• Wednesday, April 17, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Fashions Finest Africa: Helping emerging creatives build sustainable fashion businesses

Fashions Finest Africa: Helping emerging creatives build sustainable fashion businesses

The fashion industry has been identified as one industry that can leverage the advantage of Nigeria’s young population to build thriving fashion businesses.

A lot of designers, stylists and make-up artists have the skills but do not have access to platforms that would support and publicize their designs.

Fashions Finest Africa debuted in 2017 and remains one of the top gatherings for new and emerging fashion entrepreneurs in Nigeria and beyond.

The show not only showcases the works of new and emerging designers but also teaches them the business side of fashion through its master classes.

Again, this year, Fashions Finest Africa showcased the passion, art, and talents of participants through the fashion runway shows, exhibitions and business of fashion conferences.

Speaking during the 2023 Fashions Finest Africa show held recently at Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos Sola Oyebade aka Mr Mahogany, CEO Fashions Finest Africa said Nigeria has a very young population yet a lot of people are unemployed.

Oyebade said although Nigerians are very creative as a people there are not many opportunities given to the young people to express themselves because they can’t afford it.

He said the Fashions Finest Africa show is aimed at new and emerging creatives, adding that the platform is put together to let the new and emerging creatives understand the business side of fashion.

“So what we are trying to do is make people know how to raise finances, what are the pitfalls they will face? what are the advantages? the markets they can get themselves to and how they can leverage social media. We give designers an opportunity to showcase their designs on the runway.

Read also: What Tinubu’s government should do with petrol subsidy money — Finance Commissioners

“A lot of people can’t get into the big shows. You have to be around for so many years and have a big name to be allowed into the big show. So, we give these small brands the opportunity.

“We don’t have a problem with people starting with us and then moving on to the bigger show. This is what we are about. These include designers, hair stylists, make-up artists etc. You can see from the exhibitors we have here, you see people selling candles, shoes and different types of things to get themselves out there,” the CEO Fashions Finest Africa said.

He said emerging designers use what they do to learn and at the same time and establish themselves.

“We do a lot of publicity and we tag people. We have a good brand name and this means that people understand it is great to be at Fashions Finest Africa.
Fashions Finest Africa has been going on for 12 years in the UK, we do London Fashion Week every February and September. In Nigeria, this is our fifth edition,” Oyebade said.

He noted that the criteria for getting into this show are that participants must either be new or not be well known.

“You will be amazed that there are some people on this show that have been in business for 12 years and no one knows them. They submit their pieces and we look at them. We go to their Instagram pages and check information about them and see what their collections are like and we talk to them.

“We also talk to them. We have people from all over Nigeria and out of Nigeria come for this show. We have about 32 to 34 designers,” he added.