Celebrity designer and serial entrepreneur, Toyin Lawani, the brain behind Tiannah’s Place Empire and founder of the fashion academy, Tiannah Styling Fashion Academy, is one very interesting ‘book’ anyone would love to read whether a fashion enthusiast or not. Just after she stunned us with her N2m charge for a date with any man, she took to breaking the Internet with her unclad photos in a bid to promote her new skin line —Luxury Egyptian Glow Line. She’s more or less a role model to many in the field of entrepreneurship as a whole. Her awesomeness isn’t obvious in her designs alone but also in her personality and even the genesis of her success. She is indeed the ideal Nigerian fashion’s success story.
The name Tiannah’s Empire has become a household name in the Nigerian fashion industry. With Toyin Lawani lauded as one of the top fashion stylists/designers styling almost every A-list celebrity in Nigeria and even beyond, one can only pique an interest into the life of this great fashion magnate. This article is all about her. Keep reading to have your fill.
A couple of days ago, the young mother of two on her Instagram handle made a mix of her designs of two or three years ago and some outfits worn by international celebrities during this year’s Met Gala. The similarities were so loud to be ignored. But for the fact that Toyin’s were designed a couple of years before the foreign designers made theirs, some people would have accused her of being a copycat and since that isn’t the case, you’re free to make your judgement on who imitated who if there actually is any copycat. This stands to prove that there’s a lot of potential in the Nigerian fashion industry waiting to be embraced with utmost faith. Toyin is one and so are you.
Toyin Lawani, the creative director and CEO of Tiannah’s Empire was born in 1982 into a prestigious family in Ekiti state. It can be said that her passion for fashion was a thing she got from her late mother who ran a textile business and a beauty home while her father, Olanrewaju Lawani, was a politician known to have worked with Yakubu Gowon. Although her father wanted her to become a lawyer, Toyin earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Language from the University of Lagos and got enough grooming from her mom in the business of beauty.
Toyin began her entrepreneurial career quite early in life. At the age of 16, she ran a boutique and a mini supermarket. She was the first and last resort of her friends for any style tip and fashion advice. Little did she know then that she was sowing the seeds of a styling empire. Toyin has styled and is still styling the highs of society with foreign celebrities such as Ciara and Keri Hilson included.
In 2016, Toyin Lawani awed the world as the first Nigerian Designer to organise a celebrity and kids runway show simultaneously. She also, in 2016, was the only stylist for the show ‘Love Like A Movie’, styling Ciara and her dancers within five hours for the street dance-off in Lagos. She has many notable collections to her name and some of them include The Transformer Collection, Dream Collection, Asiko Collection, Face Collection, Ready-to-wear Collection, etc. She is the first to create the denim Agbada design, infusing the denim creations in so many ways.
Her works have graced the pages of many Nigerian fashion magazines like Complete Fashion. Her designs have also been showcased in fashion shows such as the 2013 Africa Fashion Week London, 2015 Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, etc. In 2012, she organised the Mademoseile Agliaia Fashion show. During the first two seasons of the Nigeria’s Next Top Designer show held in Lagos, Toyin Lawani appeared as a guest judge and one of the main judges respectively.
Toyin Lawani lives up to the ‘serial entrepreneur’ tag that comes with her name. She isn’t just a fashion designer/stylist but also the creative director of Exquisite Magazine. She owns a school for modelling, fashion, nails, make up all in Tiannah’s Place Empire. There is also a line for kids which she calls Elegante Kids and a lingerie line, Lingeries By Tiannah. She owns a salon and a photo studio. She also has a skincare line —Tiannah’s Glow — which she saturates Instagram with pictures of the wonders of her patented skincare products. And that’s not all as Amala Dot Com, a food business is still under the name of Toyin Lawani. Need we also mention the fact that Toyin shot a couple of music videos for Lord Maine’s (her son) father, Lord Triggs. Toyin also has a daughter and as at the time of writing this article, she is single.
The fashion mogul has won numerous awards including the City People Awards and also the Stylist of the Year award at the 2014 ELOY Awards. Her tremendous success in the world of business and in the line of fashion has made her a success story and an epitome of the axiom “hard work pays”.
Photo credit: Tiannah’s Empire