HEINEKEN LAGOS FASHION WEEK Autumn/Winter 2023
LAGOS FASHION WEEK delivered a Heady Potion of African Magic, with Designers Telling their Fashion Stories through Extraordinary Artisanal Craftsmanship, Bold Colour, Ingenious Combinations of Surface Patterning and Tactile Details that are Unmistakably of the Vibrant African Continent. Slinky, Imaginative and Sexy, LAGOS FASHION WEEK was in a Class of its Own.
A visual feast of epic proportions enfolded in the Nigerian capitol Lagos at the end of October 2022. This was the 11th epic edition of Heineken Lagos Fashion week and boy oh boy, does this event outdo its predecessor each year – if that’s even remotely possible! A week filled with the boldest of design, brightest of colour and quirkiest of pattern & print was hallmark of the fact that Nigeria has truly become one of the world’s most coveted hubs for innovative design and sustainable solutions for the planet’s fashion future.
Workshops, retail activations, runway shows and presentations happened all over the buzzing metropolis, with fashionistas dressed to the hilt (see our section on Streetstyle!) paying tribute to the hive of creative activities on offer. Designers used their cloth, their heritage, culture and extraordinary craftmanship and expertise to shape and tell their fashion stories. One could sense throughout all the varied collections, an ethos that upholds, supports, and delivers environmental, societal, and economic solutions through collaboration, co-creation, and community. It’s particularly this incredible sense of community, African spirit and pride that shone brightly through each and every collection.
Designers like Pepperrow, Rick Dusi , Zinkara, Geto and Lula Studios combined vintage styling, fearless Aesthetics and glitz & glamour to create silhouettes that are moder and contemporary whereas Tia Adeola, Munkus, Aora, MetaKay, Elie Kuame and Oshobor wowed with their inspired take on African design.
And it wasn’t the designers alone who made this event so epic – fashion media influencers, celebrities and fashionistas also flocked to the city to contribute to the festivities with cameo roles by Big Brother housemates, musicians, artists and TV media personalities.
Heineken Lagos Fashion Week has become one of the key highlights on Africa’s fashion calendar, this on a continent that’s already uber-famous for its exceptional take on fashion. Africa’s quintessential joyous and vibrant creations keeps inspiring the rest of the world, season after season, year after year as designers keep looking to the African continent for ingenuity and innovation.
Sit back and enjoy a tiny sample of the awe-inspiring fabulousness that is Lagos Fashion Week. Unfortunately one can only scratch the surface – there are too many wondrous creations to report on! Here’s a little taster of what we thought was exceptional.
MEET one of the many fabulous PHOTOGRAPHERS …
Be Inspired by the incredible STREETSTYLE …
BACKSTAGE, HAIR & BEAUTY … and a few FASHION MOMENTS
Meet the DESIGNERS …
Malian brand Awa Meite uses locally-grown bio-cotton to create their wonderful indigo-dyed pieces whilst supporting cotton growers, millers, spinners, dyers, embroiderers, tailors, and merchants as part of her commitment to sustain and develop regional cotton production. We love their ethos and adore the products!
This collection showcased luxurious frills and tulle layering, celebrating royal sophistication. Dramatically divine!
Stunning floral motifs in a multicolour palette were featured in this #SS23 collection of loungewear. So luxurious, glamorous and elegant!
Olisa Kenya’s #LagosFW22 runway debut featured an intriguing use of crochet that emanated a feeling of immersion with its splash of colour and distinctive form-fitting shapes.
LAGOS SPACE PROGRAMME’S 2023 COLLECTION
#LagosFW22: Lagos Space Programme’s #SS23 collection, ‘Project 7’ showed the connections between Western tailoring norms and the romance of traditional African indigenous aesthetics. The fabrics and patterns in this collection use hand-drawn dyeing processes to explore Eurocentric aesthetic conventions such as French lace, brocade, pinstripes, and floral patterns.
SELLY RABY KANE
Selly Raby Kane is a prominent designer and artist in Africa’s rising art and design scene and member of Les Petits Pierres, a multidisciplinary organisation that promotes social innovation via exhibits in the city’s neighbourhoods. Petite Pierre (Small Stones) is an exciting Dakar-based artist collective of talent seekers, artists, designers, and promoters that’s shaping the city’s young creative scene.
MetaKay’s #SS23 collection featured a blend of the brand’s distinctive Canadian Lattice Smoking and bold designs with a splash of vibrant colour on modern feminine silhouettes.
