We most definitely are used to mentioning and recognising foreign designer labels when the words ‘fashion brand’ come to mind, forgetting that there are many Nigerian fashion brands making and doing exploits every passing day. Lagos Fashion Week and other top runway events do not go by without any of these top fashion brands in Nigeria showcasing their designs to the pleasure of fashion enthusiasts. They have been there for a long time and have won international acclaim such that African fashion as a whole is not recognized without them.
To make a list of all the fashion brands in Nigeria will be to embark on a task that has no end because as incredible as it sounds, the list is endless. New brands emerge every day, giving credence to the axiom: ‘The sky is big enough for every star to shine’. Hence, as usual, our focus will be on the top fashion brands in Nigeria. Some of these have already been included in our list of the top fashion designers in Nigeria, others you just may already know.
Top Fashion Brands in Nigeria
Atafo is a menswear and womenswear fashion brand founded by Ohimai Atafo. Formerly known as Mai Atafo, this is one of the top fashion brands in Nigeria that drive on its delivery of opulence through bespoke services. The brand focuses on its high-end clothier, which creates glamorous dresses for women and well-crafted bespoke tailored suits for men.
The brand has several features in shows across the globe including the J Spring Fashion Show Paris, Glitz African Fashion Week Ghana, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa, Arise Magazine Fashion Week and Lagos Fashion and Design Week both in Lagos to mention a few.
In the summer of 2011, Mai Atafo announced the launch of “Weddings by Mai Atafo” now Mai Atafo Bridal Atelier, an extension of the brand’s service to deliver on all the clothing needs to achieve a dream wedding.
In 2009, Atafo won the Hottest New Male Designer by City people Fashion and Style. In 2010 and 2012, it was recognised as the Fashion Brand of the Year by FAB Magazine. In 2018, it was recognised as the Menswear Fashion Brand of The Year by Fashion’s Finest Africa Awards, Lagos. Atafo is known for its clean cuts and fit while maintaining concise attention to detail.
2. Maki Oh
Founded in 2010 by Amaka Osakwe, Maki Oh is a womenswear brand that fuses traditional African techniques with detailed contemporary construction. The brand is centered in a strong sense of identity and culture, creating narrative pieces that function as direct channels of communication.
The brand’s collections has been showcased at New York Fashion Week. It has also been featured in top publications such as Vogue Magazine, WWD, New York Times , The Wall Street Journal, Business of Fashion, W Magazine, New York Magazine, The Financial Times, Forbes, Elle Magazine, Interview Magazine, The Fader, Glamour, Paper Magazine, Nylon, and many others.
Many women of great repute have worn Maki Oh. They include Michelle Obama, Lupita N’yongo, Solange Knowles, Leelee Sobieski, Alek Wek, Thandie Newton, Azaelia Banks and many others. In 2014, Maki Oh was the first and only Africa-based designer to be invited to the White House as one of Michelle Obama’s favourite designers.
3. Orange Culture
If you want to tell a story with the way you present yourself then you should wear Orange Culture. Founded in 2011 by Adebayo Oke-Lawal, Orange Culture is one of the top fashion brands in Nigeria. It is an androgynous fashion label best described as a “movement” that covers universal silhouettes with an African touch to a creative class of men and women, translating into a heady mixture of Nigerian inspired print, fabrics, colour and contemporary urban streetwear.
Orange Culture was one of the first Nigerian fashion brands to begin collaboration in the Nigerian fashion industry and has inspired many others to follow. Some of the brands the label collaborated with are Huawei, Dennis Osadebe, Rokus London, Maxivive, etc.
Also, Orange Culture is a regular participant of Lagos Fashion Week. The brand has been featured in prestigious publications such as Vogue ( US, UK, ITALY), WWD, BoF, Fucking Young, L’Uomo Vogue, Huffington Post, New York Times, CNN, BET, MTV, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Marie Claire, L’Officiel, Style.com, The Guardian and The New York Times. It has carved a menswear niche and has inspired the emergence of more creative menswear fashion brands in Nigeria.
