Every year, Black N Bold fashion house compiles a list of emerging outstanding designers to look out for in 2015, the list was compiled by a board of fashion judges who did a comprehensive research into the world of fashion proteges in Nigeria. The aim of this series is to encourage young and upcoming fashion designers in Nigeria.
Some of the designers who made the cut include: Folu Ajayi of House of Dabira-who designed Dakore Akande(formerly Egbuson)’s outfit to the 2015 AMVCA, Bimbo Oye of Reni Smith-who has styled Seyi Shay and several other Nigerian celebrities.
The list was not compiled in a particular order, Enjoy!
Oluwatobi Akintoye (T16 World of Fashion)
Oluwatobi is the creative director and founder of T16 world of Fashion. A final year student of the University of Lagos, Akoka where she is studying Guidance and Counseling. She began her career as a tailor, but her passion for fashion and drive to be successful, this helped facilitate her rise through the ranks, first as a tailor and now as a designer. In her sojourn into the beautiful world of fashion she had the opportunity to be mentored by the likes of Mai Atafo and Lanre Da Silva.
Her brand is an effortless, timeless and wearable Line that reflects the kind of woman she is herself, which is strong, bold, fun, unique and fearless. She was part of the top 15 Fashion Focus finalists of GTB Lagos fashion and design week 2014 and was amongst the Top 4 finalist of the DSTV Fashion Protege Contest. She has showcased at Africa fashion week Nigeria, Lagos Fashion And Design week, and MTN Business Overlook Forum. She has also enjoyed massive publicity on various media platforms in Nigeria.
Lagos Fashion And Design Week 2014 was her break through for this young and promising designer. She debuted her collection SS15 early this year and the year is already looking very promising for Oluwatobi.
Vovwe Omoko (Ovems Fashion)
Vovwe Omoko graduated from the Department of Textile art at Delta State University in 2014 after which she pursued training at OSC College of Fashion. Her love for fashion started from when she was a child, and she has always received the support of her parents. Her brand originated from her passion to make clothes that interpretes aesthetics and speak class.
Her major breakthrough was when she emerged as the most creative designer at the Winasbet Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week in 2014 which featured over 40 young designers from various states in Nigeria. This prize brought her to limelight as she was featured on various media platforms in Nigeria. Few months later, she went ahead to win the David Wej Half a Million Naira Fashion Competition. She also won the BlackNBold Fashion Awards for Young Designer of the Year.
She is presently an in house stylist and wardrobe designer for cool tv and wazobia tv and she has styled various celebrities in Nigeria. She presents the fashion and style show on wazobia tv. She will be debuting the “Edgy And Classy” collection at the 2015 edition of Africa Fashion Week Nigeria. She is a designer to lookout for this year.
Akabogu Ogochukwu (Lines by chaab)
Akabogu Ogochukwu is the creative director of the rising brand; Lines by chaab, a fashion design outfit dedicated to presenting its customers with different clothing options ranging from hand embellished clothing to stunning texture play, colour play as well as pattern play in the unique art of mix and match as never seen before. Akabogu Ogochukwu translates her love for languages and art into a universal language-fashion.
She emerged winner of the Nigerias’ Next Top Designer Competition which was aired on various TV stations in Nigeria and later going on to win the Music Meets Runway Rising Icon Competition 2014 which was the turning point in the life of this young designer. She has also showcased at the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria and Winasbet Nigerian Student Fashion And Design Week, which is the biggest fashion showcase in Africa for student designers. In 2014, Ogo was rated as one of the top 12 newcomers in the industry by BlackNBold Fashion House.
Ogo and her works have been featured on E! Online, Africa Magic , Studio 53, and several Nigerian websites.
The year 2015 is looking bright for this young designer as she already has a host of top clients patronizing her brand and she will be showcasing her 2015 Collection at the Music Meets Runway later this year.
Modupe Adeoti (17.09 Couture)
Spotted a few times on the red carpet, 17.09 Couture stores are go to places for red carpet events. 17.09 Couture was created by Modupe Adeoti who is also the Head Designer.
The Graduate of English Language from the University of Ado-Ekiti in the year 2011, she launched her Fashion Line in the year 2013.
