« Fashion, in reflection of the world it emulates, is bigger than it has ever been. Previously delegated to a select few, its borders have expanded beyond the conventional fashion capitals to include new and exciting territories to discover. With that new recognition, thriving sartorial hubs have stepped up to claim their stake in the fashion rat race, none more eager than the acclaimed culture capital of Nigeria, Lagos. Estimated at 21 million people (that’s almost 3 times more than New York City) and a rising country wide GDP of over $500 billion, the city stands as one to watch among the continental fashion sect and is steadily propelling its international clout with advances in manufacturing and textile development.
Models.com returned to the buzzing metropolis last year for Lagos Fashion and Design Week to uncover what over 50 designers from around the continent had to offer for the new season. What we found was more expansive than what we expected – developed retail spaces like Alara and Temple Muse that blended seamlessly American and European fashion brands, new age African designers, breathtaking art, and exceptional interiors. Alara, designed by David Adjaye of Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture fame, takes the idea of “retail” and turns it on its head as the concept store and restaurant stands as an ambitious architectural feat. Bold and vividly remarkable, its distinct cardinal facade stood as the perfect setting for the latest original fashion story from Models.com, shot by photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo. We partnered with LFDW and leading digital e-commerce platform, Oxosi, to bring a chosen selection of the best and the brightest design talents that have ties to Africa – whether overtly or covertly. Since top models like Oluchi Onweagba have paved the way, the latest crop of fresh faced newcomers from Nigeria, Mayowa Nicholas and Uju Marshall, carry on the torch to provide the perfect frame for these wondrously expressive designs. »
Andrea Iyamah, Bridget Awosika, Grey, I.Am.Isigo, Kenneth Ize, Ladunni Lambo, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, L’Enchanteur, Lisa Folawiyo, Lolita Lorenzo, Loza Maleombho, Nkwo, Orange Culture, Rayo, Ré, Tsemaye Binitie, Sophie Zinga, Ugo Mozie, Washington Roberts, Zashadu
Photography by Lakin Ogunbanwo for Models.com
Fashion Editor – Irene Ojo-Felix
Make Up – Odiri Obrutse
Nails – Veronica Odeka using Vane Polish
Models – Mayowa Nicholas and Uju MarshallAlara Lagos, Lagos Fashion and Design Week, and Oxosi