Fashion Designer Reveals Passion for Style: Behind Rita Dominic and Mercy Aigbe's Show-Stopping Looks

Fashion Designer Reveals Passion for Style: Behind Rita Dominic and Mercy Aigbe's Show-Stopping Looks

In the dynamic world of fashion, where trends come and go in the blink of an eye, there are few designers who manage to carve a distinct path and captivate the industry with their unique vision. Eniola Akinwande, the Creative Director of Wandéi, is undoubtedly one of those exceptional talents.

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With a journey that began from humble tailoring training to gracing the wardrobes of influential celebrities, Akinwande has emerged as a rising star in the fashion realm.

Photos of the designer and her designs
Akinwande opened up on her fashion journey Credit: @wandei_rtw, @ritadominic, @realmercyaigbe
Source: Instagram

Her designs, characterized by their originality, timelessness, and artistry, have earned her accolades and a devoted following.

Today,'s Kumashe Yaakugh delves into the inspiring story behind Eniola Akinwande's ascent as a fast-rising designer and her aspirations for the future of her brand, Wandei.

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Early Beginnings and Inspirations

Akinwande who has been in fashion for 7 years began with basic tailoring training after earning a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Diplomacy in 2015.

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Following her completion of the mandatory NYSC year, she embarked on a professional journey with a prominent Nigerian women's clothing brand, where she skillfully managed the ready-to-wear department for a year.

In 2017, she ascended to the position of lead fashion designer and business manager at an esteemed fashion house in Abuja, a role she wholeheartedly embraced for an impressive three-year tenure.

On what inspired her to go into fashion design, she says:

"I've always been creative and artistic. I think fashion just fell into my laps and I went head-on."

Nollywood stars Rita Dominic and Mercy Aigbe in Wandei

The Wandei brand is characterized by a harmonious blend of soft hues and meticulously crafted structured pieces. Their designs effortlessly merge the tranquillity of pastel shades with the elegance of clean lines and tailored silhouettes.

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Each garment showcases a masterful balance between simplicity and sophistication, creating an aura of refined minimalism.

Thus, it was no surprise when two of Nollywood's most influential fashionistas were spotted in Wandei pieces.

Some time ago, Rita Dominic graced an event with her radiant presence, captivating everyone in a stunning white ensemble.

Known as the 'Riga Set', this exquisite Wandei attire draws inspiration from the traditional babariga outfits worn by men in northern Nigeria, and it showcased the timeless beauty of the veteran Nollywood actress in all its glory.

Mercy Aigbe also got herself a slice of the Wandei pie.

In 2022, the renowned Nollywood actress made a stunning appearance in a captivating green ensemble.

The highlight of her look was the mesmerising 'Nifty Skirt' by Wandei, and she effortlessly slayed the entire outfit.

On how she felt seeing her pieces being worn by such influential figures, Akinwande says:

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"Tt's always an honour to have such talented ladies wear our pieces. It's a dream come through for every creative like myself. So I'd say thrilling and encouraging."

Akinwande talks inspiration, uniqueness and memorable moments

Akinwande whose designs draw inspiration from art and women, believes what sets her designs apart from others in the industry are their originality, timelessness and elegance.

" Like our motto "Your silhouette our canva" basically we like to think we create art for you that is wearable and elevates the woman's body. I'll describe our style as A piece of wearable art."

As a fast-rising fashion designer, Akinwande admits that are many 'headaches' in the entrepreneurial journey.

However, in's chat with her, the designer chooses to focus on beautiful memories, citing the time Wandéi featured in a short movie, Turning Point by Lulu Okonkwo.

Akinwande describes it as a dream come true.

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"Ohh I also can't forget the Joy when we shipped our first international order to France, It was all happy dances," she adds.

Wandei: On future goals and aspirations

Akinwande who runs both ready-to-wear and custom bridal services, says she is excited about both local and international collaborations that will be coming up soon.

She added:

"We look forward to being the go-to brand for unconventional bridal wear and also timeless RTW pieces starting with Abuja."


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