Posted by Irene Ojo-Felix | January 20th, 2017
Fashion, in reflection of the world it emulates, is bigger than it has ever been. Previously delegated to a select few, its borders have expanded beyond the conventional fashion capitals to include new and exciting territories to discover. With that new recognition, thriving sartorial hubs have stepped up to claim their stake in the fashion rat race, none more eager than the acclaimed culture capital of Nigeria, Lagos. Estimated at 21 million people (that’s almost 3 times more than New York City) and a rising country wide GDP of over $500 billion, the city stands as one to watch among the continental fashion sect and is steadily propelling its international clout with advances in manufacturing and textile development.

Models.com returned to the buzzing metropolis last year for Lagos Fashion and Design Week to uncover what over 50 designers from around the continent had to offer for the new season. What we found was more expansive than what we expected – developed retail spaces like Alara and Temple Muse that blended seamlessly American and European fashion brands, new age African designers, breathtaking art, and exceptional interiors. Alara, designed by David Adjaye of Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture fame, takes the idea of “retail” and turns it on its head as the concept store and restaurant stands as an ambitious architectural feat. Bold and vividly remarkable, its distinct cardinal facade stood as the perfect setting for the latest original fashion story from Models.com, shot by photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo. We partnered with LFDW and leading digital e-commerce platform, Oxosi, to bring a chosen selection of the best and the brightest design talents that have ties to Africa – whether overtly or covertly. Since top models like Oluchi Onweagba have paved the way, the latest crop of fresh faced newcomers from Nigeria, Mayowa Nicholas and Uju Marshall, carry on the torch to provide the perfect frame for these wondrously expressive designs.

Take an exclusive look below to see just what Africa has to offer.

Featured designers:

Photography by Lakin Ogunbanwo for Models.com

Fashion Editor – Irene Ojo-Felix
Make Up – Odiri Obrutse
Nails – Veronica Odeka using Vane Polish
Models – Mayowa Nicholas and Uju MarshallAlara Lagos, Lagos Fashion and Design Week, and Oxosi

On Mayowa: Top – Ladunni Lambo | Pants – Washington Roberts | Necklace – Sophie Zinga
On Uju: Top – Washington Roberts | Shawl (worn as belt) – Ladunni Lambo | Pants – Andrea Iyamah | Earrings – L’Enchanteur courtesy of OXOSI

Hat – Orange Culture | Top – Rayo | Skirt – Ladunni Lambo | Earrings – Tsemaye Binitie | Shoes – Loza Maleombho

Top – Sophie Zinga | Pants – Bridget Awosika | Left earring – Tsemaye Binitie | Right earring – Orange Culture

Dress (worn underneath) – Washington Roberts |Dress – Nkwo | Bag – Lolita Lorenzo courtesy of OXOSI

On Mayowa: Striped Tunic – Kenneth Ize | Top – Tsemaye Binitie | Skirt – Bridget Awosika | Choker (work as bracelet) – Loza Maleombho | Hat – Ugo Mozie courtesy of OXOSI

On Uju: Shirt (worn on top) – Nkwo | Top – Re’ | Skirt – Tsemaye Binitie | Box clutch – Zashadu courtesy of OXOSI | Hat – Ugo Mozie courtesy of OXOSI

Hat – Orange Culture | Top – I.Am.Isigo | Jumpsuit (worn underneath) – Re’

Pin stripped jacket – Kenneth Ize | Fringed dress – Sophie Zinga | Earrings – L’Enchanteur courtesy of OXOSI | Choker – Loza Maleombho | Ring – L’Enchanteur courtesy of OXOSI

On Mayowa: Top – Ladunni Lambo | Pants – Washington Roberts | Necklace – Sophie Zinga

On Mayowa: Top – Bridget Awosika |Skirt – GREY

On Uju: Top – I.Am.Isigo | Bandeau top – Andrea Iyamah | Skirt – Loza Maleombho | Necklace – Orange Culture

Dress (worn underneath)- Loza Maleombho | Dress – Lanre Da Silva Ajayi | Earrings – Tsemaye Binitie

On Mayowa: Dress – Tsemaye Binitie | On Uju: Dress – Lisa Folawiyo

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9 Comments to “Africa’s New Stage”

  1. Dawn says:

    Gorgeous editorial, fabulous work!!

  2. Emma Py says:

    I’m live in Austin, TX. I’m from France. I’m 15 years old. My mother is from Cameroon and my dad from France. I really want to be a model, that’s my dream. I’m play basketball in my high school.

  3. Mary Wash says:

    Pictures are fantastic.I want my Grand daughter to be a model.she is beautiful but she has tattoos. What can she do about that?

  4. pardisa says:

    While darker skin is a super nice, but unparalleled color combinations clothes

  5. Jacquelyn says:

    The girls and the clothes are just gorgeous. The combination of vibrant colors and unique patterns tell a wonderful story.

  6. Tania Tanyaradzwa Karavhina says:

    l love FASHION and l hope to pursuer my passion and dream

  7. imane dahane says:

    Hello I am Iman from Morocco I would like to be a model, I am brown color and weigh 50K and 173cm … I hope you reply +212 696164380

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