Nigeria has been a major player in the global fashion scene since the inception of European colonisation. The British, Dutch and American colonisers all brought their fashion sense to the new Nigerian society. There were African American and European expatriates working there who had a lot of exposure to European fashion and they combined it with local innovations and creativity in designing clothing and accessories for everyday use. Some of the names that we can mention arethaquespell, Ishmael and Terence Johnstone, these African American and European expatriates changed the way African Americans dress up to suit the Western world standards.
Nigerian fashion designers like Ezeike Okoro have influenced the international, African community with their unique style of designing and style of clothing. These African Designers gained popularity and status during the early 1960s when they introduced what we call the Nollywood style of fashion designing which aimed to emphasise the African youth's sense of style and individuality. Nollywood was a popular entertainment genre during that period that portrayed the African youth's struggle and views on life. It also helped African American and European designers gain international recognition and popularity.
Nollywood is still thriving even today with many African Americans and Europeans travelling to Lagos to get a glimpse of what it is like to be an actor or actress in the industry. Most of them do not actually take a degree in Fashion design as a major like Fashion Institute of America does, but with a strong desire and drive they go on and pursue their fashion design degrees like Ishmael. This gave them more opportunities to work abroad and also enable them to work in fashion houses in different countries such as London, Milan and New York. This gave more exposure and scope to make more designs that they can incorporate in their clothing and accessories.
Today Lagos is home to many well known and established fashion designers. Most of them got their start in the fashion industry in Lagos. Some of the most notable Nigerian fashion designers are Chinua Achebe, Amani Ojecobo, Chinua Achebe, Agnelle Adeola, Emeka Ozodi, Linda Alonzo and Okorie Okene. These are just a few of the names that you will find in Lagos when you search for fashion clothing and accessories. All these people have also travelled to other parts of the world and developed their styles there, like Ojecobo did in France, Achebe did in Nigeria and Ozodi in Italy.
But these are just the beginning as there are many more emerging talents. One great thing about Nigeria is that the young designers are given more space and freedom to create as well as develop their designs. The older generation however are still controlling the market though. They set the trends in the market, like they do in Europe and America. They also dictate how the market should be restructured so that it will reflect their vision.
And like all things it's always good to look back and see where the fashion world has come from. This is a huge help when you are deciding where you want your clothes to be made. It's always nice to look back and see where our ancestors have come from before us.
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Now that you have decided to start your own clothing label or have been hired by a well-known clothing line to create your new line, it is crucial that you develop and display your fit fashion design portfolio. There are several ways that you can develop such a portfolio, but I recommend using a ...