Compared to 5 years ago, Nigeria’s industry is beginning to make its impact felt in places that matter in the global fashion community. There is a new generation of young and talented Nigerians who are successfully putting the industry on the world map with their quirkiness and creative genius.
As a way of recognising the individuals who are paving the way for the youth and upcoming fashion entrepreneurs, I have decided to launch the ‘Fashion Entrepreneur Series’. This series selects and showcases the work of entrepreneurs who are putting the Nigerian industry on the map, and people who also happen to have impeccable personal style.
The first person I’ve had the pleasure of working with is a designer and style icon I have followed for a while. The creative director of Ré formally known as Rebahia – a woman who at the age of 14 wrote in her diary, I want to become a designer, and is currently 27 and one of the most renowned young designers in the Nigerian fashion industry. Taking inspiration from the likes of TataNaka and Fausto Puglisi, Orire Omatsola has single-handedly created one of Nigerians most daring and alternative womenswear brands. Her Nigerian background and upbringing coupled with her higher education in England (London College of Fashion) and degree from the New Academy of Fine Arts (after a summer in Milan), have influenced her ability to create her fascinating conversation starting pieces.
Orire’s Ré collections feature her signature ‘kahabslot’ technique (see outfit 2) with a gypsy vibe, 3D print, fringe, ruffles, and colours, all while distilling the minimalist essence of the brand. The essence of the brand stems from her personal style, which even though ever evolving is tomboyish, experimental, colourful, alternative and minimalist.
She is one to watch in the industry who also believes the industry is one to watch. With the right infrastructure, which would allow for better production, Orire believes the Nigerian fashion industry is off to a great start and with the right attention, Lagos could be one of the fashion capitals of the world.
Orire has proven herself to be more than a designer with the introduction of the Wéré House, a place dubbed a community for creatives by creatives. The space offers creatives a place to work, collaborate and hold events. Wéré is set to be in full effect by 2018, and I cannot wait to experience a space like this in Lagos.
Skirt: Ré|Shirt: Ré Shoes: Sophia Webster
Skirt: Ré|Jacket: Ré | Visor: Ré | Shoes: Fendi
Trousers: Ré| Top: Ré| Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Styling: Orire Omatsola
Photography: Kosol Onwudinjor
Creative Direction: TheSohoSister