Remembering Maryam Babangida: Talented Designer Recreates Former First Lady’s Iconic Outfit

Remembering Maryam Babangida: Talented Designer Recreates Former First Lady’s Iconic Outfit

The late former First Lady, Maryam Babangida, was a true icon of fashion and style. Her love for simple yet tastefully designed outfits earned her respect and admiration from women and young girls who regarded her as the epitome of class.

One of such ladies was, and still is Lynda Inyareghdoo Adzuanaga, a Benue-born fashion designer who has been on the fashion scene actively since 2013.

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Lynda recently demonstrated just how much she admired the former First Lady, by recreating one of her many stylish looks.

Photos of Maryam Babangida and Princess Diane.
The then-First Lady had played host to Princess Diana on her visit to Nigeria. Photo credit: Anwar Hussein
Source: Getty Images

Taking to her Facebook page to pay tribute, she shared photos of the outfit she had recreated and named after Maryam whom she described as 'Nigeria’s most fashionable First Lady'.

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Although both rocking Ankara fabrics with vaguely similar prints, while the upper part of Maryam's outfit was made of what appears to be plain mustard yellow fabric at the top, Lynda opted for a bright yellow fabric.

Lynda's recreation of the look earned her applause and colourful compliments from her friends who appeared impressed by it and it isn't hard to see why!

See post below:

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In an exclusive interview with, the talented designer talked about her love for fashion and the inspiration behind the Maryam outfit.

Lynda who says fashion has always been her thing opened up about her love for fabrics and the versatility of what can be done with different fabrics. She also talked about how the former First Lady's fashion sense resonated with her even as a young girl as she (Maryam) didn’t need to do too much to stand out.

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Below are the excerpts from the interview:

How would you describe your personal style?

"Effortlessly chic,I don’t think fashion should complicated,which is why my designs are comfortable,chic, easy and classy. I don’t follow trends, I believe that while trends are good, for me they are not the defining factor for my fashion sense . Which is why stylish person can take a fashion trend from 30 years ago and make it workable today. It’s all about your personal style. My style evolves to suit certain trends but remains basically effortlessly chic."

How long did it take you to recreate the dress?

"So I stumbled on this picture of late Dr Maryam Babangida and late Princess Diana of Wales, at an event in Lagos Nigeria, about 1989/1990 and I was struck by how fashionable,simple yet classy she was in this outfit. I knew that while it looked like a simple design,it required a creative mind to recreate and make it resonate in the fashion sphere today. So I first saw this photo in 2019 and I took me a while, to find the right fabric that would give life to this design as I intended for it to come out. So while I eventually had this outfit made in December of 2019, I still never found the right way to launch it because I needed a full representation of that look so I took my time to match the pieces, blend the accessories and all,to ensure that while the original idea was maintained,it had a modern and effortless sense of style about it."

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There are several other women in the limelight with great fashion sense. Why did you choose Maryam Babangida?

"I agree that there are a lot of fashionable women in Nigeria,but my choice of Maryam Babangida was that she was one of the fashion icons I grew up on. Her fashion sense resonated with me even as a young girl, she didn’t need to do too much to stand out. Her style and demeanour oozed class without being overpowering and garish . That for me is the definition of fashion,which is why the catchphrase for my fashion business,is effortlessly chic. Regardless of how long ago she thrived as a First Lady and was in the limelight,her style is matchless, unparalleled and remains the standard. I daresay no one has yet to attain or even outshine hers. We have had fashionable First Ladies no doubt,but for me she remains my fashion icon of all time."

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Should we look forward to other recreations?

"Absolutely, the intention is to sustain our fashion standards,go back in time and recreate many of such with a modern twist and above all,promote our Nigerian fashion sense and style with a view to making it a world class experience."

Style tips for the modern woman?

"1. Be comfortable in your skin and I mean this in the literal sense of it. Love yourself and take care of it. Everything else is secondary. A woman who loves herself will exude confidence in whatever she wears, even if it’s a sackcloth. 2. Wear what suits your body type, we are all beautiful in our own way, but we must not be oblivious to what suits our bodies. If in doubt speak to a professional, don’t follow trends just to be seen as fashionable. 3. Good grooming(skin, hair and nails) a good makeover,is always a good idea. 4. Wear a smile, be confident and don’t diminish your femininity. 5. Dress appropriately for the occasion and location, trust me you can never go wrong with this. 6. Always smell nice! Invest in good fragrances, you don’t have to break the bank for this. Own some statement jewellery pieces, that will enhance your outfits. Accessories are the icing on the cake for every outfit."

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Asoebi trend

Every Saturday in Nigeria, numerous wedding parties are thrown across the country and as always, guests turn up in their best outfits to support the couple, while managing to show off their looks.

However, while there are people who leave heads turning with their creative and stylish looks, there are those who get tongues wagging - but for the wrong reasons.

While others have argued that wedding guests dressed 'inappropriately' should be denied entry into wedding ceremonies, some people believe that guests have the right to dress as they please.

A top Abuja fashion stylist, Opeyemi Mimi Ogunbowale, spoke with on this topic.

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