“Lagosians can dress!” Those were the words that escaped my lips when I arrived at Balmoral, Federal Palace, VI, Lagos for Heineken Lagos Fashion Week 2023. I watched as paparazzi flocked around the street-style enthusiasts who stole the show with their stupendous outfits and could only gasp in admiration.
This scenario isn’t new. Every year, fashion shows are an avenue for fashion lovers to express their style, and LFW has proven to be a mighty enabler of this cause. But helping you showcase your personal style isn’t all this event does. It’s also focused on developing the fashion industry by bringing emerging talents to the frontline while fostering more growth for the top guns. Let’s not even mention the networking opportunities that abound as stakeholders in the industry converge to celebrate the hallmarks of fashion in Lagos every year.
2023 wasn’t any different. It was a moment of glitz, glam, and everything style. If you couldn’t attend or follow up with the event on social media, that’s not a problem at all. This post summarizes in detail everything that went down the busy streets of Lagos Fashion Week 2023 as well as the awe-inspiring runway show.
Lagos Fashion Week 2023: Advancing the African Fashion Sector
It’s always a bang when the fashion community comes together. From the enthusiastic guests to the dapper runway models, celebrity appearances, and industry stakeholders, it’s always a moment worth your time.
The 12th edition of the Lagos Fashion Week which commenced on October 25th, 2023 and ended on October 29, 2023, was no different. The event featured spectacular moments that if not beheld personally, one would miss the true allure. It was a sheer celebration of African creativity and craftsmanship both at home and in the diaspora.
For starters, the week opened with opportunities for fashion lovers to cop new items from established and up-and-coming designers via Xretail which happened at Zinkata and Vane Style. Through this retail experience, LFW further bridged the gap between African designers and their target audience.
Afterward, the show progressed to other events one of which was the UNESCO Report Launch tagged: “The African Fashion Sector: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for Growth.”
As written on LFW’s official Instagram page, this report provides valuable insights into the vast potential within the African fashion sector and outlines strategic suggestions for fostering its sustainable development. Furthermore, it was an opportunity for prominent figures in the African fashion industry to convene for a pivotal conversation centered on “Powering the Fashion Ecosystem: African Designers as Catalysts for Change”.
In addition, there was also a press cocktail dinner where celebrities and style influencers dressed to the nines as they heralded the new season. These are some of all that happened off the runway. Let’s see striking moments from the runway show that we won’t forget in a hurry.
Major Highlights from LFW23 Runway Show
It’s usual to see beautiful and well-built models strutting the runway But when one or two of these models happen to be your favorite TV star or maybe the governor of the mega city called Lagos, you’re bound to be starstruck, don’t you think?
Well, this happened when ex BBN housemates Neo and Mercy Eke walked for Emmy Kasbit and LFJ respectively.
The crowd also buzzed with excitement when veteran Nollywood actor, Shaffy Bello, donned a dual-toned red and pink piece while strutting the catwalk for Lush Hair.
And to close this year’s show for Emmy Kasbit, guess who walked hand-in-hand with the designer while wearing a piece from the brand’s collection? You guessed right— Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The politician received a standing ovation from excited Lagosians who were super thrilled by his presence as he brought Day 4 to a close.
Statement-Making Steet Style Looks from Lagos Fashion Week 2023
This year, Nigerians in Lagos once again proved they know their fashion onions. From denim to monochromatic looks, bold colors, raffia, florals, tinted hair, and sleek makeup, Lagos fashionistas gave us gush-worthy looks that won’t be leaving the style scene anytime soon. Here are some of the best of them:
If we decide to show you all the street style looks that made Lagos Fashion Week 2023 a magnificent one, there’d be no space left for the runway looks. So, let’s give it a break and get straight to the catwalk.
Spectacular Runway Moments During Lagos Fashion Week 2023
As usual, Style House Files, the organizers of the prestigious Lagos Fashion Week, served us a dose of creativity through the renowned and emerging talents that showcased their works on the runway. We had both onsite and offsite shows during the week. The onsite show featured works of both establshed designers and the Green Access finalists: Ajaneé, Lima, Bornstarng, Dust of the Earth, and of By.Wuzzy.
As the organizers stated:
“This year, Green Access is doubling down on its commitment to discover and nurture emerging talent and champion eco-conscious principles in fashion design and production. Our focus is dedicated to revolutionizing waste management in Lagos by harnessing it for the creation of the most innovative and sustainable designs.”
We saw nothing short of this on the runway as these designers joined their senior colleagues in the industry in stunning the crowd with their sustainable creations that took fashion to new heights. On the other hand, the offsite shows featured ace designers like Atafo, Orange Culture, Maliko, Fruche, Iamisigo, Sisiano, Imad Eduso, etc., showcasing their SS24 collections at their exclusive venues.
Furthermore, the recurring themes we observed from all the showcased designs this year are raffia, denim, tie-dye, and neutral colors. Here are some of the mind-blowing designers we saw on the catwalk:
Rendoll opened the LagosFW23 runway shows with its debut collection that showcased femininity through iconic prints, tropical colors, and textured fabrics.
In addition, Rendoll gave us its signature flattering silhouettes and accentuating ruffles.
LFJ remained faithful to its core ethos of crafting artistic garments.
Its SS24 collection featured versatile pieces that blended vivid hues with maximalist elements.