Senegalese brand Tongoro with its playful take on fashion was established in 2016 as a “100% Made in Africa” label. They use local artisans with generations of experience and source their textiles from the continent. All good credentials, and the clothes are dreamy!
Repurposed jeans and headstock fabrics are used in this brand’s modern feminine forms, its dramatic accents and unexpected twists. Designing for a future of sustainability!
Imad Eduso #SS23 collection ‘Sisi’ showcased cutouts, tweed, fluorescent fabrics and sequins with wool details on the hems of garments utilizing fabulous vibrant colours.
This collection beautifully showcased tie-dyes, batik and expertly folded triangular origami pleats, as well as crisp tailoring and expert construction techniques. Very distinctive and desirable!
Loza Maléombho is a fashion brand from Côte d’Ivoire who creates a perfect fusion between conventional African aesthetics and modern style. They work with skilled craftspeople – often young women from challenged backgrounds – as well as shoemakers, weavers, and bronze workers to produce their sandals and jewellery.
A contemporary spin on traditional Moroccan design, this super elegant collection included meticulously hand-stitched embroidery and embellishments.
AMI DOSHI SHAH
Ami Doshi Shah is a jeweller and applied artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her extraordinary organic creations speak for themselves – no words can do them justice!
MUNKUS incorporated bold colour and striking prints into their designs while paying homage to the designer’s mother in a collection entitle “My Mother”.
Senegalese brand’s creative director Adama is also the founder of Dakar Fashion Week which celebrates the cultural diversity of Africa in fashion. It’s a celebration of black beauty and freedom of black women. Adama launched the SAARGALE, a concept store, which debuted in 2019 beneath one of the vaults of the Viaduc des Arts, to showcase her designs, and the works of other African artisans and designers.
#LagosFW22: ‘One with Nature,’ Odio Mimonet’s #SS23 collection, symbolizes the brand’s usage of time-honoured processes that appreciate indigenous fabrics, local craftsmen, and the significant role they play in the fashion ecosystem. We saw glittering pieces, oversized sleeves, transparent details, and unique textile patterns that were totally awesome!
MaXhosa, which means “the Xhosa people,” is profoundly steeped in founder Laduma Ngxokolo’s Xhosa culture. He designs modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear that are gracing the halls of the most prestigious department stores in the world. The amazing traditional Xhosa beading designs, meaning, and colours are be the ideal source of inspiration for knitwear, which Laduma subsequently transformed into modern knitwear.
Gozel Green’s SS23 collection with its contemporary silhouettes showcases the brand’s distinctive use of asymmetrical cuts, color blocking, and paneling.
Feast your eyes on the hand-crafted textiles form Ghana!
Bold prints and striking colours created a strong feminine aesthetic juxtaposed against the loose flowy silhouettes of the pieces.
Nigerian brand Cynthia Abila is enthusiastic about African culture, powerful storytelling, and reinventing old favourites. The brand infuses the founder’s love of storytelling for a contemporary audience. The bright designs and textured fabrics of the skirts, suits and wide-legged pants are timeless and ageless and the fitted basics are adorned with subtle cultural images and exquisite coral embroidery. Must have! Must have!
Senegalese culture and heritage are proudly represented in Algueye Dakar’s collection of silk pieces in striking silhouettes with vibrant colors and intricate cuts.
Dimeji Alara was born in Paris and is a Nigerian celebrity stylist, journalist, and fashion editor of Genevieve and Elle Magazine. In 2016, he joined the American and South African co-production team of the Blue Mauritius film, where he was tasked with bringing in African designers to give the film a more unique feel and to showcase iconic rising fashion stars.
SIMONE AND ELISE
Simone and Elise’s #LagosFW22 debut runway show was filled with a surreal array of flowing silhouettes in a beautiful combination of vivid floral and bold neon colours.
Heru Shezi’s debut collection at #LagosFW22 featured up-cycled materials and dead stock fabrics together with gemstones and tie-dyed fabrics. Sustainability champs!
Olisa Kenya’s #LagosFW22 runway debut featured an intriguing use of crochet, plenty vibrant colour and distinctive form-fitting shapes.
Oshobor’s #LagosFW22 debut, “Na man you be!” addressed the topic of toxic masculinity in Nigeria and praised men and women who serve as endearing father figures in society. The designs were created with the brand’s signature medium, waste wool, in an exquisite colour combination of white, red, and brown.
GOODBYE FROM HEINEKEN LAGOS FASHION WEEK, UNTIL NEXT TIME!