From established designers to emerging talents, the Lagos Leather Fair (LLF) 2023 runway came alive with traditional and contemporary designs, where Made-in-Nigeria and by extension, Made-in-Africa wowed participants.
With diverse designs and colours of quality leather bags and shoes, the audience was thrilled at the creativity and excellence of Nigerian and African designers, especially their attention to detail.
For the first time, individual brands showcased their latest collections on the runway.
Themed, ‘Staying Ahead: Creativity, Collaboration, Commitment,’ the LLF2023 this year improved the narrative that encourages sustainable Made-in-Nigeria business.
Femi Olayebi, founder, of Lagos Leather Fair and creative director, FemiHandbags said the LLF2023 marked the sixth year of the event, adding that as hard as it seems to be, it always comes out so beautifully.
Olayebi stated that what this means is that there is a thirst and hinger for what LLF is doing.
“There is a hunger for the kind of products that we are putting out there. There is a hunger for Made-in-Nigeria and what Lagos Leather Fair has been trying to do over the years is to shine the spotlight on all the talents that exist within the eco system.
“What I think we done differently this year is that we have taken it to another level. Every year we raise the bar In terms of our styling and content and this year we expanded the space so we can accommodate a bigger audience for our master classes and conversations which are always packed,” she said.
According to her, in terms of aesthetics, they needed to be able to benchmark themselves against international standards and that is what they consistently do here at Lagos Leather Fair.
“In terms of designers we are looking for innovative minds. We are trying to be as diverse and as inclusive as possible. We styled the runway differently. In the last years, we just had 15 minutes clips of different models carrying a whole mix of different people’s products. But this year, we have exclusivity to the brands such that they could create their own shows. All they did was be in touch with the stylist and ensure they align with the LLF vision,” Olayebi said.
She said Nigerian leather industry contributes to the economic growth hugely and has so much potentials.
She explained that there are conversations around leather being the next big thing after oil and gas, adding that all that needs to be done is to ensure the right businesses, infrastructures and value add systems are put in place.
“We have the leather, we process them but we do not take it to the final stage. There needs to be a lot of investments within that space so that we can also be able to create pieces and leather that are well finished,” she said.