Cynthia Abila’s SS24 collection titled “Unbroken” showcased an array of whimsical prints and captivating cuts.
Furthermore, the pieces skillfully incorporated handwoven fabrics and raffia accents amidst a rich sea of colors.
The Ladymaker’s SS24 collection titled “Indigo” showcases a creative reinterpretation of the Adire design which was skillfully applied to contemporary, flowing feminine attire.
The collection incorporates intricate cuts and expert sartorial skills that accentuates the fusion of tradition and modernity.
Abigail Ajobi’s SS24 collection titled “Anti-Muse” features contemporary silhouettes, tie-and-dye infused prints, stylish denim ensembles, and midriff-baring designs.
Each piece is perfect for creating that trendy streetwear wardrobe that oozes an unending style.
Dust of the Earth
The brand’s mini collection was a showcase of pieces made from pre-loved garments from one of Lagos’s biggest second-hand markets.
How they transformed erstwhile thrift clothing into upcycled masterpieces is worth the applause.
This SS24 collection tagged “Threads of Continuity” by Lulla House SS24 is a beauty to behold.
The collection flaunts a captivating fusion of hand-beaded embellishments, textured fabrics, contemporary silhouettes, and dynamic movements.
The brand opened its show with two models strutting in body-fitting jumpsuits. The collection was a mixture of streetwear and laidback workwear adorned with dangling fringes around the sleeves.
It featured pieces such as crop tops, two-pieces, loose pants, jackets, maxi dresses/ skirts, crocheted clothing, and long-flowing outerwear.
As Beyoncé’s ‘My Power’ blared from the speaker, FIA blessed us with a collection that featured loose, relaxed, and deconstructed pieces.
It is as though the designer wanted us to think out of the box while staring into garments with box-like prints that made up a majority of its pieces.
Lush Hair brought the magic to the runway this year with its dramatic pieces. The hair brand’s show opened with a model strutting down adorned in a maxi raffia dress. Afterward, we saw pieces made and embellished with braids, faux locs, and weaves.
As expected of Lush Hair, models showcased garments in different shades of pink with statement hairstyles, of course.
Kilentar at Lagos Fashion Week 2023
Kilentar’s show opened with drummers ushering in the models with some traditional music. The collection exuded freedom in terms of how free the pieces relaxed on the models and the freedom it gives the wearer to own their style while flaunting their body contours.
The dominant color palette of Kilentar’s collection is white and blue. But as we watched on, the show progressed to different colors of fabrics in patches combined to create an ensemble.
Watching this show, what crossed my mind was the story of King Midas who had the power to touch anything and turn it into gold.
Most of the ensembles were of neutral colors such as black, navy blue, grey, etc., but with touches of gold gracing its intricacies. In addition, the collection was an artful showcase of baseball caps, jackets, crop tops, two pieces, etc.
Eki Silk at Lagos Fashion Week 2023
Think sexy, chic, without the elaborate drama of the runway? Then Eki Silk got you covered.
This collection showed the luxury of silk in the form of relaxed dresses and free-flowing pieces embellished with black and red prints on a white canvas.
This brand showed us the beauty and capacity of Adire and Raffia. We saw models don raffia as headwear, clothes, footwear, and fringes around the pieces.
And as each model showcased the pieces, they took slow, calculated steps in rhyme with Asa’s music that blared from the speaker.
Elie Kuame took us back to the early twentieth century with its SS24 collection. The pieces featured hats, loose pants, dresses, shorts, etc., with dramatic waistlines. The pieces were also accessorized with hats as typical of the late 19th and early 20th-century woman.
The collection was indeed a thrilling blast from the past.
Nkwo at Lagos Fashion Week 2023
The lady who sat beside me concurred when I observed aloud that it seemed most designers were incorporating raffia and denim. Nkwo wasn’t left out. The brand’s collection was a showcase of the tranquility in the color white and the richness of denim while harnessing the sustainability potential of raffia.
It was a moment of deconstructing, constructing, upcycling, and recycling Aso oke, denim, and raffia to create wearable art.
Ugo Monye once again stamped his name as one of the top African designers making a seamless blend of traditional fashion with contemporary details.
The brand delivered an amazing spectacle of arts and culture while telling a tale of African royalty.
Emmy Kasbit at Lagos Fashion Week 2023
Emmy Kasbit closed the LFW 2023 runway show with a splendid showcase of suits, shirts, and iconic prints. It was a exhibition of a classic wardrobe that gave off nothing but luxury.
The show was indeed the perfect one to end the week-long event with the governor of Lagos on the catwalk.
Lagos Fashion Week Remains an Enabler of True Industry Growth
Of a truth, Style House Files, headed by Omoyemi Akerele, has transformed the African fashion industry. They’ve provided a platform for African talents to showcase their craft and earn more brand awareness while attracting their target audience. Indeed, LFW has made its mark on the sands of time as one of the advocates of true industry growth.
While we anticipate subsequent years, what we listed on this page isn’t all that went down the runway. We also saw pieces from Pettre Taylor, Elexiay, Cute Saint, Mariah Bacoum, Kiko Romeo, Oshobor, and others. We could go on and on detailing how these designers gave us a show worth seasons and trends to come. But you and I know that can take up the all day.
So, how about you feast your eyes on more photos, not on this page but on Lagos Fashion Week’s official website? Do so to find more eye-catching deluxe styles that dazed fashion enthusiasts during the runway show.