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Spring/Summer 2012 saw a re-emergence of Africa-influenced fashion with fashion houses and designers such as Burberry Prorsum producing collections based on African inspired prints and themes. The message was loud and clear – Africa is in.

Foremost in the focus on African inspired fashion are Nigerian designers. From First Lady, Michelle Obama, regularly photographed wearing Duro Olowu to Solange Knowles wearing Maki Oh, and singer Kelis in Jewel by Lisa, Nigerian designers are making their mark and showing the world, that Africa’s most populous nation is one to watch.

MTN Lagos Fashion & Design Week (LFDW), held on October 24th-27th, is one of the fastest growing platforms for fashion and accessory designers from Nigeria and Africa. Currently in its second year, LFDW provides a vital platform for designers to showcase their talent, and network with consumers and the international fashion industry.

Founded and curated by Omoyemi Akerele, the annual showcase is pivotal to efforts to create a sustainable fashion industry in Nigeria and brings a new awareness to ‘Buying Nigerian’. International retailers including Selfridges & Co. attended this year’s show, proving that Nigeria is gaining recognition as a hotbed of design creativity and that LFDW offers international buyers seeking novelty products a wide platform to source from.

The showcase featured the collections of established Nigerian designers as well as British designer Matthew Williamson, who closed this year’s show and showed in Nigeria for the first time. Giving the big names a run for their money was a new generation of dynamic young talents who were not shy to push the boundaries of creativity.

Not long ago the idea of a Nigerian fashion scene was optimistic at best but fashion is definitely on the rise in Nigeria.

Fashion Week Coverage by Bukie Aje-lloyd

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