There are arguments about Nigeria having a market for luxury or not? TLR believes that we do. This story is part of the series to bring to the fore some iconic brands that have been consistent over the years in the luxury industry. The first part was the story on 7 Retail Stores To Shop At in Lagos. Below, we list the top five luxury fashion brands whose footprints have cut across the globe. These brands cloth the superrich in Nigeria, on the continent and the world.
1. Deola Sagoe
Deola Sagoe started her journey into fashion in 1988 when she joined her mother’s business, Odua Creations, with a view of expanding the label’s repertoire to encompass more contemporary designs for the ever-developing, cosmopolitan highbrow society.
And she didn’t disappoint, the same year she participated in MNET’s Face of Africa
At the start of the millennium, in 2000, she won the MNET Anglo Gold African Design Award, New York. The following year, 2001, Sagoe was rated number 37 on the African Almanac scale of 100 most influential Africans in the world. Later in 2003, her company, Deola Sagoe Limited, was incorporated. By this time, she has fully come out of her mother’s shadow as she has begun to build a pathway for the Deola Sagoe brand that will later take Africa and the world by storm. From 2004 to 2008, many awards and international recognition followed.
By the end of the decade in 2010, the Deola Sagoe brand is recognized as a ‘Super Brand’ and was a recipient of the Super Brand’s Certificate of Excellence in Fashion Design and Label category. And her Autumn Winter Collection was shown at the New York Fashion Week.
Two years later, she launched her iconic collection, Komole, which has become an exclusive preserve of a few wealthy Nigerians who can afford it. What makes this collection unique is the fabric she uses is rare. The designed, sketched to meet the body type of her clients.
In 2016, Komole Kandids Series 2 was launched. By this time, the collection has taken on a new form. The native Iro and Buba familiar to the natives of Western Nigeria assumed a new role and design in the Komole Collection. Sagoe is building a growing cult of brides who fancy her Komoloe Iro and Buba or her Tropical Galactica 2019 collection. Her bespoke designs are delights of the superrich in Nigeria.
2. Ade Bakare Couture
Since 1991, Ade Bakare Couture has been creating bespoke pieces for his exclusive clients across the world. After starting his label in 1991, he sold his collection twice a year (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter). His clients were boutiques situated in various parts of England, Scotland and the Channel Islands such as Chic of Hampstead, Adele Davis of Bond Street and Lucienne Phillips of Knightsbridge and Amersham.
He made significant waves with his bridal collection and was selected by Bride magazine as one of London’s most influential designers. Due to his enormous popularity, he has showcased his collections in Morocco, Capetown, Mozambique, London, New York and Paris where he was given an award.
Ade became involved in another aspect of the fashion industry when he created the perfume, Breeze, in 1998. This scent was inspired by his childhood days spent along the breezy West African coast of Lagos, Nigeria. He followed up the perfume with the introduction of Bakare Breeze, a moderately-priced diffusion line which offers a collection of bridal dresses to cater for the design-conscious bride. His award-winning signature jersey dresses teamed with ethnic textile Adire as well as a series of kaftans, boubous and bubas and iros in silk and chiffon.
Ade Bakare’s designs are described as classic with a touch of modernity using fabrics such as wool, silk, lace and crèpes. Still, he is currently celebrated for his gazar and organza sweep coats which are both ultra-feminine and luxurious.
Besides, he has opened an office in the bustling Lagos metropolitan. He now enjoys working with Adire fabric locally sourced in Abeokuta, Nigeria.
3. MUDI Africa
MUDI is a shortened version of Mudiagha, the first name of the brand’s founder, Mudiagha Clement Enajemo, a native of Urhobo, Ughelli in Delta State, Nigeria.
The label started in 1993 and MUDI was the first Nigerian designer to take his designs outside the shores by opening stores at the time.
The label is an Afrocentric International fashion brand exclusively for men.
It has been worn by John Kufuor, former President of Ghana, Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour, John Obi Mikel, Kolo Toure, John Fashanu, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Fred Amata, Basorge Tariah Jnr, Frank Edoho, Ramsey Nouah, Desmond Elliot, Olu Jacobs, Jumobi Adegbesan now Mofe –Damijo, Shiek Karamotor, Kwasi Kyei Darwkah, Yves Zogbo and King Mohammed V of Morocco. It was had Mozez Praiz as the brand ambassador.
MUDI Africa has a presence in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Nairobi, Ivory Coast and South Africa. The intensity of his designs, his cuts, straight lines and finish make him a first choice for men in Afrocentric clothing.
4. Frank Osodi
Frank Osodi prides himself on his dynamic nature. He started his career as a model for fashion houses like Dakova, Supreme Stitches, Nikki Africanna amongst others. Frank also ventured into Choreography and Model management before finding his footings in makeup with his label, House of Bunor and Fashion designing.
As a makeup artist, he has handled television commercials for a lot of Nigerian organizations such as Macleans Toothpaste, Ultrasheen, Chocolate éclairs, Indomie Noodles and others.
Frank has been in the fashion industry since 1989, but his label, House of Bunor started about 15 Years ago and has clothed the most high profile people in Nigeria.
His name reached the household mark when he was selected by Silverbird to be the makeup artist and designer that finally led Agbani Darego to her reign as Miss World 2001. Since then the name Frank Osodi has been associated with simple elegance and effortless beauty.
He is a force to reckon with in the Nigerian fashion scene specializing in Bride and bridesmaid garments. His pieces are quintessentially African inspired.
His designs are as dramatic as they are edgy on the runway. His uniqueness and creativity shine through his pieces. Frank Osodi, creative director, House of Bunor has made bold statements with his Bunor Creazioni label. With his timeless pieces, Osodi has clothed fashionable Nigerian women with a taste for bespoke pieces.
Discerning women know that Osodi creates timeless pieces that are never out of fashion. These are pieces owners can wear in another ten years.
5. Lanre Da Silva
Lanre da Silva is one of Nigeria’s leading couturiers. She launched her eponymous label in 2005.
Her label includes couture, ready-to-wear, jewelry and hairpieces. Da Silva’s collections often incorporate metallic fabrics, lace and African patterns, while referencing the 1940s or 1800s.
In 2011, da Silva presented her collection at New York Fashion Week. As an African luxury brand, her clothing line has been sold at Dolce & Gabbana’s “Concept Spiga 2” store in Milan. In 2012, she was one of two designers asked to join the United Nations “Fashion Development Project” which helps supports her continent’s luxury industry.
That same year her label was featured in the magazine L’Uomo Vogue in an issue called «Re-branding Africa. Da Silva’s clothes have been described as groundbreaking in their use of traditional African prints.
She is recognized for reinterpreting and modernizing traditional motifs, making them an essential part of her designs.
In 2017, da Silva was asked to create outfits for the 2017 look book of Vlisco, an African fabrics and textiles manufacturer.
Also, when she showcased her Autumn/Winter Collection 2012 at Pitti Imagine in Italy. Dolce & Gabbana’s representative was present and liked her collection. It was, undoubtedly, a dream come true for her. They ordered pieces from her collection, and she made her debut in the Dolce and Gabbana Spiga 2 concept store in Milan for four consecutive seasons.