• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Bayo Omoboriowo recognised for putting Nigeria’s fashion on global stage

Bayo Omoboriowo recognised for putting Nigeria’s fashion on global stage

The management of King’s College London has acknowledged the contributions of Bayo Omoboriowo, Nigeria’s ace photographer towards the Africa Fashion Futures Project.

In a statement released by the institution, the school commented on the significance of Omoboriowo’s work in bringing to life some of the research themes investigated by KCL researchers.

Omoboriowo who holds a record for his sterling talent with the camera, is not new to such recognition, having served as the official photographer to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari since 2015 and won several awards including MTN Afrinolly film competition, Nigeria, the Sundance Institute Film Award, USA, NACCP Climate Change Photo Contest and The Future Awards for the Most Creative Artist of the Year in Nigeria amongst others.

Speaking about the experience, the 32-year-old describes it as rewarding, presenting to him an opportunity to explore the ancient and dynamic textile traditions of craftspeople and fashion designers from across Nigeria.

“We explore two significant themes that emerged from discussions with fashion designers based mainly in Lagos during the project all of which are articulated through my photographic works, reflecting fashion and textile practices from different areas of Nigeria.”

”In this research project, we investigated how African fashion can develop internationally and engage with global markets, not just as another country hosting mass-production facilities for global brands, but as a meaningful player presenting and preserving African stories, textiles, and traditions for new markets,” Omoboriowo said about his exhibition.

While corroborating Omoboriowo, Ananya Kabir and Eka Ikpe, KCL lecturers, both of whom were awarded a King’s Together Seed Fund grant for the project, explained that the ultimate ambition of the project was to carefully examine fashion in Africa, specifically through the work of fashion designers to explore the connections and contractions between creative and cultural values and the potential for the economic development of creative economies in Africa.

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“When photographer Bayo Omoboriowo joined KCL as an MA student in Arts & Cultural Management in the Department of Culture, Media and Creative industries, shared research interests and agendas around the importance of fashion and the textile traditions of Nigeria emerged. We settled on Fashion because it is not only a sector of the world economy, it is also a lens through which we can understand the cultural expression, memory politics and making traditions as well as the broader economic and social impact of creative economies,” said Kabir.

The project is hinged on two major themes, “Aso ebi: celebrating families and nations” which illustrates how textile production and fashion traditions play an important part in Nigeria’s private and public life.

From weddings and family celebrations to national festivals, ceremonies, and rallies, the busy social calendar of Nigerian society creates ample opportunity for individual and communal creative expression through fashion. Garments displaying sophisticated designs, vibrant colours, patterns and embellishments, celebrate both traditional and contemporary Nigerian styles.

The research documented how Aso ebi creates a fashion ecosystem that provides economic opportunities for local fabric producers and vendors, designers, tailors and artisans who fashion fabrics into occasion wear for both men and women.

The second theme which is “Textile: markets, heritage, and diversity” explores how textile production and crafts are the meeting points of a range of diverse activities and human endeavours.

Some of them are anchored in the past, preserving specific traditions and local heritage while others are more connected with the present, to the markets and industrial production of our contemporary societies.

Through this collaborative exhibition and the associated research, it is expected that insights will be generated into the way fashion designers in Nigeria are intertwined with traditions, heritage and making practices, in local and global markets.