EAT Breaking the Nigerian fashion stereotype

When one talks about Nigerian fashion, it is mostly about in cooperating native design styles to create modern contemporary design. Sometimes, it is usually kept strictly traditional so as to appeal to the Nigerian consumers. However, when Nigerians are looking for western design wears, they are directly drawn to Italian, English or French designers. Hence design brands like Channel, Gucci, Armani and many more are all household names in Nigeria.

This has over time created a fashion stereotype of “ready-made” and “cut and sew” for cloths made by Western Designers and Nigerian designers respectively. Also over the years a kind of fashion racism in the hearts of consumers have been built. In as much as fashion design and tailoring have grown in the fashion industry, many Nigerian still prefer to rock western designs when they are not in the mood for Nigerian fashion.

EAT Breaking the Nigerian fashion stereotype

What this excessive concentration of Nigerian Designers on Native designers have done is to limit the international export. Although a lot have been done by many Nigerian Designers to make their designs global brands. It is not news that African fashion is still undergoing transition into the international market. While this is happening, a lot of designers have remained local or African champions because of their designs.

However, one designer who is breaking the norm by creating a lot of western designs with western fabrics is the Delta State origin: Ejiro Amos Tafiri. Going through her virtual gallery and stores, one will observe that her designs are all Western designs. And unlike Mai Atafo who bends his Suit designs by adding African designs like Senator Wears, Ejiro is strict with her design. She has over the years perfected her skills in the making of gowns and general western female wears.

There is hardly a design made by Ejiro that is Nigerian like rapper, Skirt and blouse or bubba. She sticks to Western Designs creating them like designs made by designers like Guo Pei or Vera Wang. She decided to be western in her designs that even when I visited her show room in Lagos Nigeria, all that I could see was foreign fabric. Her quest to experiment with designs, she has found herself working with varying fabrics and colours, and hence it is hard to pin her designs to a particular variety of material or colour.

What she has done by riding down this part of designs is to put Nigerian Designers on the map. Although others have no doubt put Nigerian design in the map, what she has done differently is to show the world that Nigerians can do international designs using their own culture. She is gradually switching the norm which has many designers like Yomi Casual, Deola Sagoe, and others have been overwhelmed by. She has kept her design western and is riding on that groove and she doing good on it.

EAT Breaking the Nigerian fashion stereotype

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