17.09 Couture is a top notch brand and has been making its way to the top. With three collections released so far, the last been a runway collection showcased at the Winasbet Nigerian Student Design And Fashion Week in 2014 which was referred to as the brands major debut.
Modupe has been featured on a few television programmes, fashion magazines and blogs. She was listed under the Top 12 fashion industry newcomers in the year 2014 with her brand in the Top 10. She was also one of the finalists that made it to the Game On house for team fashion. The reality TV show sponsored by Malta Guinness.
Omowunmi Owonifari (Mo’fari Couture)
Omowunmi is the founder/creative engine behind the “regal” Fashion label MO’FARI COUTURE. She is a young girl who knows what She wants and goes for it. She was born in June 1986 in the city of Lagos. She attended the University of Lagos Staff School Akoka Yaba, Mayflower School Ikenne Ogun State and graduated from the Olabisi Onabanjo University where she studied accounting. She is also a graduate of Fate Foundation business school.
Omowunmi Owonifari began her career studying fashion design from the prestigious Nobel Afrik training and dress making school in Nigeria in the year 2011.Upon Graduating, the invaluable experience gained inspired Omowunmi to fulfill her lifelong dream to launch her “Regal” fashion brand MOFARI COUTURE in June 2011 while still on training.
Her participation in several competitions has made her brand grow fast. Her major Achievement so far in the industry was being a part of the Top 15 Lagos Fashion and Design week And British Council Fashion Focus 2014 Finalist, which she claims was a major breakthrough for her brand. Her latest collection S/S15 was showcased at the just concluded Lagos Fashion and Design week 2014. She was one of the four finalists at the 2015 Zinkata Red carpet challenge. Her work has been featured in several fashion blogs and TV programmes. In June 2014 she got an editorial feature in the Guardian Newspaper as the Designer of the Week. She is one designer to look out for in the year 2015.
Folu Ajayi (House of Dabira)
Folu is the third of four children, born to the family of Professor and Dr (Mrs.) Michael Ajayi. She attended Staff School and the International School Ibadan, University of Ibadan, for her primary and secondary education, respectively. She recently graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan. She is the Creative Director of “House of Dabira”, a fashion brand created December 2011.
Like many other designers, fashion started for Folu at a very young age. Her brand “House of Dabira” is an household name at the University of Ibadan and she remains one of the most successful young designers to have graduated from her university in recent times.
She was a nominee of The Students Union Government Awards, Best Student-Owned Organisation, September 2013, and The Oyo 30under30 Awards, Fashion Category, in December 2013 and has won the following awards; The Junior Chambers International(JCI), Fifteen Outstanding Persons Awards, Most Outstanding Person In Entrepreneurship, March 2014; Oyo Students Entrepreneurship Awards, Entrepreneur Of The Year, September 2014; Realad UI Awards, Fashion Icon Of The Year, December 2014.
She has showcased at the Nigerian Television Fashion Show, The Dreams Come True Show With Jazzyb, Miss Heritage Competition, Ife Runway Fashion Show. In 2013, an official launch for the brand was held in April at the University of Ibadan; after which she participated at the Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week in June, at the University of Lagos, Yaba.
In 2013, she also established the House of Dabira Campaign Against Domestic Violence Towards Women and Children. She recently won the Zinkata Red Carpet Challenge, for which she got to dress Dakore Egbuson-Akande for the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lekki, Lagos. The dress was a hit as Dakore Egbuson-Akande made the best dressed list of sites such as 360nobs.com, bellanaija.com, stylevitae.com, memkoh.com among others. She is definitely a designer to lookout for in 2015.
Bimbo Oye-Akinnifesi (Reni Smith)
Bimbo Oye-Akinnifesi is the creative director of Reni Smith. She spent her early years in Lagos. Her grandmother was a seamstress thus giving her an early taste of the world of design and fashion. Beginning her formal training at Instituto di Moda Burgo where she got a diploma in fashion styling, she entered the exciting world of fashion by establishing the Reni Smith brand which she launched at the 2013 edition of GTBank Lagos Fashion & Design Week as one of the top 10 young designers showcasing the Bella Donna collection.
