Ebuka, Lisa Folawiyo, Fisayo Longe | See 2020 Top Ten Most Influential Nigerians in Fashion

2020 is not a year many people want to remember in a bit. Too many stories to tell, – the ups, the downs. Interestingly, the year started on a good note and individuals/organisations that had plans for the year started acting as scheduled. But then, a pandemic came and started ravaging through basically everything. However, there were individuals in different fields who fought through strong winds and came scathed but successful. This is why we have listed ten individuals who ruled the fashion world whether anyone had the time to look or not.

It is an exciting list and we know you will love it too. See them below:

Toyin Lawani

Toyin is a business mogul who started by giving fashion advice and styling her friends for events and now runs over 30 enterprises under one roof “Tiannah’s Place Empire” – She has since grown to become one of the most sought after stylists in the Nigerian entertainment industry.

She is a skin care specialist, she runs a salon, she owns a photo studio, owner of a restaurant, she is the proprietor of a nail, fashion and modelling school. What else does she not do?

As a stylist, the 38-year-old has worked with many top celebrities across the world like Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Stephanie Okereke, Funke Akindele, Keri Hilson, Natalie Nunn, Ciara, Emma Nyra and so on.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu

Ebuka never has a bad day with his clothes. He seems to have the contacts of all the stylists in Nigeria on speed dial and has probably hypnotised them to always do it – and do it well. His styles cause conversations on social media. Conversations in fashion, in tradition, in culture, etc.

Just when you think he will meet a rival at an event, he brings a totally new dimension and beats everyone around. Not too many events happened this year but the lockdown edition of the Big Brother Naija TV reality show reminded us that Ebuka has come to stay in the fashion world.

Adebayo Oke-Lawal

Let’s first mention that Adebayo uses fashion to fight toxic masculinity in Nigeria and it is an idea we might all want to take a break to think about.

He is a Lagos-based fashion designer and founder of Orange Culture, always enthusiastic about expressing himself in diverse ways. His work is dedicated to pushing back against the toxic masculinity he experienced while growing up. And his positive message, born from adversity in his early years, is getting through.

Ohimai Atafo

Mai Atafo is a name that continues to ring a bell amongst style-conscious folks in Nigeria and beyond. People want to see his designs, they want to do business with him, they want to be part of his team to tap into his talents.

The Edo University graduate of Agricultural Economics and Extension obtained his postgraduate in the UK, Masters degree in Information Systems and Technology from City University, London. In 2010, He left his role as a Senior Brand Manager to venture into Fashion full time.

The charismatic businessman is the founder and creative director of fashion brand, ATAFO, who specialises in bespoke menswear, womenswear alongside bridal and evening couture. The dynamic brand is also known for their stylish approach to traditional Nigerian wear, a testament to Mai’s deep connection to his heritage and his own roots.

Lisa Folawiyo

Lisa is a multi-faceted global womenswear and accessories collection. Lisa Folawiyo perfected the art of wearing Ankara (local West African fabric) through the use of ornate embellishment; she transformed the fabric, creating a global print and turning the label into a coveted luxury brand. Incorporating texture with this culturally established tradition has been the key to Lisa Folawiyoʼs success, creating a conceptual and global design hybrid.

Fused with its very own custom luxury prints, Lisa Folawiyo masterly delivers contemporary garments. With a strong eye for tailoring and fit, Folawiyo creates feminine and modern silhouettes with nods to traditional African aesthetics. Each Lisa Folawiyo garment boasts a handcrafted and unique history from inception to construction. Folawiyoʼs expert beading craftsmen hand embellish each Lisa Folawiyo piece, on average a 240—hour process that reflects the brandʼs focus on design integrity.

Deola Ade-Ojo

Deola Ade-Ojo is a fashion designer popularly known by her design name, Deola Sagoe. She began designing in 1988 when she joined her mother’s business with a view of expanding the label’s repertoire to encompass more contemporary designs for the ever-developing, cosmopolitan high-brow society. Using African hand-woven materials in which she brought to life a range of distinct cultures; and contemporising almost-lost traditional African techniques, Deola quickly became an icon in her field.

Deola is well known for her uncanny attention to detail, her expert handling of a diverse range of fabrics as well as her exemplary grasp of a wide range of female body types. She is celebrated back home for her patriotism and zeal in Nigerian culture at large. Her ingenuity and innovativeness combined with strong business acumen and vision have seen her win various accolades, awards, and recognition over the years.

Akin Faminu

The Lagos-based menswear blogger is a writer, medical doctor and a fashion lover. He expresses his passion for style and creativity on his blog, Akin Faminu. His fashion style rivals the likes of the best fashion bloggers on the world stage and, it is because he exhibits a striking ability to merge two disparate corporate worlds together. To answer that, he said in an interview with Encomium, “The way I see it, there’s a thin line between your passion and your profession. My profession is of course in the medical line, all things fashion is what I’m passionate about.”

Dénola Grey

Dénola is always in our faces, whether you want to see him or not. And, it is not because he runs campaigns for his posts and is on every TV channel telling us his current and future plans. It is because he breaks boundaries with his appealing fashion choices and teaches us – subconsciously – how it is done. He may step out with an effortless style, but there’s always this masterclass addition that causes conversations.

Denola Adepetun is a Nigerian style blogger, media personality, actor, content creator and fashion consultant. He has co-produced various fashion projects such as Glam Squad on Africa Magic.

He was nominated as one of the top three best-dressed male celebrities at the Africa Movies Viewers’ Choice Awards held on March 14, 2020. His photos and fashion designs are stunning and unique. Dénola Grey has a good history of working as a media and fashion consultant for brands. 

Toke Makinwa

Sometimes, you wonder which space Toke wants to operate in. You think she is an OAP, an actress, and at other times, she drives conversations in fashion and beauty. It is because she is a jack of many trades.

Toke is a Nigerian media personality, television host, vlogger, lifestyle entrepreneur, and author. She is known for hosting The Morning Drive on Rhythm 93.7 FM and for her YouTube vlog series, Toke Moments. She has also been crowned severally as the Most Influential Young Nigerian and style influencer. Her growing success in various fields has set her apart from the rest.

Fisayo Longe

Fisayo is a fashion influencer who founded the style, travel and personal development blog Mirror Me. Additionally, she is the founder of the luxury womenswear brand KAI

Fisayo’s Kai apparel is quickly becoming a status symbol and a fashion must-have for all trendy and savvy people. Her designs have featured in major fashion magazines. Kaicollective is seen sported on by co-founder of ‘Black Queer & Trans Resistance,’ Naomie Pieter, for Vogue Netherland’s September 2020 issue.

Her brand was mentioned on Beyonce’s site as one of the Black and African owned brands to shop from. With all these great commendations, recommendations, and promotions, Longe closed off this month with a major celebration. She clocked another year on August 31. 

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Omoruyi Omoleye

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