, Yomi Casual has become the favourite of many entertainers and celebrities within and outside Nigeria. The brand is known for portraying African tradition and culture. Some eminent lovers of Yomi Casual are Desmond Elliot, Chidi Mokeme, Ramsey Nouh, Alex Ekubo, IK Ogbonna and many others.

 

The brand has been featured in many exhibitions, such as Native Vogue International Fashion Week.

 

Deola Ade-Ojo (House of Deola) 

Deola Ade-Ojo, formerly Deola Sagoe, is a Nigerian fashion icon, designer and entrepreneur. She studied Business Administration in Miami, Florida and earned a Master’s in Finance and management at the University of Lagos.

 

Deola’s great inspiration was her mother, who owned a tailoring business called Odua Creations that specialises in traditional male wear. She joined her mother’s business but not long before House of Deola came to live.

 

 Her brand, House of Deola, is one of the most outstanding in Nigeria. Deola is known globally as a true representative of African culture within Nigeria and on the global stage. The brand is popularly known for its unique designs and exceptional details with a fusion of African fabrics.

 

She was the first Nigerian to have a stand-alone show at the New York Fashion Week and the first African woman to showcase different collections at Rome Fashion Week.

 

Since Deola won an MNET Anglo Gold African Design Award in 2002, her designs have been modelled across different countries. 

 

Clement Mudiaga Enajemo

Clement founded ‘Mudi Africa’ an award-winning fashion conglomerate with branches in South Africa, Ghana, Senegal and Kenya. He grew up in Ughelli, Delta state and was nurtured in a polygamous family.

 

He discovered his passion for fashion in 1993 after arriving in Lagos in 1990. Growing up,  Clement was very conscious of looking good and dressing well.

 

He enrolled on a roadside tailor’s shop for nine months to learn and understand the craft he wanted to venture into. 

 

He started gradually at Ketu Lagos in the early 90s. Clement is one of the surviving veterans in the fashion industry. His power of blending fashion and creativity has earned the brand global recognition. 

 

Clement has been designing for top personalities like the President, Celebrities and Prime Ministers across the continent. People such as the King of Muhammed of Morocco, Mikel Obi, Kolo Toure, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ramsey Noah, John Kufuor and many others.

 

Lisa Folawiyo

Lisa is an award-winning fashion entrepreneur. She was born in Lagos and hails from Ogbomoso, Oyo state. She has a degree in Law from the University of Lagos and proceeded to Law school to become a professional Lawyer.

 

But Lisa’s passion was fashion. She decided to pursue it, and today, the rest is history. She founded her fashion line in 2005 called Jewel by Lisa. Her first investment, N20,000, was used to purchase different fabrics. 

 

She explores more on the Ankara fabric and other Nigerian prints for her design and styles. Lisa has used her skills in promoting traditional African wear to the global audience. She has been featured in Vogue Germany, Genevieve magazine and Vogue Italia. 

 

 Lisa has showrooms in Nigeria and New York. Since its commencement, the label has become a luxury style for women. Aside from this, the brand is recognised internationally with many accolades. Lisa has showcased her designs in London, Milan, Paris, Johannesburg and New York.

 

Frank Oshodi

Frank is a veteran fashion designer in Nigeria. He is a native of Delta State and a graduate of Visual and General Arts, College of Textile Technology, Lagos.

 

He started as a professional model in 1989. During this period, he worked for fashion houses such as Supreme Stitches,  Nikki Africana, Dakova and many others.

 

He is the creator of House of Bunor and Frank Oshodi for Bunor; both labels are under Bunor Creazioni. Frank designs are quite elegant, usually made up of African prints, French laces, bridal and silk satin.

 

 He became a household name in 2001 when Silver Bird selected him to design and be the make-up artist for a beauty pageant contestant, Agbani Darego. He worked with many Nigerian organisations as a make-up artist for television commercials.

 

Frank received numerous awards, including International Designer of the Year in 1991/1992 and Fashion Person of the Year in 2013. His craft has been exhibited in many shows locally and internationally. Runaways include Mozambique Fashion Week, Paris Runaway, South African Fashion Week, and Africa Fashion Week London.

 

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