After the launch, the brand received massive acceptance and she has had the honor of designing clothes for top female celebrities in Nigeria, as well as had Reni Smith pieces worn on the red carpet for different award shows. Bimbo has been featured in notable fashion blogs, magazines and television programmes within and outside the country. The year looks very promising for this young designer and she is one to definitely lookout for in the year 2015.
Adebola Adebowale (Derb’s Signature)
Adebola Adebowale is the drive behind the fast growing fashion brand; Derb’s signature, a Nigeria-UK trained engineer with an undying love for fashion.
Derb’s signature is a true Nigerian dream reaching out to the world with innovation and originality.
She showcased her collections at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 edition of the Bristol fashion week in England. She was also one of the four finalists of the Zinkata Red Carpet challenge where the winner had a chance to style Dakore to the 2015 edition of AMVCA. Her works has been featured in notable magazines in the Uk and Nigeria.
She is presently working on a full collection Chic bohemian which will be released in winter 2015 and she will also be showcasing at some major fashion week in Nigeria this year. This is another designer to lookout for in 2015.
Nkechi Sonia Ntekume (Spine Cut)
Nkechi has been quite crafty with the needles since her young age, she used to stitch out wears for her doll and crochet stitches. It was as though she was born to be a fashion designer.
She enrolled into a vocational and skills acquisition center; Youth Resource Center-Idia Renaissance in Benin, Edo state, where she learnt the basics of fashion designing for 6months and emerged as one of the top students of the department.
The 2014 graduate of the University Of Benin has been into bespoke and bridal wears, offering a one on one service, and working closely with clients to create their ultimate dream outfits, ensuring perfect fit to suit individual tastes.
In 2014 she studied Fashion Design professionally at Needlekraft Fashion School of Needlekraft Couture, 6months months into the training, she got involved in Exhibitions which formally introduced her brand to a part of the Lagos market. Later that year in September, she did a one month intermediate course in branding, collection making, pattern drafting plus fashion illustration at One Stop Celebration College of Fashion with Asanyah Davidson of Circa 24, as a tutor where she emerged winner of the project work which launched her first collection; Trumpet
collection. She’s Currently into a bridal course at Bride Affairs and an online programme. 2015 is a year to watch out for this promising young designer.
Gbenga Luke-Adetule (NVO)
Gbenga Luke- Adetule is the Creative Director of NVO APPAREL. NVO stands for NAIJA’S VERY OWN; a proudly Nigerian fashion brand that offers premium bespoke outfits.
The NVO APPAREL brand was birthed in March 2013, fueled by the zeal to make quality, outstanding outfits that would rival established designers in the fashion industry both home and abroad. In June 2014, Gbenga showcased at the second edition of Winasbet Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week (NSFDW), the biggest student fashion week in Africa, and this was a turning point for him, it motivated him to dream bigger and work harder, just after this showcase, he was invited to audition for a fashion project called “The Making”, a lot of experience was gained as he learned from the likes of Mai Atafo.
In August 2014, he showcased his 2nd collection at the Nubian Runway and Fashion Show (N.R.F.S) where he emerged as one of the most creative designers of the night. He has been featured on notable fashion blogs, magazines and television programmes and he has styled quite a number of celebrities, OAP’s, Music acts and TV personalities for red carpet events, photo shoots and music video shoots. The young designer recently signed a deal with Goge Africa, where he gets to dress their Tv presenters for a period of time.
Adepeju Okunuga (Oza Couture)
Babcock University’s famous fashion brand OZA COUTURE was created by Adepeju Okunuga in the year 2012. The young designer is one of most established and successful fashion designers on campus. Her passion for fashion has been embedded in her since she was little but it came into limelight in her 300 level. She was raised by her mother and father who fully support and encourage her.
Oza Couture is all about designing unique, stylish, classy, decent and well tailored dresses for women. Her environment in school inspired her to be able design dresses that would still look decent and also compliant with the school rules.
