• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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How The Macallan’s investment in creative economy is changing the narrative across Art & Fashion


The Macallan, the Scotch whisky brand, has a history of actively supporting the Nigerian creative industry, building a partnership that leverages the right strategies to drive Nigeria’s fashion industry to achieve its projected $1.92 billion valuation by 2027.

Over the years, the brand has deepened its collaboration and commitment to craftsmanship and innovation in art, highlighting the synergy between whisky and artistic innovation, to create an unforgettable experience where craftsmanship and artistic ingenuity converge.

As part of its strategic drive to grow the creative industry in Nigeria, the whisky brand has partnered with several creatives and art-based organizations like the Art X Lagos fair, and Mai Atafo, a fashion designer.

Through the collaboration, the brand has consistently extended support to the creative communities, enhancing the visibility and prominence of local artists and their creative expressions on the global scene.

Read also: Macallan eyes Nigeria’s $84m whisky market with two new products

To align with these efforts, the brand aims to amplify creatives and highlight the potential of the Nigerian creative economy, which significantly contributes to the nation’s GDP. According to a recent report by Statista, motion picture and music recording accounted for roughly N154 billion, (roughly 197.6 million U.S. dollars) of Nigeria’s GDP in 2023.

The Macallan vision for the creative industry strives to establish Nigeria as a globally recognized cultural hub, encouraging the creative community and innovators to drive transformation toward a more prosperous and creatively dynamic Nigeria.

In line with this, the revered single malt Scotch whisky brand has continuously shown support across art, fashion, and craft, forming partnerships with creatives, such as Mai Atafo, Sodiq Ajibola, and Art X Lagos.

The Macallan, Mai Atafo collaboration
As part of its support for the fashion industry, the ultra-premium Scottish whisky brand partnered with renowned Nigerian fashion designer, Mai Atafo, to support and empower 40 young Nigerian fashion enthusiasts in Lagos.

The programme, entitled, “Fashion Conversations”, provided a platform for young designers to gain industry insights through in-depth conversations about the commercialisation of fashion and tips on how to navigate the fashion industry.

“The ATAFO brand perfectly exemplifies The Macallan’s dedication to craftsmanship and the peerless spirit. And this showcase presents a unique opportunity to reinforce our commitment to Nigeria’s vibrant creative industry,” Hammed Adebiyi, brand manager, Edrington Portfolio, Nigeria, said.

The in-depth sessions featured an eight-hour masterclass with Mai Atafo on fashion design, branding, marketing, and other essential skills.

Participants also had the opportunity to view select collections of The Macallan whisky and network with other budding designers.

Founded in 2018, the ‘Fashion Conversations’ has made a significant step towards empowering young Nigerian fashion enthusiasts and providing them with a platform to identify their roles in the fashion industry.

Also, The Macallan continued its investment in Nigeria’s burgeoning fashion industry with its partnership with fashion brand, “ATAFO”, for its Spring/Summer 2024 collection.

With a breathtaking display of creativity, artistry and craftsmanship, ATAFO showcased its newest collection at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on October 24, 2023.

The collaboration with influential fashion figure Mai Atafo’s eponymous brand, ATAFO, marked the creative designer’s second fashion show since his return from a three-year hiatus.

“I feel honoured to be partnering with a brand like The Macallan; they recognise the value of an event of this magnitude, and that is something special. Usually, fashion is overlooked when it comes to sponsorships. So, having The Macallan do this with me is very noteworthy. The collection ‘Sartorial Reverie,’ is a celebration of my commitment to elevating the craftsmanship at ATAFO, and nothing emphasises mastery like The Macallan,” Mai Atafo, creative designer, ATAFO, said about the collaboration.

It was a spectacular evening showcase that combined the love for luxury and fashion with craftsmanship at the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Themed; ‘Sartorial Reverie’, the fashion show attracted over 700 guests, who came to glance and applaud seventy models in 90 outfits, strutting the runway in style.

The Sadiq Ajibola exhibition

Acclaimed multidisciplinary artist, Sadiq Ajibola Williams, recently made waves with his second solo exhibition, held at the AMG Projects Gallery, Lekki, Lagos, titled “What Does The World Need?”

The exhibition, which featured a private viewing experience for 50 exclusive guests from different industries, was sponsored by The Macallan. This is the second time the British-Nigerian artist will present a solo exhibition.

His first exhibition, launched in 2017, proved his prowess and distinctive fusion of art forms, including drawing, painting, architecture, film, music, dance, poetry, and martial arts.

The exhibition’s profound questions challenged conventional wisdom, delving into the interplay between wellness and freedom and the pursuit of “Ikigai” – a Japanese word for sense of purpose.

“What Does The World Need” is a poignant reminder that there are calls to action all around us. While acknowledging present day realities, we need to rethink wellness, sound health, and freedom,” Williams said.

According to him, the show’s intention is to pose some vital questions to art enthusiasts if there can be wellness without freedom? And, how can we help each other feel Ikigai?”

By supporting the art exhibition, The Macallan reaffirms its commitment to promoting creativity and celebrating craftsmanship, continuing its significant contribution to the vibrant art scene in Nigeria while enriching cultural dialogue on a global scale.

“The Macallan’s sponsorship of this exhibition reflects our deep appreciation for Nigerian art and artists, and the desire to continue elevating the flourishing art community in Nigeria,” Adebiyi, brand manager, Edrington Portfolio, Nigeria, stated.

Read also: The Macallan host British High Commissioner to celebrate Scottish Tradition in Abuja

Macallan, Art X Lagos commitment to local Art

Since its debut in 2016, ART X Lagos has grown to host galleries and artists from over 40 countries and has become renowned for its exhibitions, which include private collector’s exhibitions, ART X Talks — a panel discussion series; ART X Live, a showcase featuring collaborations between some of the fastest-rising artists in the African continent.

“2023 has brought with it an exacerbation of the challenges experienced in recent years across Nigeria and Africa, and in this pivotal year, we recognise that ART X Lagos’ evolving role as a gathering place for our community, is all the more crucial,” Tokini Peterside, founder and Convener, Art X Lagos, said while sharingd her perspective on the growth of Nigeria’s art ecosystem.

These programmes have featured an array of emerging and established artists from the continent and the diaspora, including El Anatsui, Wangechi Mutu, Njideka Akunyili-Crosby, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Hank Willis Thomas, among others.

Hammed Adebiyi, brand manager, Edrington Portfolio, Nigeria, emphasised the brand’s commitment and dedication to the art and crafts community in Nigeria.

“Art X Lagos has consistently championed artistic excellence in Africa, making it a natural choice for The Macallan to partner with. They share a common commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence, and we are excited to bring this to life through the intersection of art and whisky,” Adebiyi said.