4. Wana Sambo
Wana Sambo is an eponymous ready-to-wear womenswear label launched in 2010 in Lagos, Nigeria. A typical Wana Sambo collection exudes the power, presence and strength of a woman. Although the brand’s designs are a fusion of traditional and western influences, every Wana Sambo piece is not just made in Africa but also African-inspired. This makes the brand best described as purely African with an Urban conspiracy.
The brand has been featured in publications such as Thisday Style (Nigeria/UK/South Africa), Mania Magazine (Nigeria/UK), WOW Magazine (Nigeria), Complete Fashion Magazine (Nigeria), FAB Magazine (Nigeria/UK), Tropics Magazine (South Africa), etc and virtual media. The brand has also participated in runway shows such as the Tigo Glitz Magazine Fashion Week in Accra, MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week, etc.
N.A.C.K, an acronym for the Nigerian Articulate Culture Kullection, is a casual fashion brand founded in 2006 by Lulo Tailo. It is one of the casual fashion brands in Nigeria that is into the manufacturing of clothes and accessories for gentlemen, ladies and kids.
The brand was birthed to solve a complex problem which is to create a unified identity for a new league of lifestyle believers who will not be benched by the language they speak or their background, but who will be recognised for the one identity that speaks style, freedom, and confidence.
6. David Wej
David Wej has gained enormous recognition as one of the leading Nigerian lifestyle brands and it is committed to redefining style across all genres locally and internationally.
7. Yutee Rone
Yutee Rone is a high-end eponymous womenswear label launched in 2007. This is one of the fashion brands in Nigeria that make unique structural pieces made from the finest quality of fabrics with exceptional attention to detail. The brand is known for its use of experimental fabrics and textiles, unique, vibrant prints, and her detailed craftsmanship.
Yutee Rone has showcased in Lagos Fashion Week, Arise Fashion Week and other runway shows. The brand’s flagship stores are located in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria.
8. Lady Biba
Lady Biba is a womenswear ready-to-wear Nigerian fashion brand founded in 2011 by Bisola Adeniyi. The brand is designed to meet the needs of professional women who love to stand out and want to feel and look their best while making a statement in a modern and simple way. Lady Biba has created a brand niche of inspiring and aspiring women who are called ‘Lady Bosses.’
The brand is committed to the mission of creating clothing that boosts female confidence, mirrors their aspirations, showcases the excellence of Nigerian artistry, and shows Lady Bosses that they can be ANYTHING they want to be.
9. Ugo Monye
Remember that Agbada Ebuka wore to Banky and Adesua Wellington’s wedding? Yes, Ugo Monye is the designer behind that look that got everyone talking. The brand is an eponymous fashion company founded by Ugochukwu Monye.
The Ugo Monye team is known to deliver best-in-class Nigerian native wears and high-quality clothing and design. The brand produces and delivers both haute couture and ready-to-wear clothing for individuals and corporate organisations.
Ugo Monye is a regular participant of fashion shows and was recognized by Vanguard Allure Women and Fashion Awards as the Wedding Designer of the year 2017.
10. Emmy Kasbit
Emmy Kasbit is one of the top fashion brands in Nigeria that cater for both genders. Launched in 2014 by Emmanuel Okoro, the label’s aesthetic is defined by clean and architectural cuts. The brand’s raison d’etre is to create timeless pieces for the unconventional man who likes to think outside the box and is willing to defend his outfit as being deliberate and not accidental.
In 2017, the brand emerged as one of the top five finalists of the Fashion Focus Prize at Lagos Fashion Week. The brand also won a $13,900 cash grant, and business mentoring from Ijeoma Ogbechie, an expert in finance who is the founder of Avivere, a fashion e-commerce startup. Emmy Kasbit is known for reinterpreting and reinventing vintage looks in a contemporary way.
IAmIsigo is a fashion label founded by Bubu Ogosi. The brand seeks to create awareness on how African culture can be fused with an audacious yet minimal design aesthetic. Through the use of visually textured fabrics incline silhouettes, the brand achieves a versatile and fashion forward DNA.
IAmIsigo has showcased at Lagos Fashion Week, the International Fashion Showcase (London Fashion Week), South Africa Fashion Week Exhibition Durban, etc. The brand has evolved to include home décor, furniture, art and functional design.