She showcased her first collection “The Nightingale Collection” in the early parts of 2014 in different fashion shows organised in her school. Her second collection “The Versatile Collection” was showcased at the Uninfluenced 2015 Fashion Show organized in Babcock University. She also participated in the Fayrouz fashion competition in the year 2014. This showcase got her an interview by Punch Nigeria on her entrepreneurship skills in 2014. Her notable awards and accomplishments cannot be overlooked as she won the Accounting Students League of Babcock’s Departmental Award for Entrepreneur of the year in 2013, The Babcock University Students Association’s Award for Entrepreneur of the year in 2014, Most Enterprising Female Award in her hall of residence Felicia Adebisi Dada in 2015 and the African Diamonds Award Babcock University for Fashion Designer of the year in 2015. She intends to further her skills in fashion designing by pursuing a masters degree in fashion designing. Recently graduated from University, the industry should watch out for this designer.
Apooyin Abiola, Doyin Junaid, Yusuff Olusola (AWE’S CLOTHING)
Breaking into the fashion scene late 2013, Awe clothing’s has been a distinct students brand as they have achieved so much within the little time of establishment with roots in the United States and across campuses in Nigeria. The brand is owned by three young designers, Apooyin Abiola a student of the University of Lagos, Yusuf Olusola a student of the federal poly Ilaro and Doyin Junaid who resides in the United States. These young proteges have been able to work together as a team and channel all their creative energy into the Awe Brand.
Two time winner of the Most outstanding student brand of the University of Lagos award is known for taking their clients through an adventurous journey of unparalleled fashion. From their fabric selections and swatches to the detailed attention they pay to fitting, quality, finesse and timeliness of delivery. They also offer the best sartorial pieces on a quality for less basis.
In the year 2014, Awe clothing’s was nominated as an Emerging brand of the year at FUNAAB Awards, Student Enterprise Of the Year at the Unilag Awards and also at the Tush All Youth Awards. Awe has styled Celebrities like BOJ, Tosyn Bucknor, Cynthia Morgan, Vector, Kiss Daniels, Toke of Unilag fm amongst others. The year 2015 looks very promising for this young brand.
Onwuka Onyeka Paschal (Royal Couture)
Onwuka Onyeka Paschal is an undergraduate student of Babcock University and creative director of Royal Couture. He is a proficient designer so skilled in the art of making “Strictly” Male outfits. The way he fits colours together with the perfect design is impeccable. It’s like he understands the colours.
He officially launched his designer flagship store; ROYAL COUTURE in the year 2015. He debuted the “Urban Soldiers” at the just concluded Babcock University Uninfluenced Fashion show, a western university fashion clique which also featured prominent and talented fashion designers from within and outside the country.
He is one of the prominent designers in his University and has been featured on some major blogs and magazines in Nigeria.
Oluwafolakemi Aigbirior (Fowal Flair)
Oluwafolakemi Aigbirior is a fashion designer with the taste for style, finishing and fit, she loves paying attention to details. Her love for arts and crafts is borne out of the desire for designing and making people look good.
The graduate of Home Economics at Obafemi Awolowo University and creative director of Fowal Flair started her brand during her undergraduate days and was incorporated in the year 2011. Oluwafolakemi Aigbirior is an expert in creating bespoke and ready to wear creations. This ever rising brand is also into designing and production of timeless designs for women that love good taste. Over the years, they have been able to train a good number of young females by helping them bring out their potential creative ability.
She is also a member of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women scholar of the Enterprise Development Centre(EDC) at the Pan Atlantic University.
Faith Ifarajimi (Bloke Oluwajimi)
Faith is a 400 level student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta where he is studying Animal Nutrition.
Unlike many designers, Faith is focusing on Knitwears which is not so popular amongst Nigerian designers. He started knitting as a learning on the job process, because knitwear design is considered as self taught for him. He had his first hands on experience of knitwear designing in 2013 when there was an educational strike in the Federal Institutions.
With role models like Missoni, Laduma Ngxokolo, Mark Fast, and Buki Akib who are also influences on the young designers works. His debut collection ‘DREAMS’ for the Autumn/Winter 2015 season which he showcased at the House of Claire fashion show has been receiving a lot of positive reviews from reputable fashion heads in the industry.
He is one of the youngest male designers in Nigeria presently into knit wears. He will be showcasing his collection at the Winasbet Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week and the GTB Lagos Fashion and Design Week later this year.
Others include: Sammie’s Couture, SheyeOladejo, Jkcollectibles, Hembadoon clothing.
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