Fashion designers in Nigeria: 10 creators to be on the lookout for

Fashion designers in Nigeria: 10 creators to be on the lookout for

Fashion designers in Nigeria have taken the world by storm in recent years, not just because of their talent and creativity but also because they put Africa on the map for global fashion. On any given day, you will likely see some cool fashion items in your newsfeed on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

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best fashion designer in Nigeria
Fashion designers in Nigeria. Photo: @funkeadepoju, @maiatafo, @theorangenerd on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC

There are many talented and experienced fashion designers in Nigeria. They have been making waves in recent years with their incredible fashion pieces. Some have represented Nigeria in the biggest fashion events.

Fashion designers in Nigeria

The Nigerian fashion and design industry is always innovating and keeps people excited about the country's clothing culture. Over the past few years, a new generation of designers has emerged and are worth following due to their work. Below are a few of the best Nigerian fashion designers to look out for in 2022. Not that the list is not arranged in any particular order.

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1. Adebayo Oke-Lawal

best designers in Nigeria
Adebayo Oke-Lawal walks the runway during Studio 189 By Rosario Dawson And Abrima Erwiah Runway Show at Klarna STYLE360 NYFW in New York City. Photo: Thomas Concordia
Source: Getty Images

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Adebayo Oke-Lawal is the owner of Orange Culture. He looks at innovative ways to offer solutions for the ever-changing times. In addition to dressing well, these individuals care deeply about their communities and giving back. They provide fresh perspectives on fashion and design that have gone largely unnoticed by the global industry thus far, but they're determined to make their mark in the industry.

2. Duro Olowu

top fashion designers in Nigeria
Duro Olowu attends the Simone Rocha show during London Fashion Week in February 2018 at Goldsmith's Hall in London, England. Photo: Darren Gerrish
Source: Getty Images

Olowu has a store in New York, and his fashion label boasts African-inspired streetwear staples. He also is among the best of Mitchelle Obama's designers. He creates pieces with the idea of staying true to what the African woman wants and needs. As a result, his designs are not meant for just the runway or magazine but for everyday wear.

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3. Zizi Cardow

Nigerian fashion designer Zizi Cardow has been featured in publications such as St. Moritz Style Selection Award, Young Achievers Award 2010 and Global Leadership Award 2010, among others. She has been a costume and set design specialist in films and theatrical productions.

She has also been featured in international news on big networks such as CNN, SABC, FTV and Channel O, with her collections being sold worldwide. Her designs are perfect for the contemporary woman looking for something different from what's currently available in Nigeria.

4. Ohimai Atafo

Ohimai is the founder and creative director of the fashion brand ATAFO. His bespoke specialized brand focuses on African textiles, weaving, natural dyeing and hand-making.

Many Nigerian celebrities and stars have worn Atafo's clothing line, like Stephanie Okereke, Dakore Egbuson, Stella Damascus, Ramsey Nouah and Mercy Johnson.

He has won several awards, including City People Fashion and Style's Hottest New Male Designer of the Year, and he was nominated for LFW Menswear Designer of the Year.

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5. Funke Adepoju

Funke Adepoju has made a name for herself in the fashion world with her Phunk Afrique line. Her trendy and affordable pieces are great for women on the go who want to be fashionable.

Her trip to New York inspired her collection Fifth Avenue which features bold prints, bright colours, clean lines, and African wax prints. Her designs are popular that she's been featured in magazines such as Arise Magazine Fashion Week.

She studied abroad at Parsons School of Design and interned at People Tree London. She also sells some of her clothing on eBay, which is for people living outside of Nigeria.

6. Frank Oshodi

Hailing from Lagos, Frank Oshodi is a Nigerian fashion design prodigy. With the goal of making designer clothes more accessible to Nigerians in the country and around the world, he launched his first clothing line in 2004.

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His designs are known for their use of vibrant colours and vibrant prints that speak to both men and women. He worked for Dakova and Nikki Africana before launching his label. He also founded House of Bunor and the Fashion Designing makeup line.

7. Omoyemi Akerele

fashion brands in Nigeria
Omoyemi Akerele attends the VIP opening of the Africa Fashion exhibition at Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. Photo: David M. Benett
Source: Getty Images

A creative powerhouse who started her career as a theatre set designer, Omoyemi Akerele is one of the most exciting names in today's African fashion scene.

Winner of the AFI Fashion Awards (2014) and business of fashions Global 500, her labels exist at the intersection of high-end couture and innovative low-cost wearable solutions.

In addition, she founded the Nigeria Fashion Week in 2003, which has since grown into an international event attracting thousands of people annually. She is one of the most influential designers on the continent for a good reason.

Omoyemi launched her first ready-to-wear collection in 2010, but she has been designing clothes for more than 30 years. Her Style House Files label specializes in high-value wardrobe pieces, which are ethically sourced, handcrafted pieces made from sustainable and affordable materials.

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Omoyemi's latest label was born out of necessity when it became clear that many Nigerians could not afford clothing with any margin, given their tight budgets.

8. Ade Bakare

Fashion design in Nigeria is often considered a trade of the elite. However, Nigerian talented Ade Bakare is one of Africa's most well-known fashion designers and is currently based in London. Still, his business is in Nigeria, located on Victoria Island in Lagos.

He is the founder of Ade Bakare Couture, which offers luxury evening wear for events such as weddings, red carpet events and inaugural balls. He also specializes in designing bespoke couture gowns for celebrities. His collections are available at a showroom in Lagos and on his website.

9. Folake Folarin-Coker

fashion brands in Nigeria
Folake Folarin-Coker attends This Day/Arise Magazine's African Fashion Collective 2009 during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Promenade in Bryant Park in New York City. Photo: Bennett Raglin
Source: Getty Images

Some fashion brands in Nigeria are worth mentioning. Designer Folake Folarin-Coker founded The Tiffany Amber, a luxury women's clothing line that promotes the beauty of African culture and heritage through designs.

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Folarin-Coker's goal is for her brand to become an international symbol of positive African pride and style. She is the only African fashion designer ever invited to the Mercedes Fashion Week in New York City.

If you can't find her dresses in your city yet, keep your eyes peeled on showrooms in Lagos and Abuja because she has been working with them to distribute her collections abroad.

10. Deola Sagoe

best designers in Nigeria
Nigerian fashion designer Deola Sagoe prepares poses during a photo shoot in her flagship store on Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo: Per-Anders Pettersson
Source: Getty Images

Deola is among the best designers in Nigeria, with a focus on high-end evening wear. She boasts a master's degree from the University of Lagos and has won several awards like Anglo Gold African Design Awards (2000).

Sagoe's clients include international celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith. Her creativity knows no bounds as she creates futuristic looks, making her one of Nigeria's most sought-after fashion designers. Her creations are usually bold and beautiful.

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The top fashion designers in Nigeria are known for the latest styles, which are African-inspired. If you want to know what is new in the fashion and design scene, you can't go wrong with these ten Nigerian fashion designers.

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